Online travel sites skid into slow lane
Global economic weakness, particularly in Europe, took a toll on online travel agents Wednesday. Shares of such household names as Chicago-based Orbitz and Priceline were slammed by investors after the companies issued weaker profit outlooks.
The outlooks, in part, reflect consumers’ reluctance to open their wallets for such discretionary purchases as leisure travel while uncertainty reigns over many of the world’s largest economies.
Fare glitch creates a run for NY-Israel flights
A three-hour glitch that drastically lowered round-trip airfare between New York and Israel on El Al Airlines created a run on tickets.
At least 5,000 tickets were purchased Monday after El Al posted fares for less than $400, down from an average of $1,600.
Lawsuit claims Spirit Airlines misled passengers about fee
Los Angeles Times
Florida-based Spirit Airlines collected a passenger fee that it misrepresented as a government charge for more than two years, according to a recently filed class-action lawsuit.
The suit filed by the Miami-based firm of Podhurst Orseck asks a U.S. District Court to collect unspecified civil damages and attorney’s fees from the low-cost airline.
A spokeswoman for Spirit denied the claim and vowed to fight the suit, but she did not elaborate.
Carnival cruise tests airline-like charge for perks
Taking a page from the airlines, Carnival Cruise Lines is testing a new program that allows passengers to pay for perks such as priority embarkation, early cabin availability and express luggage delivery.
The new “Faster to the Fun” pilot program is being tested on two ships beginning later this month: the Carnival Imagination starting Aug. 20, and the Carnival Liberty on Aug. 25.
For $49.95 per cabin, regardless of the number of occupants, all passengers in that cabin will receive Faster to the Fun benefits, which also include priority dinner seatings and tender availability, choice of early or late debarkation, and express access to the ships’ guest services desk for assistance during the cruise.