Forum for airline passengers

Which fees do you pay and why?

In 2009, US airlines generated almost $8 billion (€6 billion) by charging a variety of fees. The latest fee is the overhead bin fee that Spirit Airlines began charging on August 1, 2010 for carry-on bags that will not fit in the under seat space. Airlines reserve the right to cancel or change your flight. However, if you want to change your flight most airlines will charge a reservation change fee. In the first quarter of 2010 alone, US airlines collected $554 million   from reservation change fees. Southwest Airlines is the only US airline that does not charge...
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Skyteam horror

A passenger books a flight on KLM from Tallinn (Estonia) via Amsterdam and Seattle to Honolulu (Hawaii) to attend a conference. On arrival in Amsterdam, she learns that her flight to Seattle is overbooked. KLM denies her boarding and rebooks her on on its Skyteam partner Delta Airlines with plane changes in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The delay in Amsterdam is 9 hours. Therefore, KLM compensates her with €600 in cash plus a voucher of €25 for drinks and a meal, which is more or less consistent with EU regulation 261/2004.   She will have...
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Political geography

More experiences of a travel agent in Washington, DC, with politicians among his customers:

1. A New Hampshire congresswoman, who wants to go to Cape Town, calls him. The agent tells her about the length of the flight and the passport information, but she interrupts him with: "Sorry, but Massachusetts is not that far and I do not need a passport." If he asks whether she wants to go to Cape Cod rather than Cape Town, she hangs up.

2. A Vermont Congressman calls to complain that he has...
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How do I get the best seat?

Advices about the best seat on the plane abound. However, they often overlook that individuals have different preferences. For example, women tend to prefer window seats, whereas men tend to prefer aisle seats.

You need to determine your personal preference before booking a seat. Bulkhead seats - located at the front of each section of the plane - offer less legroom as they face a wall. On the other hand, however, you have no reclining seat in front of you. What do you prefer?

If you are tall you need...
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Your plane goes very fast

A travel agent in Washington, DC, tells about three of his experiences with politicians among his customers:

1. A US Senator asks a question about the documents he needs in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, the agent reminds him that he needs a visa. "I have been to China several times and I never had to have one of those," responded the Senator.

The agent double checks and tells him his stay requires a visa. The Senator replies: "Look, I have been to China four times and every time they have accepted my...

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Economic aspects of terrorism

“Understanding the economic aspects of terrorism can help to prevent or to mitigate terrorism”, writes Michael D. Intriligator in the January 2010 issue of Economic Inquiry. A professor emeritus of the University of California at Los Angeles and a former president of the Western Economic Association International, Intriligator presents important conclusions: - The Bush administration made the classic mistake of generals fighting the last war as opposed to the current war by concentrating too much on airports and airplanes and by creating an ineffectual bureaucracy in US Department of Homeland (DHS).   - DHS...
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