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ABCNews.com Column: Why Airlines Might Abandon Your City

April 30, 2008 | Posted in: ABC Column | 0 comments

My weekly column for ABCNews.com highlights the fact that plunging profits and rising costs are forcing airlines to bail on certain routes and even certain cities altogether. So, could you pull up to the airport only to find you have no way of getting out of town? Well, it hasn’t reached that level yet, but some cities will definitely start to feel the pinch.

To learn more, please check out the entire story on ABCNews.com (also picked up in the Huffington Post business section).

TREND: Today’s Airfare Deals — Be Ready to JUMP!

April 30, 2008 | Posted in: Airfare News | 7 comments

Whenever I talk about deals, I usually advise that you grab them fast, because they won’t last.

What an understatement — especially in today’s world of lightning fast deals.

For instance, we posted this brand new Deal of the Day on our special Deals section; that was on 4-29-08. With me? Okay, here’s what else was required:

  • You had to BUY the ticket by May 2.
  • You had to DEPART on May 3.
  • You had to RETURN on May 5 or 6.

Talk about a whirlwind purchase, and, a whirlwind trip! But you’ll be seeing more of this, so best to keep reading.

TREND: Today’s Airfare Deals — Be Ready to JUMP!

Air Travel Fees That Make Me Crabby – Introducing the “CRABBY Scale”

April 29, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News,Ask Rick | 45 comments

UPDATE: More FEES Added!

Before I launch into this semi-rant, I want to make it very clear that I know the current price of fuel is killing the airlines — figuratively and literally. And believe me, I don’t want to start driving from Dallas to Los Angeles or New York any time soon.

That said, I don’t blame the airlines for trying to make a buck or trying to keep their head above water, but — I do have a bone to pick with some of their methods.

And, notice that much of my “crabbiness” stems not from airline fees, but from all the fees imposed by our local airports and the government!

Crabbiness Scale: from 1 Crab (minor grouchiness) to 4 Crabs (utterly outraged).

I now present to you — “Rick’s Crabby List”: click more to see it for yourself.

Air Travel Fees That Make Me Crabby – Introducing the “CRABBY Scale”

Domino Time: More Airlines Join in the Rising “Fee Fest”

April 29, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News,US Airways | 0 comments

Oh, how the dominoes are falling.

First, longtime hold-out American Airlines decides to join the other airlines by instituting a $25 charge for checking a second bag.

Now comes word that US Airways is upping its “change fee” on non-refundable tickets — bringing it to a whopping $150!

Well, maybe it’s not all that “whopping” — after all, United already charges $150.

Did You Know? Busiest Flight Routes (by Passengers)

April 29, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | 1 comment

A few weeks we go, I highlighted the busiest flight routes by world region. With those statistics, “busiest” meant the largest number of weekly flights. Using those calculations, the busiest route in the United States is Honolulu-Kahului (Island of Maui). OK, fair enough. But what are the busiest flight routes in the US when it comes to sheer number of passengers?

Keep reading for a look at the Top 10 routes that service the most passengers annualy. In all honesty, you probably won’t be too surprised by the cities that dominate the list…

Did You Know? Busiest Flight Routes (by Passengers)

Delta Hikes Fuel Surcharge, Breaks the $100 Roundtrip Barrier

April 29, 2008 | Posted in: Airfare News,Delta,Fuel Surcharges | 17 comments

Yesterday Delta Airlines began the 14th attempted domestic airfare hike which will affect the bulk of its route system (that’s over 13,000 city-pairs). United Airlines joined yesterday, and American came onboard today.

The increase – in the form of a fuel surcharge – is from $10 to $40 roundtrip, depending on the type of airfare and city-pair.

This means, travel between some city-pairs will include a whopping $110 roundtrip fuel surcharge. In comparison, the average transatlantic fuel surcharge is about $230 roundtrip.

It appears that Delta is poised to make its CEO’s call for a 15-20% airfare increase (to offset fuel prices) a grim reality in the coming the weeks. I’ll explain, if you keep reading.

Delta Hikes Fuel Surcharge, Breaks the $100 Roundtrip Barrier

Allegiant Airlines – Model of the Future for Leisure Travelers in Small to Mid-Size Cities?

April 29, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News | 0 comments

I was looking over an analysts report this morning on Allegiant Airlines and was struck by the chasm between “the lowest of low cost airlines” and the legacy airlines.

Allegiants fuel bill went up at approximately the same percentage as the un-hedged legacy airlines and they still squeezed out a pretty impressive profit.

For those that are not familiar with Allegiant they fly a fleet of MD-80′s (just shy of 40 planes) with service to Vegas, Reno, Phoenix and popular Florida destinations from under served smaller cities, to leisure destinations at off the beaten path airports.

They tend to fly leisure travelers with non daily flight schedules and from all accounts tend to do a pretty good job at it — I am wondering if we’ll end up with more “Allegiants” in the near future for those cities that have been given up on by the bigger boys… Congrats Allegiant for hanging tough in what is definitely the most “trying” environment in history for air travel.

Airline Mergers: Quick Look at the Potential United & US Airways Merger

April 28, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News | 2 comments

The demise of the “imminent” merger of Continental and United this weekend had me pondering the ramifications of the next widely reported merger: United and US Airways.

I thought it would be interesting to check out our flight schedule database and do some quick analysis on these candidates to see what sort of trouble might be brewing for travelers in the path of this potential “marriage”…

Airline Mergers: Quick Look at the Potential United & US Airways Merger

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