Hawaiian Airlines Refuses to Honor Mistake Deal, Charges Customers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

May 26 2019

Frequent flyer award tickets are supposed to reward loyalty. They don’t feel very rewarding when they come with a cash co-pay in the form of fuel surcharges which — for economy redemptions — can be almost as much as the cost of a paid ticket. (We’ve even seen instances in the past where British Airways fuel surcharges on an award ticket were more expensive than the cheapest fare you could buy with cash.)

Hawaiian Airlines accidentally started imposing the mother of all carrier-imposed surcharges on its awards last week, and they are “deeply sorry.”

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Via Air – The Worst Airline in America – Throws in The Towel, Except for One Route

May 26 2019

Two weeks ago I wrote that Via Air hadn’t shown up at an airport they were supposed to fly to and no one knew why. Even the airport itself couldn’t reach the airline to learn more.

Now it appears that airline has shut down its commercial service entirely, with the exception of a single route. The airline is blaming a lack of pilots. Two weeks ago they also blamed the FAA for “slower and more methodical” oversight following the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, an aircraft Via Air did not operate.

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Man Goes on Tirade After He Boarded Wrong Plane, Flew to Southern Italy

May 26 2019

Passengers aren’t supposed to be able to board the wrong plane. Boarding passes are scanned at the gate. There’s a manifest — airlines know how many people are supposed to be onboard. When passengers are in the wrong seat, there’s usually another passenger assigned that will say something. But it happens. Occasionally one person, or a couple traveling together, wind up in the same city.

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What Working in a Spirit Airlines Customer Service Call Center is Like (Really Funny)

May 26 2019

Spirit Airlines has probably the worst reputation of any airline in America. The problem is that reputations lag reality. First of all Via Air is far worse. And second Spirit has made tremendous strides.

It’s easy to anchor on Spirit as the airline who believed their business model required customers thinking they offer a bad product, who refused a pregnant woman water during a two hour tarmac delay and that wouldn’t refund a Vietnam veteran cancer patient’s tickets when he became too sick to fly to see his daughter in the hospital. And that’s why this spoof video of a Spirit Airlines customer service center is so funny.

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Airline Told Customers Flights Were Cancelled Because Their Destination Was Closed, Even Though it Wasn’t

May 26 2019

Airlines have an incentive to blame factors beyond their control for delays. If the cause is weather, air traffic control, or a similar issue they’re going to owe customers a lot less (if anything at all) compared to when a delay is ‘controllable’ or their fault — such as when a flight goes mechanical or when crew simply don’t show up. (EU rules are somewhat stricter.)

Customers can be sitting at their home airport and will get frustrated when they’re delayed by weather only to look out the window at blue skies, knowing weather is clear at their destination.

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Should Southwest Airlines Comp Drinks During Delays?

May 25 2019

Prior to deregulation the Civil Aeronautics Board ‘experimented’ with the idea of price competition and allowed airlines to undercut Southwest Airlines prices. Southwest, flying only inside Texas at the time, wasn’t subject to CAB price regulation.

Texas International Airlines (which would later acquire Continental, Eastern, People Express, and Frontier) along with Braniff started offering $13 fares between Houston and Dellas. Not to be undercut, Southwest introduced a two-tiered fare structure, rebating each customer paying full fare with a bottle of liquor. Southwest became the largest liquor distributor in the state of Texas.

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