Travel

Everyone you know is going on a cruise
Travel

Everyone you know is going on a cruise

­­­Lots of people will be getting their sea legs this summer.Ports have been packed with cruise ships over the last few years, as vacationers flock to ever larger vessels and operators race to accommodate a surge in post-pandemic bookings — many of them from first-time passengers. The industry expects even more this year.Benjamin Xiang, a San Francisco-based flight attendant, went on his first cruise last August, setting aside his reservations about “cruise people” and a type of trip he’d imagined would be “not my travel style.”Benjamin Xiang took a Virgin Voyages cruise last year on a ship with an infinity mirror room.Benji XiangTaking advantage of a Virgin Voyages promotion that let him use credit card points to cover the $2,500 bill, Xiang booked a weeklong, all-inclusive, adults-onl...
U.S. screens record 2.95 million airline passengers in single day
Travel

U.S. screens record 2.95 million airline passengers in single day

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it screened 2.95 million airline passengers on Friday, the highest number ever on a single day.The record travel coincides with the Memorial Day weekend that marks the beginning of the U.S. summer travel season. Last week, a group representing major U.S. airlines forecast record summer travel with airlines expected to transport 271 million passengers, up 6.3% from last year.The TSA said Friday’s travel broke a record set in November of nearly 2.91 million air passengers screened. Five of the 10 busiest ever travel days have been since May 16, the agency said.Airlines for America said U.S carriers plan to fly more than 26,000 daily flights this summer, up nearly 1,400 over 2023, or 5.6%, when they carried 255 million passengers. ...
Frontier CEO urges crackdown on abuse of airport wheelchairs
Travel

Frontier CEO urges crackdown on abuse of airport wheelchairs

The 1986 Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to provide a wheelchair to passengers with disabilities at the airport. The problem: Many travelers are faking it, Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle says.“There is massive, rampant abuse of special services. There are people using wheelchair assistance who don’t need it at all,” Biffle said at a Wings Club luncheon on Thursday in New York.He said he had seen Frontier flights where 20 people were brought to the plane with wheelchairs, but only three wheelchairs were used upon arrival.“We are healing so many people,” he joked.Biffle wasn’t talking about travelers’ personal wheelchairs but rather the service airlines provide when travelers arrive at the airport.It costs the airline between $30 and $35 each time a customer requests a wheelc...
Exeprts weigh in after death on Singapore Airlines flight
Travel

Exeprts weigh in after death on Singapore Airlines flight

The cause of the turbulence is under investigation. Singapore Airlines said the Singapore-bound flight from London encountered severe turbulence about 10 hours after departure.Death by turbulence rarely occurs, but severe encounters are not uncommon, according to Larry Cornman, a physicist and project scientist with the U.S. National Science Foundation National Center for Atmospheric Research.“Often, for something like this, it’s just wrong place, wrong time,” said Cornman, who studies small-scale motions of the atmosphere that could endanger aircraft.Out of millions upon millions of flights, turbulence has caused 185 serious injuries from 2009 to 2023, the latest year with publicly available data, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.The agency, which requires airlines...
At least one dead after ‘severe turbulence’ hit flight from London to Singapore
Travel

At least one dead after ‘severe turbulence’ hit flight from London to Singapore

At least one person died and several more were injured when a plane was hit by “severe turbulence,” Singapore Airlines said in a statement Tuesday. The London to Singapore flight was diverted to Thailand's capital Bangkok, landing there at 3:45 p.m. local time (4:45 a.m. ET), said the statement published on Facebook. “We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER. There were a total of 211 passengers and 18 crew on board,” the statement added.The company said in a later statement that 30 people required hospital treatment. Other passengers with more minor injuries were treated at the airport, it said. But the airline offered its “deepest condolences to the family of the deceased” and said it was working with Thai authorities to “provide the necess...
Spirit Airlines gets rid of change and cancellation fees, joining Frontier
Travel

Spirit Airlines gets rid of change and cancellation fees, joining Frontier

Spirit Airlines is doing away with both change and cancellation fees, effective immediately, days after Frontier’s similar announcement, part of an overhaul of the country’s biggest discount carriers’ longtime strategy.Prior to the new rule, Spirit used to charge anywhere between $69 and $119 for ticket changes and cancellations, depending on how close to departure the customer made the change.“This new policy is among the best in the industry because it applies to each and every guest,” Spirit said in a statement to CNBC. “We have many other enhancements in the works and look forward to sharing more soon.”The changes mark a shift for budget airlines’ longtime pricing approach, which includes low base fares to attract customers and add-on fees for advanced seating assignments, bottled w...
Airbnb carbon monoxide detector mandate would be ‘very hard,’ CEO says, despite deaths
Travel

Airbnb carbon monoxide detector mandate would be ‘very hard,’ CEO says, despite deaths

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company is working to address customer complaints and safety issues but that there are limitations on what it can do to keep customers safe from issues like carbon monoxide poisoning.In an interview with Hallie Jackson, which will air Sunday on “NBC Nightly News,” Chesky spoke on a wide range of issues the company faces including consumer concerns about fees, the company’s new “Icons” program and a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that skewered the company.“It didn’t sting,” Chesky said. “I felt, if anything, like, you know, like we have a huge responsibility. We’re a part of culture. The brand is a noun, a verb used all over the world.”Airbnb remains arguably the most successful in its class of sharing economy outfits that have gone from upstarts to pu...
Frontier Airlines does away with change fees in budget airline pricing overhaul
Travel

Frontier Airlines does away with change fees in budget airline pricing overhaul

Frontier Airlines said it will stop charging customers a fee to change their flights, taking a page from larger competitors as the Biden administration issues stricter rules targeting so-called “junk fees.”The change is part of an overhaul announced on Friday of the budget airline’s longtime pricing model, which brings customers in the door with eye-catching low base fares but charges a fee for everything else such as seating assignments and carry-on baggage. That model is shared by fellow discounter Spirit Airlines.Frontier said it will start offering packages that include some of those add-ons, among others, such as early boarding. While some fares will still allow travelers to add on options a la carte, “we expect that option to be a minority of customers,” Frontier CEO Barry Biffle ...
Biden signs sweeping aviation safety, reform bill into law
Travel

Biden signs sweeping aviation safety, reform bill into law

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed sweeping aviation legislation that will boost U.S. air traffic controller staffing, increase funding to avert runway close-call incidents and speed up refunds for canceled flights.The $105 billion, five-year measure reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration. It prohibits airlines from charging fees for families to sit together, requires airplanes to be equipped with 25-hour cockpit recording devices, raises maximum civil penalties for airline consumer violations from $25,000 per violation to $75,000 and boosts aircraft production scrutiny.“Following flight disruptions, runway close calls and consumer frustrations, this law is set to deliver the safest, most reliable aviation system in the world,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Ca...
United Airlines says FAA cleared it to start adding new aircraft, routes after safety review
Travel

United Airlines says FAA cleared it to start adding new aircraft, routes after safety review

United Airlines said the Federal Aviation Administration has cleared it to start adding new aircraft and routes months after the regulator stepped up its scrutiny of the carrier following several safety incidents.“Today, we got some good news: after a careful review and discussion about the proactive safety steps United has taken to date, our FAA Certificate Management Office has allowed us to begin the process of restarting our certification activities, including new aircraft and routes, and we will continue to coordinate closely with the FAA,” United said in a note to employees Wednesday.United said in March that the FAA had stepped up scrutiny of the airline after a spate of incidents earlier this year. That prevented it from launching new routes, including flights to Faro, Portugal,...