Report: More fees, less choice for air travelers
Airline passengers can expect fewer carriers to choose from, fewer flights to smaller cities and more baggage and other fees as the industry continues to grapple with high fuel prices and a weak economy, according to a government report released Tuesday.
The airline industry is still in transition after a tumultuous decade in which bankruptcies and mergers cut the number of airlines accounting for the bulk of domestic flights in half, to just five: American, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways, the report by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general said. If US Airways and American — which are in merger discussions — were to combine, that would drop to four.
Tourism a bright spot in global economy
Global tourism has adapted well to the economic crisis, with international arrivals expected to rise by nearly four per cent this year, the head of the UN World Tourism Organisation told AFP.
But Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, warned that travel taxes, particularly against the aviation industry, risked “severely affecting” that recovery.
Tourism figures worldwide were hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis, with the rise in international arrivals that year slowing to 2.1 per cent after having jumped 6.6 per cent in the previous year.
Asian Airline offers baby-free ‘quiet zone’
An airline that serves Southeast Asia is adding a free perk for travelers who want to make sure that their long-haul flight doesn’t include the sound of crying children.
Starting on Friday, AsiaAirlines is introducing seating in a baby-free ‘quiet zone’ that will keep passengers under the age of 12 away from other passengers.
Here’s how it works. According the airline’s website,￼ the carrier will reserve the first seven economy class rows “exclusively for guests age 12 and above,” at no additional fee. The only cost will be if the seat has more legroom, which the airline already charges for. Families with children under 12 will be relegated to the back of the plane.
Win a Chance to Meet Sir Richard Branson in NYC
Followers of the new North American Twitter handle for Virgin Atlantic @VAAintheUSA are being asked to tweet a business plan or innovation, and the best will be selected to meet Richard Branson and brainstorm their big idea in person at a recreated in-flight bar in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The promotion is called ‘Conversations in a Cloud’ and will take place on Tuesday October 2.