Forum for airline passengers

The political illusion of security

The way airline security has been organized since 9/11 imposes an enormous burden on passengers both in terms of money and time. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that the cost of security has risen to at least €6 billion ($7.4 billion) a year.

It takes passengers longer and longer to get through security. Before 9/11, the average throughput of an airport security checkpoint was 355 passengers per hour. By adding ever more bureaucracy this average has more than halved to 149 passengers per hour.

Given the...
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Are frequent flyers overpaying?

Delta Air Lines has charged frequent flyers higher fares than customers who searched the airline’s web site anonymously. But Delta says frequent flyers also see sometimes lower fares. The experience of 2 travelers sitting side-by-side with their laptops open is markedly different. One of them logs in as a frequent flier, the other as an anonymous client. Three out of 5 searches show higher fares for the frequent flyer. The other times the prices are the same. The differences in fares are substantial. In one case they observe a price difference of almost $300 (€235) for an economy fare and...
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All you can fly

In 1981, it seems a good idea. American Airlines starts selling lifetime unlimited AAirpasses hoping to raise millions of dollars at a time when interest rates are sky high.

Prices start at $250,000 (€194,000), while an extra $150,000 (€116,000) buys a companion pass. Older fliers get discounts based on their age.

AAirpass holders earn frequent flier miles on every trip and are lifetime members to the Admirals Club, American's airport lounges.

American sold 66 unlimited AAirpasses. Over time the price increased to $3 million (€2.3...
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Is there a dress code for airline passengers?

Carriers have an array of arguments to preclude you from flying. An airline can deny you boarding or remove you from the plane if a crew member considers your attire or behavior unacceptable. You are a security threat, or you smell bad, or you are unruly, or whatever. As long as the airline does not discriminate, it can use many arguments to deny you boarding. The following examples illustrate this clearly. 1. A Southwest Airlines flight attendant tells passenger Kyla Ebbert that her mini-skirt is potentially offensive to other passengers. Ms. Ebbert does not argue, but drapes a blanket over...
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Who gets priority at KLM?

Gold and platinum members of Flying BlueAir France/KLM’s frequent flyer program – can reserve seats in the so-called comfort zone, where the pitch is somewhat larger than in the rest of coach class, without paying a fee.

Recently, they got the possibility to include their seat preferences (window or aisle) in their profiles. Several members wrote us that KLM

disregards their preferences. On intercontinental flights they could reserve middle seats in the comfort zone, but no aisle seats.

One of them asks the...

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False alarm

"This is an emergency. We will shortly be making an emergency landing on water." Passengers onboard a British Airways flight from Miami to London got the fright of their lives when they heard this announcement on January 16, 2012 at around 3 a.m. It was a pre-recorded message that left the passengers in panic as they feared for their lives. Half a minute later, however, a flight attendant came on over the intercom to apologize, saying the message was played in error. A passenger said that the flight attendant's tone suggested the crew had not grasped how seriously she had...
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