Travel News: May 24-30

Here is a round-up of this week’s travel news – from industry acronyms that save money, the new wave of business air travel, and how airfares should be displayed online, to Canada and electronic devices, airline operas, and Southwest’s new mobile boarding pass. Enjoy!

Two Airline Acronyms that Can Save You Money

According to ABC News, there are two airline acronyms that every traveler should know: XFS (Excludes Fridays and Sundays) and TWO (good for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays Only).

Couple this information with the other tip that we’ve long shared with readers (the best time to search for flights is Tuesday and Wednesday when airlines typically release sale fares) and you should be well on your way to saving a bundle. Of course, searching on helps too!

New Airline to Cater to Business Travel between Paris and New York

Dreamjet, seems to be back on track to launch a business-only transatlantic flight between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Newark, New Jersey this summer. The startup airline became a focal point earlier this year as a test case for Department of Transportation approval in relation to low-cost transatlantic flights. Dreamjet flights will be geared toward business travelers – with a single cabin containing 80 seats in a Business Class configuration. More importantly the fares are expected to be lower than those of traditional airlines.

How Airfares May be Displayed in the Future

In case you missed it – there have been several news articles of late relating to airfares and how they should be displayed by airlines and online travel agencies in the future.

On the one side is the airline-backed “Transparent Airfares Act” proposed in the House of Representatives. Under this act airlines, online travel agencies (and anyone else selling tickets) will be able to remove taxes from base airfare so long as they list them elsewhere on their website. Critics argue that this will make airfares appear artificially lower than they really are, although those in favor of the bipartisan bill say that it will allow consumers to see the various fee components that go into the pricing of an airline ticket – including government fees and taxes, which allegedly make up more than 20% of ticket price.

In response Sen. Robert Menendez, earlier this month, created the “Real Transparency in Airfares Act” which proposes to fine airlines and online travel agencies as much as $55,000 a day for failing to disclose the total cost of airfare.

And, for its part, the Department of Transportation is proposing new rules that will require airlines and ticket agents to disclose ancillary fees for extra charges associated with checked bags, carry-on items and advanced seat assignments. The goal here is to provide  information that will allow travelers to more accurately compare one fare against another.

Confused yet?

It will be interesting to see where the chips will fall but, if you are to believe, a non-government site that tracks federal legislation, the Transparent Airfares Act has a 70% chance of passage.

Canada Relaxes Rules for Electronic Devices on Planes

In a move similar to the FAA electronic ruling last year, Canada will now permit the use of electronic devices on flights (including take-off and landing), so long as they don’t transmit data. The loosening of the rules has been welcomed by Canadian airlines like Air Canada, WestJet and Porter Airlines.

New Opera Taps Talents of Flight Crew Members from Four International Airlines

It seems that flight crews are a multi-talented bunch these days. A few weeks ago we shared the stand-up comedic talents of Marty Cobb, a Southwest flight attendant. And now we have learned about a new opera that is about to debut in Munich, which has pilots and flight attendants from South African Airways, Lufthansa, All Nippon Airways and S7 Airlines among its cast.

Southwest Airlines Offering Mobile Boarding Passes throughout U.S.

Southwest Airlines has just completed its rollout of mobile boarding passes to all of its markets within the U.S. The effort is intended to make getting through the airport “quicker and greener,” by leveraging passenger smartphones and other electronic devices to help navigate security checkpoints and board aircraft. The carrier began testing e-boarding passes at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in November and expanded the test to Dallas Love Field and Houston in February. Updates

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