Travelers who belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry trusted traveler program — which costs $100 to join — love the fact that it allows them to speed through immigration formalities when re-entering the country. But now there’s a new alternative to make things a bit faster for other travelers.
Air Travel News
In its latest annual examination of award seat availability at leading U.S. and international carriers, consulting firm IdeaWorks found that Southwest Airlines was still at the top, while Delta and US Airways remained at the bottom.
In route news of U.S. carriers, American is said to be planning hourly service on a key transcontinental route; Alaska will add new flights from Portland to a pair of key business destinations; United moves up the return of the 787 to its schedules; and Southwest/AirTran announces several new Memphis routes later this year.
In news of international airlines, Qatar Airways plans to add another U.S. gateway on the East Coast next year; Star Alliance will reportedly add an Asian carrier in June; All Nippon Airways changes its baggage policy; Air Pacific changes its name; and Air France gets a new joint venture partner.
U.S. companies have been keeping a pretty tight rein on spending by their business travelers even as the economy continues to recover, but a new study suggests they shouldn’t be too concerned about pinching pennies, because those trips bring a significant benefit to the bottom line.
A new survey of air travelers by FlightView finds that airlines could be selling a lot more ancillary services and upgrades on the day of travel — if only they offered such things to mobile device users.
In airport news, Baltimore-Washington International has opened its new Concourse C to passengers; American adds VIP check-in at New York JFK; the mayor of New Orleans announced plans to replace the 50-year-old passenger terminal at the city’s Louis Armstrong International Airport; and the Los Angeles City Council has given a green light to a planned massive reconstruction of LAX.
Now that Boeing’s redesign of the 787 Dreamliner’s troubled lithium-ion battery system has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and Boeing engineers have been dispatched to install the changes, airlines are making plans to put the Dreamliner — which was grounded in mid-January — back into their schedules.
It seems like there’s no end to airlines’ appetite for adding or increasing passenger fees. In the latest developments, Frontier Airlines said it will assess new charges for passengers who don’t buy tickets through the airline’s website, including a fee for carry-on luggage; and Delta and American have joined two other legacy airlines in raising the fee for ticket changes.
In news of U.S. airlines, purchasers of Southwest Airlines’ lowest fares will soon face the loss of their ticket price if they don’t show up for their flights; United turns to Embraer for a big addition of two-class jets to its United Express fleet; and US Airways announces in-flight enhancements for international travelers.