Sometimes it’s tough making a 7 a.m. flight; what’s your best almost-missed flight story?

Somewhere 30,000 feet above the USA – Thankfully, I’m writing to you from my Phoenix-bound US Airways flight that left Washington Reagan (DCA) airport with me on it more than an hour ago. I almost missed the flight, something I haven’t ever done in recent memory. My reason wasn’t extraordinary. I simply overslept. I woke up at 5:42 a.m. in Silver Spring, Md., for a 7 a.m. flight that would depart from an airport roughly 30 minutes away… Read More »

Fresno to lose Frontier service to Denver after record year

The Fresno Bee (where I used to be a reporter) tells us that Fresno’s Yosemite International Airport is losing service to Denver – again. Frontier Airlines confirmed to the Bee that it’s pulling out of Fresno just after the holidays on Jan. 5, 2015. As airlines change their business models and adapt to new regulations, expect to see stories like this multiply in smaller stories across the USA over the next few years. The news for Fresno’s airport, however, sounds especially… Read More »

Will JetBlue ever charge for first checked bag? A senior exec’s answer

A sign at BWI shows Spirit Airlines' checked-bag rules.A sign at BWI shows Spirit Airlines' checked-bag rules.

WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to WestJet’s news yesterday that it will start charging customers a checked-bag fee for their first bag, a senior JetBlue official was asked if the carrier would ever follow – and that exec didn’t exactly say no. During The Hill’s Aviation Policy Summit yesterday held at the National Press Club, airline industry watcher and founder Holly Hegeman asked JetBlue Airways marketing SVP Marty St. George about whether JetBlue might follow suit. MORE… Read More »

Will Air Canada roll out bag fees for Canadian flights?

Screen shot of Air Canada's baggage fee calculator.Screen shot of Air Canada's baggage fee calculator.

Canada’s air travel community and consumers are watching Air Canada – the country’s largest full-service carrier – to see if it will start charging checked-bag fees on domestic flights now that rival WestJet announced that it will roll out such fees, according to Canada’s Global News and other media outlets. “With today’s announcement from WestJet, it now opens the door for Air Canada to follow suit,” RBC transportation stock expert Walter Spracklin said in a research note to clients. “We expect… Read More »

When you can’t charge phone, can hip hotel bar renovation be a success?

WASHINGTON D.C. – Last night, we checked out the newly redesigned POV rooftop bar and terrace at the W hotel. For years even before the hotel was a W, the rooftop has been a favorite spot of mine and so many other Washingtonians because of its unbeatable views of Washington. From up high, you can see the Washington Monument, airplanes flying in and out of DCA, the U.S. Treasury Building directly below and, next to Treasury especially once the leaves fall,… Read More »

United Airlines: Mercedes-Benz launch at DIA completes hub rollout

United Airlines rolled out its Mercedes-Benz service at DIA today. Photo courtesy of United Airlines.United Airlines rolled out its Mercedes-Benz service at DIA today. Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

Hate fighting your way through a congested airport when you’re trying to make a tight connection? If you’re a top customer of United Airlines and connecting in one of its key domestic hubs, you can just grab a chauffeured Mercedes-Benz and drive around the tarmac to your next gate. United Airlines today rolled out its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service at Denver International Airport, completing the rollout to all of its U.S. hub airports, the company announced. SUBSCRIBE: Support Travel… Read More »

Worst view ever? No. 11 Fairmont hotel in Nairobi

View from a guest room at the Fairmont: The Norfolk hotel in Nairobi. Photo by road warrior Kelly Cameron.View from a guest room at the Fairmont: The Norfolk hotel in Nairobi. Photo by road warrior Kelly Cameron.

We’re going to Kenya for this week’s installment of Travel Update’s popular Worst view ever? series. Back in Nairobi, road warrior Kelly Cameron told me that he really likes his room at the Fairmont: The Norfolk hotel even though it’s smaller than the room he’d had there during his last business trip. But the view that he wakes up to each morning (see above) isn’t the most stimulating. It’s the roof of the main building, he told me from Nairobi…. Read More »

My Fox story: smaller airports turn to beer, coffee, free parking to lure travelers

Customers' No. 1 demand at Blue Grass Airport? Branded coffee. Dunkin Donuts opened last year. Photo courtesy of Blue Grass Airport.Customers' No. 1 demand at Blue Grass Airport? Branded coffee. Dunkin Donuts opened last year. Photo courtesy of Blue Grass Airport.

WASHINGTON D.C. – As more airlines replace smaller airplanes with larger ones to gain financial efficiencies, smaller airports especially are having a harder time providing their customers with as many flight choices as they once had. “If you’ve been watch the airline industry, they are upgauging in every line of aircraft,” Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), told U.S. aviation leaders today at The Hill publication’s Aviation Policy Summit.  “Even with 737s, they are upgauging. Same with the Airbus… Read More »

The Hill’s Aviation Policy Summit: American Airlines CEO to speak

At the National Press Club. Photo by Barb DeLollis.At the National Press Club. Photo by Barb DeLollis.

WASHINGTON D.C. – For the aviation geeks out there, I wanted to let you know that I’m at the National Press Club today attending The Hill’s Aviation Policy Summit sponsored by Airlines for America, the trade association that represents 90% of the USA’s airlines such as American, Delta and United. The leaders of the pilots’ union as well as top airline executives are here speaking. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker will give the keynote talk later on. Most of the discussions so… Read More »

Southwest Airlines CFO: ‘We have no plans today to charge bag fees’

Southwest Airlines wants to grow its ancillary revenues, but it still won’t consider charging customers the much-maligned checked baggage fee embraced by many other airlines. That’s what Southwest Airlines CFO Tammy Romo told investment bankers today at the Morgan Stanley 2nd Annual Laguna conference, which ended a few minutes ago (about 1:15 pm EST). The Travel Update blog has been listening to the webcast to give you some highlights. During her presentation, Romo was specifically asked about bag fees; her response: MORE ONLINE: At 6’6,”… Read More »