March 27, 2015
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March 27, 2015
New Data from USTravel Association Finds 38 Million Trips Avoided in 2013, Costing U.S. Economy $35.7 Billion
Security lines and checked-bag fees are among the well-publicized headaches of air travel, but passengers’ No. 1 concern is flight delays and cancellations, according to a survey conducted by the independent firm ResearchNow for the U.S. Travel Association.
An economic analysis of the survey results found that air travel hassles are taking their toll on the broader economy. Passengers’ frustration with the flying experience resulted in 38 million avoided domestic plane trips in 2013. Although air travel has steadily increased since the recession, 38 million trips is a loss equal to eight percent of current air travel demand.
That suppressed activity had a significant downstream effect on travel-related businesses and the overall economy, including spending losses of:
• $9.5 billion on airfare
• $5.8 billion on hotels
• $5.7 billion on recreation
• $3.4 billion on food services
• $2.8 billion on car rentals
The analysis found that cancellations and delays cost passengers themselves $8.5 billion in time lost, missed connections, and missed travel activity. The total hit to the U.S. economy: $35.7 billion.
“Whether it be for business or leisure, travel activity is indisputably terrific medicine for the U.S. economy,” said
Wednesday March 25, 2015
New tax will make travel in Maryland less competitive and will strike its own citizens The Maryland State Senate voted today to raise taxes on visitors, locals and travel agents. In a move that some might refer to as a tourism self-inflicted wound, the upper house of the Maryland General Assembly struck at the growth of travel and tourism in the state. The vote on Senate Bill 190 will resonate negatively throughout the state’s tourism infrastructure if the bill becomes law.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, are coming. They are already here. The only problem is that your government seems to be surprised by them. The industry has been growing exponentially, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had its head in the sand. We are not ready for this technology and our regulatory minds are thinking about this 21st Century innovation with a 20th Century mind.
February 24, 2015
Jeff Smisek, CEO
United Airlines, Inc.
PO Box 06649
Chicago, IL 60606-0649
Dear Mr. Smisek,
I have not yet heard from you regarding my letter of February 13, 2015, but your employees who have read it are coming forward to describe their deteriorating working conditions. These are loyal UAL workers on the front lines, dealing with your aircrafts and your passengers, some with tenures of 20 to 30 years.
Given what the workers have given up over the years during the low point of UAL’s economic travails, it is disturbing, to say the least, for them to be saying these are the worst labor conditions they can remember. They are not only noting the demotion of many full-time workers to part-time, but also bringing to attention the outsourcing of jobs to vendors that hire low-paid and low-skilled employees, at a time of record-breaking profits for UAL. The workers are saying that they “just do not have the necessary manpower to provide our customers the service that they are paying for and deserve.”
More than customer inconvenience, their remarks raise concerns about safety risks. One comment reads: “It truly hurts that the company that I have invested a good part of my life in, is
Delta Air Lines has released its “Bags On Time” initiative. This is a textbook example of how not to show an airline is focused on basic customer service. The airline heralds its program with this uninspiring introduction. And, later adds more restrictions.
We’re committed to providing you with reliable and on-time baggage service every time you fly. That’s
why we’re backing your bags with a guarantee: if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20
minutes or less after any domestic flight through March 31, 2015, you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus
miles. Just complete the below form within three days of your flight’s arrival.
Note that you must be a SkyMiles member at the time of travel to be eligible and requests for multiple
flights must be submitted separately. Please allow up to two weeks after submitting your request for your
bonus miles to appear in your account.
AAhh! This a customer service program that gives passengers a true feeling of relief. This program is perfect example of how not to introduce a service guarantee.
• It applies only for about five weeks, until March 31. (it won’t influence most advance-purchase passengers)
• It only applies to SkyMiles program members (if you are not
On February 6, 2014, Charlie Leocha, Chairman, Travelers United, spoke about dropping gasoline prices and stubborn airfares that refuse to drop.
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US network carriers — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines — not satisfied with their near monopoly position domestically or with their airline alliance antitrust immunity are attempting to stop competition from the Gulf Carriers — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.
Last week, the CEOs of these domestic airlines took their battle to eliminate competition to the White House in an attempt to stop competition.
Travelers United fully supports open competition in all aspects of aviation. Consolidation in the US airline industry and antitrust immunity grants to airline alliances have created dangerous degradation of competition in the United States. This juggernaut of anti-competitive and anti-consumer airline actions must stop.
Here is a response from Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, supporting the view of open competition and the benefits of Open Skies Treaties.
It is clear that the global economy in the 21st century, in its many facets, is underpinned by the theories of macro-economic liberalism, so championed by the United States in the post second world war era, and that in the absence of free trade agreements, emerging markets would have stalled in their development and many other western countries would have remained in economic backwaters.
For the United States