A Closer Look

Hidden Airline Fees No Myth A Closer Look May 28th, 2013

Speaking about fees on a recent analysts call, Spirit Airline’s Executive VP Barry Biffle commented there’s still “a lot of misinformation that’s been put out in the marketplace, suggesting, for example, that airlines have hidden fees and so forth. And that’s simply not true. And I think we’ve debunked a lot of those myths.” Contrary […]

Punishing airfare comparison shoppers at odds with what consumers want and deserve A Closer Look October 10th, 2012

One of the truly amazing tools brought to consumers by the internet are online travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, etc. These sites enable tens of millions of consumers to quickly and efficiently shop for the best airfares across literally hundreds of airlines and thousands of possible flight combinations. Prior to the internet, this […]

It’s time for the DOT to fully protect consumers from hidden airline fees A Closer Look September 11th, 2012

During the depths of the “great recession” in 2008, U.S. airlines experienced the double whammy of fewer travelers and soaring jet-fuel prices, resulting in billions of dollars in losses. The airlines responded to this economic crisis by aggressively unbundling their product and charging fees for core services like checked bags and seat selection that were […]

Ancillary Fees Back Story: Flipping The Model A Closer Look August 28th, 2012

In 2006, U.S. airlines and global distribution systems (GDSs) underwent their first “marketplace negotiation” in some 20 years after the GDS industry segment had been deregulated two years earlier. Airlines’ stated goal in this negotiation was cost reduction through reduced segment fees paid to GDSs. Six years later there is a second round of “negotiations” […]

Disclosing ancillary fees benefits airlines and their customers A Closer Look August 14th, 2012

The battle that the airlines are staging regarding nondisclosure of ancillary fees is a strange one. That factor was on display vividly during the last meeting of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protections (ACACP) held on August 7th. Airlines were given time to discuss financial positions, new technology and […]

Barriers to Consumer Access to Airline Ancillary Fees: It is not the Technology A Closer Look July 31st, 2012

There has been a recent uptick in media stories about the increased costs associated with flying, and about the frustration consumers often face when dealing with airline ancillary fees like baggage and seat reservation fees.  While airline ticket prices have generally increased more slowly than inflation, ancillary fee revenue increased 66% from 2009 to 2011 […]

It’s time airlines tell the truth, the whole truth about air travel prices A Closer Look, Talking Transparency July 17th, 2012

By Charlie Leocha Director, Consumer Travel Alliance In the ongoing conflict between global distribution systems and the airlines, consumers are getting the short end of the stick. Rather than doing right by their customers, the airlines are continuing their deceptive practices under the guise of contract negotiations. Airline passengers deserve better — a clear and […]

Travel Agents: The Real Problem-Solvers In The Travel Industry! A Closer Look May 26th, 2011

While not as severe as last year’s Eyjafjallajökull eruption, the Grimsvotn volcano, which began erupting on Saturday, is a fresh reminder of the critical need for the managed-travel best practice of being able to track traveling employees wherever they are in the world. The 2010 volcanic calamity stranded a staggering 5 million travelers in distant […]

BTC: Who’s Surprised By Hidden Airline Fees Now? A Closer Look May 12th, 2011

In April I wrote that U.S. airlines’ Q1 2011 billion dollar loss was perhaps just the beginning of the unnecessary unraveling of demand that could continue with consumer backlash this summer from travelers increasingly tired of hidden ancillary fees. This hypothesis gained considerable probability this week as Consumer Reports published a survey of nearly 15,000 […]

How Airlines Can Climb Above Fuel Costs While Meeting Customer Needs A Closer Look April 28th, 2011

U.S. airlines in recent days reported first quarter losses of over $1 billion dollars against higher bills for fuel. Seven airfare increases so far this year prevented the losses from being even more damaging to airlines’ balance sheets. However, airlines face a potential consumer backlash this summer from angry travelers who are increasingly tired of […]