American is the latest airline to add some significant customer benefits for holders of its AAdvantage credit cards, including a waiver of checked bag fees, priority boarding and more.
Air Travel News
The typical consumer might consider air travel to be a rather hellish experience, but an annual study of the numbers by academics at Purdue and Wichita State universities found that in 2011, things really were getting better for passengers, relatively speaking.
In international airline news, regulators have given a green light to British Airways’ acquisition of bmi; Qantas boosts fees for checked baggage; KLM expands its “Meet & Seat” link-up service for travelers; and the world’s airlines posted healthy traffic growth in February.
Air France said it is teaming up with Aeroports de Paris to rationalize and strengthen its hub operation at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport by making terminal improvements that should permit faster and easier connections.
Delta customers could soon have a new low-fare option with plenty of restrictions, and rumors are circulating on air travel message boards that the airline might be planning a big change in its frequent flyer program as well.
United Airlines has come out with a new premium credit card for its frequent flyer program. The United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase Card Services offers an array of special benefits and carries a $395 annual fee.
American Airlines parent AMR Corp. has followed through on a threat to seek bankruptcy court approval for voiding its labor contracts, and a report from London says British Airways’ parent group might invest in its Oneworld partner to block any takeover attempt of American.
Despite loud outcries of protest from the public and the airline industry, the British government on April 1 was scheduled to increase its tax on international air travelers – the fourth increase in five years. And even though the U.K. tax is already one of the world’s highest levies on flyers, it will be raised again next year, and extended to business jets as well.
As the global airline alliances seek to increase their market penetration in the Asia/Pacific region, the Star Alliance is the latest to announce plans to bring a new airline there onboard.
In news of international carriers, pilots at Spain’s Iberia again threaten to walk off the job periodically; Japan Airlines is on track to add the first Boeing 787 service to the U.S.; Turkish Airlines boosts service on U.S. routes; and Qantas has a new Asian low-cost airline in the works.