Good news for Steelers fans: Delta is adding 3 nonstop flights between Pittsburgh and Dallas/Fort Worth for the weekend of Super Bowl XLV.
That’s right, Steelers fans: Delta is calling an audible just for you! A press release from Pittsburgh International notes “Delta does not normally operate nonstop flights on the Pittsburgh-Dallas/Fort Worth route.”
But for the big game, “we’re proud to be flying some of football’s greatest fans on Delta to cheer on the Steelers in the Super Bowl,” says Wayne Aaron, Delta Vice President — Marketing Programs and Distribution Strategy.
Read more about Delta’s special schedule in this USA Today article.
While Congressional action on “airline passenger bill of rights” legislation seems to have stalled, don’t worry – Ray LaHood, the activist Secretary of the Dept. of Transportation is looking out for you - tweaking the rules to make them more passenger-friendly.
A prime example: Last year’s “3-Hour” rule which penalizes airlines for waiting on the tarmac longer than three hours.
LaHood also wants to raise the compensation for “involuntary bumping”; you know about bumping right? I talked about it in my guide to airline passenger rights that I wrote a few months back.
Bumping was also the topic of my interview on WTXF News today - especially a new system Delta is trying which involves passengers bidding for the least amount of compensation they’d accept for getting bumped.
Delta’s bidding system has plusses and minuses for passengers, and mostly plusses for Delta, as far as I can see.
- Delta saves money – if passengers agree to accept less than the airline is willing to pay
- Delta could improve its on-time record – if bidding proves quicker than the old system
Passengers could also benefit from more on-time departures; however, they may ultimately get less compensation.
Know Your Rights: Delta’s new bidding system involves people willing to be “voluntarily” bumped. If someone is booted from a flight who didn’t volunteer – and Delta can’t get that passenger on another flight within the hour – that passenger is entitled to receive as much as $800 in compensation; plus the passenger can request that compensation be in cash, not vouchers.
Okay, this is getting seriously ridiculous.
Somebody wrote what was considered to be a “threatening message” – a bomb threat of some kind – on a lavatory mirror aboard a Continental flight from Houston to Washington Dulles (actually, this flight was operated by ExpressJet).
There was no bomb, fortunately – but why would anyone do this? Did they want to make a side trip to Greensboro, North Carolina where the flight was diverted to?
A plane load of passengers was totally inconvenienced – just like the people on the Delta flight from Paris Tuesday, after a decorated combat vet allegedly made a bomb threat, causing his flight to divert to Maine.
Regarding that “lavatory mirror threat” – what are the rest of us supposed to do – become bathroom monitors? Take a good hard look at whoever is in the lavatory line ahead of us, so we can ID them later if need be?
I hope not. But it’s getting crazy out there…
Many times airfare hike attempts look a bit like a ball traveling through a pachinko machine — and that is the case with this latest “fuel surcharge” airfare hike attempt by Delta.
This morning, it looked as though this Delta-initiated hike (via a fuel surcharge) was going to fail, especially after both Delta and United rolled back. However, it appears I may have been premature in seeing it as a flop.
That’s because Delta has now reversed itself, and at 1 pm, jumped back into the hike – joined by Virgin America and Alaska (American is still participating).
There is another domestic airfare feed at 8pm EDT time tonight, which is likely to see United jump back in (they also dropped out when Delta did this morning).
We know who’s in – but, who is not going along with this hike? Keep reading…
Take 3: Domestic Airline Ticket Fuel Surcharges are Back
This is an update to last night’s post that revealed Delta Air Lines filed a $20 roundtrip fuel surcharge on tens of thousands of mostly smaller city-pairs.
However, Delta has now backed away from that; the carrier removed its surcharge filing – but not before both American and United matched this $20 surcharge.
By this morning though, United pulled out, leaving only American with the new surcharge.
What’s going on? You could say these new fuel surcharges are just another way of saying “airfare hike”. Face it, fuel prices – now at a little more than $80 per barrel – have not risen above airline estimates. So, the surcharge is yet another gambit to try to bring in extra revenue, much like those “peak travel” day surcharges are (and the successful bag fees).
The airlines haven’t had much luck with regular price hikes this year, so they’re trying whatever they can, to see what works – but so far, this latest attempt seems to be fizzling.
However, I do expect to see more price hike attempts, in a variety of guises, as the busy summer season approaches.
U.S. travelers haven’t seen domestic airline ticket fuel charges since November of 2008, when legacy airlines folded these surcharges into the base airfare as the price of oil dropped dramatically from early summer highs.
But now, oil prices are cresting over $80 per barrel and the surcharges are beginning to make a come-back: On Monday, Delta Air Lines filed a $20 roundtrip ($10 one-way) fuel surcharge on top of their lengthy list of “peak” travel day surcharges, on tens of thousands of mostly smaller city-pairs with no departure date restrictions.
For example, a one-way connecting Delta flight from San Francisco to Denver or Dallas (via Salt Lake City) on May 27 has both a peak travel surcharge of $30 and a fuel surcharge of $10 tacked on to the base airfare.
Keep reading – and see how the “hub cities” were spared the surcharge…
Domestic Airline Ticket Fuel Surcharges are Back
This week, we’re seeing something a little bit different in the course of airfare sales: instead of an airline inaugurating a brand new sale with accompanying media splash, a number of them are very quietly simply extending existing sales.
For example: American had a great U.S. cities sale that was supposed to have expired last week – now, it’s been extended through April 1.
Virgin America has extended its sale, not once but twice – and now you can take advantage of their specials that begin at $49+ one-way through April 5.
We’re seeing the same thing with Delta’s very good prices to Europe for travel in April, May and June (I only wish these fares were good for later in the summer, as well) – the sales been extended through April 5.
Be sure to keep up with our Deals Blog – and we’ll keep you up on these latest trends.
Northwest Airlines may have disappeared in the merger with Delta, but it’s still in the sights of the FAA, which has just proposed a whopping $1.45 million fine.
What’d they do? The FAA claims they operated some of their 757 aircraft “without proper windshield wiring inspections”.
Now that may sound like small potatoes to you and me, but according to the FAA, “Left uncorrected, the problem could cause overheating, smoking and possibly a fire.” Yes, I get it.
The airline – now known as Delta – has 30 days to respond.