Not So Happy Holidays

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Happy holidays, unless you have to fly to get there.

Commercial airlines have a present for you this Christmas season, high airfare for smaller seats. Even Jet Blue, once proud to offer more leg room than its competition, has announced it is shrinking seat length to increase seat capacity. Those extra seats are expected to bring in an additional $100 million annually to Jet Blue's bottom line.

Jet Blue is also adding bag fees. So now Southwest airlines remains the only U.S. based carrier to allow free bag check-in. Jet Blue also plans to introduce three ticket classes next year. And you guessed it. You can pay more to get more leg room. Those who pay less will of course have to squeeze into those shrinking seats.  read more »

Cramped Passengers


To boost the bottom line airlines are adding seats and subtracting leg room; and that's not flying with passengers.

In the past couple of weeks three flights have made unscheduled landings because passengers have gotten into fights when one of them tried to recline their seat. But people aren't imagining the lack of space.

Southwest and United airlines both took away one inch from each row on certain jets to make room for another row of seat. American is increasing the number of seats while delta installed smaller toilets to add four more. And JetBlue reduced the space in coach to make room for lie flat first class pods.  read more »

Sky High Fees


2012 was a profitable year for airlines... and it's all thanks to you and your over packing.

Last year U.S. based airlines brought in $6 billion thanks to baggage and reservation change fees. That marks the highest amount since the fees became part of your travel plans about five years ago. And while that number is good news for the airline industry it means passengers aren't going to see a break anytime soon.

The first baggage fees were introduced in 2008 and have climbed since then. Now airlines typically charge $25 each way for the first checked bag and $35 for the second bag. Plus you have to toss a few extra bucks their way for overweight or oversize bags.  read more »

Wi-Fi Goes Airborne


For anyone who cringes when asked to shut down electronic devices upon take-off, the airline industry has good news for you.

According to Computer World, about one in three commercial planes flying around the country today are equipped with Wi-Fi. All these planes are operating a GoGo internet service, plus an additional six Southwest planes are using Wi-Fi from a provider called Row 44. And they’re planning to increase the fleet by hooking up all 540 Southwest planes by 2012. Lagging behind the bunch is United Airlines who only has 13 planes set up with Wi-Fi compared to Delta and American which have a combined total of 650.  read more »