Flight Blog

Jan 14 2011 Finding Cheaper Fare Gets More Difficult BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares


Our past few blog postings have been about the squabble between the airlines and the independent online travel sites. The New York Times dives right in and explains how the fuss affects travelers. Bottom line: you've got to do a lot more digging to find the cheaper fares. Read the story here.


Jan 06 2011 Feud Widens BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares


"Sabre Holdings Corp., a provider of airfare data to travel agencies, will stop carrying American Airlines flight information in August as a dispute over online ticket sales escalates."

That's the lede in a story from Bloomberg News. As we pointed out a couple of days ago, American is trying to regain control over its ticket sales by taking the middle men out (the middle men being travel web sites like Expedia and Orbitz). This newest development is more than a bit startling because Sabre is American's offspring.

American and IBM launched Sabre in 1960. Billed at the world's "first real-time business application...it enabled American Airlines to replace the handwritten passenger reservations system of the 1950s with the automated reservations system for the future."

Sabre split from American in 2000. Most people have probably never heard of the company. But it's a major behind the scenes player in the travel industry. The fact that it has now joined the fray is bad news for American.


Jan 04 2011 Feud BY sgf-adminTAGS FAA


We've been watching with interest the on-going feud between American Airlines and travel web sites.  The latest round began when American pulled its business from Orbitz. Then Expedia dropped American tickets from its online offerings.

On its web site, American offers this: "Tickets for air travel on American are no longer available for purchase on Expedia owing to a commercial dispute.  Expedia’s actions to remove American may mislead some customers to believe they have fewer choices, even in situations where American’s fares are lower than other airlines, or when American offers superior schedules."

The Wall Street Journal quotes Expedia as saying, "We remain open to doing business with American Airlines on terms that are satisfactory to Expedia and do not compromise our ability to provide consumers with the products and services they need."

In the final analysis, this feud is all about control and, ultimately, money. Since the early days of the Internet, the airlines have slowly been losing control over their sales. They would much prefer that everyone buy tickets on an airline web site, rather than a travel site, such as Expedia and Orbitz.


Dec 13 2010 Find the Terrorist, Not the Bomb BY sgf-adminTAGS TSA


With all the fuss lately over TSA security screening techniques, it's interesting to learn how others do it. In Israel they've been fighting terrorism for years. And its approach to airport security is strikingly lucid. A senior Israeli officials sums it up:

'We operate on the principle that it's much more effective to detect the would-be terrorist than try to find his bomb...'

Read more from London's Daily Mail.



suitcaseIt was bound to happen...

Airlines now find themselves in court defending their practice of charging bag fees, but accepting little, if any, responsibility for delivering the bag on time. As one lawyer puts it, ""With that business decision [charging bag fees] comes the obligation to either perform the service, as promised, or return the fee. It's bad enough that most airlines now charge fees to transport baggage, but [it's] inexplicable for them to pocket the money when they fail to deliver this basic service."

Read more from Business Travel News.