Airfares and Airlines

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Amazing Race 32, Episode 1 (Travel during the pandemic)

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Port of Spain, Trinidad (Trinidad & Tobago) - Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago) Travel during the coronavirus pandemic Season 32 of The Amazing Race, which premiered today -- almost two years after it was filmed -- on CBS-TV in the USA, has both planned and unplanned... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 October 2020, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 9 October 2020

"Tariffs? We ain't got no tariffs. We don't need no tariffs. I don't have to show you any stinkin' tariffs!"

As I've mentioned many times before, one of the most important parts of the definition of airlines as "common carriers", and one of the most important consumer protections for airline passengers and ticket purchasers, is the requirement for airlines and other common carriers to sell tickets only in accordance with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 October 2020, 19:46 ( 7:46 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 10 July 2020

Travelling via Chicago

As if there weren't already enough complications and concerns for those who have to travel, a "self-quarantine" travel order issued a week ago by the Commissioner of Health of the City of Chicago has cast a cloud of uncertainty over what might happen to people who try to change planes,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 July 2020, 18:19 ( 6:19 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Who owns the records of your travel?

Do you want all the details of your past airline travel sold to a data mining company? Did you ask for a Kosher or a Halal meal? Which countries or airports did you travel to? Who did you sit next to? What emergency contact information did you provide? Should that... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 June 2020, 09:40 ( 9:40 AM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

COVID-19 and travel company bailouts

I'm not a medical expert, so I've refrained from cluttering the Internet with more potentially confusing or erroneous advice about travel during a pandemic. My medical advice is to listen to medical experts. But with Congress debating financial proposals related to travel companies, and not health, it's time for me... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2020, 20:40 ( 8:40 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 25 August 2019

An "Airline Passengers' Bill Of Rights"?

Christopher Elliott reports today in Forbes on S. 2341, a proposal for an "Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights" introduced last month by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and four other Senators "If enacted, it would be the most significant consumer protection legislation for air travellers since the enactment of the Airline... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 August 2019, 07:37 ( 7:37 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

European Commission doesn't want to enforce its CRS rules

In May 2017 the European Commission finally agreed to investigate my longstanding complaint that the lack of adequate access controls or access logging for airline reservation data stored by computerized reservation systems (CRSs) violates the data protection provisions in Article 11 of the European Union's Code of Conduct for Computerized... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 August 2019, 10:56 (10:56 AM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Amazing Race 31, Episode 1

Hermosa Beach, CA (USA) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Narita (Japan) - Tokyo (Japan) There were fears that the The Amazing Race might have come to an end when broadcasts of the latest season, filmed last summer, were postponed repeatedly. But then the new season was moved forward abruptly... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 April 2019, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 31 March 2019

WOW Air is bankrupt

Iceland-based discount airline WOW Air went bankrupt and ceased operations abruptly last Thursday. All WOW Air planes were grounded wherever they were, and even flights for which passengers were already being checked in were cancelled. Travellers have been stranded in Europe, in North America, and in Iceland. Iceland's location along... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 March 2019, 15:53 ( 3:53 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Another demonstration of CRS/GDS insecurity

Zack Whittaker had a report yesterday for Techcrunch on the latest rediscovery of a continuing vulnerability affecting sensitive personal data in airline reservations that I first reported, both publicly and to the responsible companies, more than 15 years ago: computerized reservations systems and systems that rely on them for data... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 January 2019, 21:16 ( 9:16 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Review of the E.U. Code of Conduct for reservation systems

The European Commission is conducting a public consultation on the E.U. Code of Conduct for Computerised Reservation Systems. The CRS Code of Conduct, although porly enforced, provides important conusmer and privacy protections for air travellers and airline ticket purchasers worldwide. The CRS Code of Conduct was last reviewed a decade... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 December 2018, 22:34 (10:34 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 9 September 2018

How to get money from an airline

Once upon a time, airline passengers could expect that if an airline cancelled a flight, the airline would arrange and pay for meals and hotel accommodations for stranded passengers until it was able to get them to their originally ticketed destinations on its own or other airlines' flights. Today,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 September 2018, 13:38 ( 1:38 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 8

Chiang Mai (Thailand) - Hong Kong SAR (China) - San Francisco, CA (USA) - Alameda, CA (USA) Comments to the U.S. DOT on airline deregulation I was on an overnight flight to Europe on an airline that doesn't have live TV available as part of its in-flight entertainment when this... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 February 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 7

Harare (Zimbabwe) - Manama (Bahrain) - Chiang Mai (Thailand) This week The Amazing Race passed through Bahrain. Bahrain is a small desert island city-state, but the teams of travellers faced unexpected difficulties finding their way around, both driving and on foot. I've had some of these same problems finding my... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 February 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 5

Les Baux (France) - Marseille (France) - Prague (Czech Republic) Product placements on The Amazing Race are usually just extra advertisements for whichever brand of car the racers have been provided to drive from Point A to Point B, or the prize for the pair of racers that finishes first... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 2

Reykjavik (Iceland) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Antwerp (Belgium) This episode of The Amazing Race, like the previous one, featured helicopter shots of spectacular Icelandic scenery. They helped show why Icelandic tourism marketers have been so successful in recent years in changing perceptions of the country as an aviation hub. Flying... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 1

New York, NY (USA) - Reykjavik (Iceland) Stopovers in Iceland and other stopover possibilities on flights to and from the USA Season 30 of The Amazing Race started with the cast members having to fly from New York City to Reykjavik, Iceland. The teams of cometitors in The Amazing Race... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 1 January 2018

Bicycling the Danube, Part 2: Practicalities

Cycling the Danube (Part 2 of 3): Part 1: Pros and Cons Part 2: Practicalities Countries, Routes, and Signs Choices of Route and Direction Weather and Seasons Paper Maps Telephone and Internet Digital Maps Other Web Sites and Apps Language Money Food Water and Toilets Dogs, Insects, and Other... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 January 2018, 13:00 ( 1:00 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 8 December 2017

U.S. Dept. of Transportation ends review of airline truth-in-advertising rules

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT or USDOT) announced that it has terminated two ongoing "rulemaking" proceedings related to disclosure and transparency of airline fees, and withdrawn its proposal for rules which would have required airlines "to disclose baggage fee information to consumers when fare and schedule information is... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 December 2017, 15:07 ( 3:07 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 10

Seoul (Korea) - Incheon (Korea) - Chicago, IL (USA) - Joliet, IL (USA)- Chicago, IL (USA) [Old and new in Seoul: Sungnyemun (Namdaemun) Gate is one of the original gates in the wall surrounding the fortress-city of Seoul. Most of the wall is long gone, and the gate is now... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 June 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 9

Ninh Binh (Vietnam) - Hanoi (Vietnam) - Incheon (Korea) - Seoul (Korea) [Some of the airlines serving Incheon International Airport in January 2002. This way to the check-in counters for Miat Mongolian Airlines to Ulaanbataar, SAT Airlines to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Dalavia to Khabarovsk, Mahan Air to Tehran, Uzkekistan Airways to Tashkent,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 May 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

European Commission to investigate airline reservation (in)security

Fifteen years after I published my first critique of the extreme insecurity of airline reservations stored by computerized reservations systems (CRSs) and made available without passwords or access logs on public Web sites, and four months after the continued existence 15 years later of those same vulnerabilities was publicly demonstrated... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 May 2017, 13:07 ( 1:07 PM) | Comments (6)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Chicago airport police attack passenger on Republic Airlines plane

[Schedule of "United Airlines" flights from Chicago O'Hare to Louisville on April 9th] Many of my readers, and NPR listeners who heard me interviewed on WBEZ in Chicago last week about air travel and class, have been asking for my take on the airline passenger dragged off a plane... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 April 2017, 08:23 ( 8:23 AM) | Comments (35)

Friday, 24 March 2017

Tips for travellers about the "Muslim laptop ban"

The "Muslim laptop ban" goes into effect today: The U.S. government has ordered airlines to prevent passengers from bringing laptop or tablet computers or other electronic devices "larger than a cellphone" (whatever that means) on their person or in carry-on baggage on direct flights between 10 airports in countries with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2017, 12:27 (12:27 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Unresponsive "comments" from Amadeus

Exactly three weeks after a public demonstration of the insecurity of public Web gateways to computerized reservation systems (CRSs) -- a threat to travellers that I've been writing, speaking and telling the CRS operators about for more than 15 years -- one of those companies has responded to my request... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 January 2017, 00:17 (12:17 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 12 January 2017

"What can I do to protect my PNR data?"

Since the recent public demonstration of some of the security and privacy vulnerabilities of airline reservations systems that I've been writing and speaking about for more than 15 years, people have been asking me, "What can I do to protect myself against stalking, harassment, surveillance, and fraud when I travel?"... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 January 2017, 21:02 ( 9:02 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 30 December 2016

CRS/GDS companies and travellers' privacy

[In the middle of the presentation by SRLabs at 33C3 on Tuesday, Nemanja Nikodijevic discovered that Amadeus had taken its "CheckMyTrip.com" PNR-viewing Web site offline to prevent the vulnerabilities of the site from being demonstrated in real time. Screen capture from CC3C video by permission of SRLabs. Click images... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 December 2016, 21:13 ( 9:13 PM) | Comments (5)

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

"Travel data: fraud with booking codes is too easy"

[Some of the privacy and security threats to PNR data and the CRS network, from my testimony in 2013 as an invited expert witness before the Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protection of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Click image for larger version.] Video, slides, and blog post of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 December 2016, 02:54 ( 2:54 AM) | Comments (12)

Thursday, 15 December 2016

"Are Government Fines Really Improving Air Travel?"

Are Government Fines Really Improving Air Travel? (by Christoher Elliott, Huffington Post, 5 December 2016): The Department of Transportation fined airlines $4.5 million in 2016 for infractions ranging from lengthy tarmac delays to failing to compensate passengers for lost luggage, almost double last year's amount and the highest since 2013.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 December 2016, 16:11 ( 4:11 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Computer "outage" disrupts Delta flights

An outage of some computer systems or components on Monday led to cancellations and delays of Delta Air Lines flights. Once planes and crews are out of position, it takes time to get them back to where they are needed. New crews and/or planes may have to be sent out... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 August 2016, 12:49 (12:49 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 30 May 2016

How can we make airlines respect our privacy?

A decision last week by a California state Court of Appeal in a case involving an airline smartphone app highlights the legal impunity enjoyed by airlines that invade their customers' and passengers' privacy. Delta Air Lines' mobile app collects all the information travellers provide when they buy tickets, reserve seats,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 May 2016, 11:51 (11:51 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

How safe is airline passenger data? Not secure at all.

[PNR data flows. Each node in the network is a point of vulnerability. Click image for larger version.] This week in the German IT news portal Golem and the German weekly news magazine Die Zeit, Hauke Gierow has a deep dive, based in substantial part on a long interview... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 April 2016, 12:03 (12:03 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 25 March 2016

Places in the news: Brussels and Buenos Aires

[National Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism in Buenos Aires, visited yesterday by US President Obama] News and events, even on the other side of the world, have more impact when we can relate them to our own experiences. In the last few days, I've been thinking a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 March 2016, 19:46 ( 7:46 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 10 March 2016

7 On Your Side: "When an airline loses your luggage"

I was interviewed on KGO-TV news in San Francisco last night in a "7 On Your Side" feature about "lost" airline luggage. I think they did a good job on the story (congrats to producer Randall Yip behind the camera). But as usual, there was more to be said... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 March 2016, 11:06 (11:06 AM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Are airline fees related to airline costs?

Deregulation of domestic U.S. airline ticket prices wasn't supposed to give airlines permisison to lie, cheat, and steal, but the failure of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to police the deregulated airfare marketplace for fraud and decption has often allowed it to work that way. On all domestic routes... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 March 2016, 12:50 (12:50 PM) | Comments (1)

Saturday, 9 January 2016

What's the real story about the REAL-ID Act and air travel?

[Image from video by WCCO, CBS Minnesota, 7 January 2016] Travellers are understandably confused by recent news about the REAL-ID Act and purported new ID requirements for passengers on domestic flights within the USA. Accurate public understanding of what's going on is not helped by the fact that the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 January 2016, 06:27 ( 6:27 AM) | Comments (11)

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

"T.S.A. Moves Closer to Rejecting Some State Driver"s Licenses for Travel"

I'm quoted in an article today in the New York Times about the Federal government's efforts to use the threat of denial of air travel to scare state legislators into connecting their state drivers license and ID databases to the distributed national "REAL-ID" database through the REAL-ID "hub" operated by... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 December 2015, 23:30 (11:30 PM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 11 September 2015

Air travel predictions come true: luggage locks and interline ticketing

Two predictions I made a decade or longer ago have come true this week, one about the farcically insecure "TSA-approved" luggage locks, and the other marking a much more significant milestone in the anti-consumer balkanization of the airline industry. (1) Master keys for TSA-approved "Travel Sentry" luggage locks made public.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2015, 10:34 (10:34 AM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 22 June 2015

American Airlines claims it doesn't have to give you a ticket or tell you the fare for your trip

Closely related to airlines' efforts to escape their obligations as common carriers and to replace ticket pricing based on a published tariff with personalized pricing are their moves to escape their legal duty to provide each ticket purchaser with a "ticket". In the days of paper tickets, there was no... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 June 2015, 06:20 ( 6:20 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Senators and travel companies question airlines' pricing practices

It seems odd to me that the movement for "net neutrality" has led to demands for the US government to protect consumers against discriminatory and/or predatory practices by requiring Internet service providers (ISPs) to operate as common carriers of data packets, at the same time that traditional common carriers of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 May 2015, 17:16 ( 5:16 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 7

Cap Ferrat (France) - Nice (France) - Windhoek (Namibia) - Erindi (Namibia) - Spitzkoppe (Namibia) - Swakopmund (Namibia) - Dorob National Park (Namibia) - Goanikontes (Namibia) Namibia, as host Phil Keoghan pointed out near the start of this week's episode of The Amazing Race 26, is the least densely populated... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 April 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Government subsidies to airlines, revisited

An editiorial in the New York Times today discusses demands by the dominant troika of USA-based airlines (American, Delta, and United) that the US government should intervene in their behalf to renegotiate international aviation treaties with countries such as the UAE and Qatar which, the US-based airlines allege, are subsidizing... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 February 2015, 08:58 ( 8:58 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 17 October 2014

"Travelers, say bon voyage to privacy"

I talked at length with Watchdog investigative reporter Dave Lieber for his column in today's Dallas Morning News: Travelers, say bon voyage to privacy. Lieber hits the nail on the head by calling out how few travellers realize that the U.S. government is keeping a permanent file of complete mirror... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 October 2014, 00:12 (12:12 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Peak Travel: Envisioning a post-air-travel age

One of the more disruptive consequences of peak oil is likely to be peak air travel. What does peak air travel mean? Why is it likely? Why haven't you already heard more about it? And what business and investment opportunities does this coming disruption create? I've been writing about the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 October 2014, 21:42 ( 9:42 PM) | Comments (6)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Is Google monopolizing flight and airfare search?

Not yet. But as the Washington Post quotes me today: "I don't think that [Google] Fare Search has had much impact on consumers," says Edward Hasbrouck, a critic of the ITA purchase. But he thinks that we"re not out of the woods yet. After the Justice Department"s consent decree expires... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 October 2014, 23:31 (11:31 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 22 September 2014

Business and pleasure in Cancún at the TBEX travel bloggers' conference

[San Miguelito archeological site in the hotel zone, Cancún] I was in Cancún last week for the TBEX conference of travel bloggers. Blogging is a fairly solitary activity, and not everyone understands what it means to be a professional blogger or travel writer. I write about independent do-it-yourself travel,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 September 2014, 07:54 ( 7:54 AM) | Comments (11)

Friday, 22 August 2014

Key U.S. Senator questions airlines on privacy practices

The Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), has sent a public letter of inquiry this week to the ten largest USA-based airlines, asking them to respond by 5 September 2014 to a series of questions about consumer issues including what information airlines collect about travellers, how long... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 August 2014, 16:32 ( 4:32 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 8 August 2014

US DOT defers ruling on airline plans for personalized pricing

Late Thursday, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) quietly released its decision on an arcane-seeming but critically important request for DOT regulatory approval of airlines' plans for a transition from published tariffs of airfares to personalized airline ticket pricing. DOT's missed an opprtunity to use its decision in this rulemaking... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 August 2014, 15:37 ( 3:37 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 28 July 2014

Speaking at SXSW Eco in Austin, 6-8 Oct. 2014

I've accepted an invitation to speak at the South By Southwest Eco conference on sustainability in Austin, TX, 6-8 October 2014: "Peak Travel" : Envisioning the Post-Air Travel Age The aviation industry hopes to obtain enough cheap biofuel to sustain air travel without diverting land, water, or labor from food... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 July 2014, 16:24 ( 4:24 PM) | Comments (6)

Friday, 30 May 2014

My objections to airlines' plan to "personalize" prices

Today I filed formal objections to U.S. Department of of Transportation's tentative decision to approve a proposal from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to replace publicly-disclosed tariffs of airfares with "personalized" airline ticket prices. Most of the initial objections to IATA's proposal came from within the travel industry. These... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 May 2014, 19:52 ( 7:52 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

"Can I see what information the feds have on my travel?"

Ars Techica editor and technology journalist Cyrus Fariva reports today on the initial response to his Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for CBP"s records about his travel history, including CBP"s copies of airline Passenger Name Records (PNRs): I then asked Edward Hasbrouck,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 May 2014, 10:41 (10:41 AM) | Comments (7)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

US Dept. of Transportation OKs "personalized" airline ticket prices

In a potentially disastrous administrative decision, the US Department of Transportation has "tentatively" approved a proposal from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to replace publicly-disclosed tariffs of airfares with "personalized" airline ticket prices. The DOT brushed off some of my objections (here and here), and ignored others: We are... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 May 2014, 10:19 (10:19 AM) | Comments (2)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Tell Congress not to legalize more deceptive airfare advertising

Advertised airline ticket prices already leave out many things that used to be included, from meals to checked luggage to carry-on bags to prereserved seats. Case in point: Last month Lufthansa -- not what you would normally think of as a no-frills or low-fare airline -- began charging an extra... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 May 2014, 11:25 (11:25 AM) | Comments (3)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

US Supreme Court rules on airlines and consumer protection

One of my pet peeves has long been that the U.S. Federal government forbids states from enforcing most of their general consumer protection laws against airlines but fails to exercise its own Federal consumer protection authority against airlines. The real source of the problem, I think, is the extremist laissez-faire... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 May 2014, 21:06 ( 9:06 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 1

Santa Clarita, CA (USA) - Guangzhou (China) This is the third "All-Star" season of The Amazing Race. As in seasons 11 and 18, all of the cast members have been in previous seasons of the show. This gives us, the travel voyeurs in the reality-TV viewing audience, a chance to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 February 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Comments to the US Dept. of Transportation on airline pricing

I filed comments today with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in two regulatory proceedings: Supporting a complaint by Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman against the Spanish airline Air Europa for misrepresenting airline-imposed surcharges on New York-Madrid flights as government-imposed "taxes" [background here], and Opposing a request by the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 February 2014, 16:03 ( 4:03 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Why would an airline pilot divert a flight to seek asylum?

On Sunday night in San Francisco (early morning on Monday in Geneva), I listened live and followed reports on Twitter (where the story was reported hours before mainstream media figured out what going on) as an Ethiopian Airlines flight, originally destined for Rome and then Milan, landed in Geneva with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 February 2014, 16:56 ( 4:56 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

"Have travelers lost the class war?"

[TWA "Ambassadors Club" membership certificate presented to my grandfather, L.P. Hasbrouck, in 1953. Click image for full-sized version.] Thanks to Christopher Elliott for mentioning the unmentionable -- "class" -- in an article in USA Today on "the growing rift between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in travel": As always, the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 February 2014, 17:04 ( 5:04 PM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 13 December 2013

AA is (still) lying. DOT is (still) out for donuts.

On Monday, the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection (ACACP) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will take up a request from a coalition of consumer and privacy advocates (including me) for specific actions by the DOT -- as part of its authority and responsibility for enforcement of Federal... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 December 2013, 19:01 ( 7:01 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Under new management: BootsnAll acquires Airtreks.com

As announced last week by Airtreks.com and BootsnAll, the two companies will be merging. "The companies will continue to operate separately," but Sean Keener, co-founder of BootsnAll, will take over as CEO of AirTreks while also remaining CEO of BootsnAll. I've known Sean Keener since his first joint ventures with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 December 2013, 11:35 (11:35 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Call for U.S. DOT to act on travel privacy

There is virtually no legal protection for the privacy of personal information about travelers on U.S.-based airlines: There is no general consumer privacy law in the U.S. like those in Canada or the European Union. Businesses can do pretty much anything they want with personal information, as long as they... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 December 2013, 22:01 (10:01 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 8

Al Ain (UAE) - Bandung (Indonesia) This week the cast and crew of The Amazing Race 23 had to make about as long and awkward a journey as any within (depending on how you define it) a single continent: from Al Ain (UAE) on the Arabian Peninsula in far West... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 November 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 21 October 2013

"Security Check Now Starts Long Before You Fly"

"Security Check Now Starts Long Before You Fly" (by Susan Stellin, The New York Times, 21 October 2013, page A1): The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its screening of passengers before they arrive at the airport by searching a wide array of government and private databases that can include... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 October 2013, 19:15 ( 7:15 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 3

San Alfonso (Chile) - Santiago (Chile) - Lisbon (Portugal) - Sintra (Portugal) Portugal made the short list of places I liked best among those I visited for the first time on my most recent trip around the world: If you are wondering where you can still afford to travel in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 October 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

How the NSA obtains and uses PNR data (airline reservations)

If you are looking for my analysis of the report in today's New York Times that the NSA, like the DHS, obtained airline reservations (PNR data) and used them for social network analysis, it's here on PapersPlease.org (The Identity Project).... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 September 2013, 20:45 ( 8:45 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Airlines claim they are already allowed to "personalize" prices

In response to my objections to airlines' proposal to replace publicly-disclosed tariffs of airfares with personalized price discrimination, the airlines now claim that they are already exempt from all requirements to have, use, or make public any tariff of prices. This bombshell comes in the latest filing by the International... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 August 2013, 12:02 (12:02 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Consumer advocacy pays off in challenge to AA/US merger

A series of mergers, greatly reducing competition between the remaining US-based airlines, has been allowed to proceed without interference from the US government. So the antitrust lawsuit filed this month by the US Department of Justice against the proposed merger of American Airlines (AMR Corporation) and US Airways shocked the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 August 2013, 10:10 (10:10 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 12 August 2013

While we were on the road...

Over the course of the summer, I've been quoted and seen on TV on a variety of travel topics from the implications of NSA spying scandal for travellers' privacy (I'll be posting more on this issue at PapersPlease.org) to travel mistakes and... toilet paper: United flight leaving from London... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 August 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 20 May 2013

"Consumer Privacy and Air Travel: Recommendations to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation"

[ACACP in session, 21 May 2013. Left to right: Lisa Madigan, chair (Attorney General of Illinois), Charlie Leocha (Founder and Director, Consumer Travel Alliance), Deborah Ale Flint (Executive Director, Oakland Airport), David Berg (General Counsel, "Airlines For America")] I'm on my way to Washington to take part in an... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 May 2013, 10:48 (10:48 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 3 May 2013

DOT Advisory Committee on Consumer Protection to consider privacy of travel data

In the first formal public consideration ever by the U.S. government of the privacy issues posed by airline reservations and other personal information used by the air travel industry, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection will devote much of its next quarterly all-day meeting in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 May 2013, 10:07 (10:07 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

What's wrong with the airlines' proposal for "personalized" ticket prices?

Since at least 2010, airlines have been contemplating replacing publicly-disclosed tariffs of airfares applicable equally to all passengers (as is required by current laws, although airlines seem to have forgotten that) with "personalized" prices that would allow a more profitable (for airlines) degree of price discrimination between travellers. In October... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 April 2013, 20:35 ( 8:35 PM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

"Speak out now on the TSA's full-body scanners"

I'm quoted in Christopher Elliott's syndicated travel column today in the Chicago Tribune (and previously in the Washington Post and elsewhere) about the TSA's ongoing solicitation of public comments on its use of virtual strip-search machines and groping of travellers' genitals, breasts, and buttocks: Speak out now on the TSA's... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 April 2013, 13:33 ( 1:33 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

"Mystery Computer Problem Grounds All AA Flights"

I'm quoted at some length in this article today on TechNewsWorld.com: Mystery Computer Problem Grounds All AA Flights By John P. Mello Jr. Finger Pointing Relations between Sabre and American have been deteriorating for years, according to travel consultant Edward Hasbrouck. That's ironic, since American created Sabre but later let... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 April 2013, 21:44 ( 9:44 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 15 February 2013

American Airlines is still bankrupt, and still lying

Back in November 2011 when American Airlines petitioned the courts for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, I noted that it initially spoke honestly about what it "expected" that the bankruptcy court would allow it to do -- but quickly lapsed into the usual false and misleading bankrupt-airline rhetoric about what... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 February 2013, 10:47 (10:47 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Air Canada lies about government access to reservations

Airlines should have defended their customers against government demands for information. Instead, they have chosen to collaborate with governments not just in surveillance and violation of the rights of their customers, but in the cover-up of those practices and the attempt to keep travellers from realizing their extent. I... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 November 2012, 09:56 ( 9:56 AM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 2 November 2012

IATA announces plan for personalized airline ticket prices

I've been warning for several years that airlines have seemed to be moving away from the concept of a "common carrier" that charges customers according to a "tariff" of fares applicable equally to all comers, and toward "personalized" pricing of airline tickets. Now it's official: At its World Passenger Symposium... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 November 2012, 11:08 (11:08 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sabre CRS is down

The Sabre computerized reservation system is down this morning, taking with it all those airlines hosted in Sabre (including American, Alaska, Frontier, and Southwest) and those travel agents who rely on Sabre as an outsourced connectivity and CRM provider. Most travel agencies and agents rely on a single CRS/GDS to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2012, 09:11 ( 9:11 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Flying over San Francisco Bay

"I believe that anyone who flies in an airplane and doesn't spend most of his time looking out the window wastes his money." -- Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert [Looking down Market Street to the Ferry Building from above Twin Peaks.] My partner and I spent much of last Sunday... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 September 2012, 13:36 ( 1:36 PM) | Comments (4)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

United Airlines grounded by CRS outage

For several hours yesterday afternoon (US time), United Airlines was unable to check in or board passengers on most of its scheduled flights because of an outage affecting the computerized reservation system (CRS) that hosts United's database of passenger name records (PNRs). This wasn't the first time this sort of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 August 2012, 10:08 (10:08 AM) | Comments (4)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Delta to close down Comair: A portent of things to come?

Last week Delta Air Lines announced that, "its subsidiary, Comair, Inc. will cease operations after Sept. 29, 2012." "Comair" is a formerly-independent "commuter" or "feeder" division of Delta that operates smaller "regional jets" between Delta's hubs and smaller cities. Delta claims that "There will be no disruption to customers and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 August 2012, 16:34 ( 4:34 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

European Parliament approves PNR agreement with the US. What's next?

It took some time, but I've posted a detailed analysis at PapersPlease.org of the issues and avenues for activism that remain after last week's vote in the European Parliament approving an agreement on US government access to PNR data for flights between the EU and the US.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 April 2012, 18:25 ( 6:25 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Google is now hosting airline reservations (PNR's)

Details on what this means, and why it matters, in my article today for the Identity Project at PapersPlease.org. (More background to Google's entry into the travel technology business here and here.)... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2012, 13:55 ( 1:55 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Major US Federal aviation bill enacted: 3 steps forward, 2 steps back for travellers

Christopher Elliott has a perceptive analysis this week in the Washington Post on the implications for travellers of the new long-term Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill just passed by Congress, and the larger issue of who speaks for consumers in Washington, and how effectively, in Federal aviation policy-makng, legislation, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 February 2012, 14:50 ( 2:50 PM) | Comments (3)

Monday, 6 February 2012

KLM wants you to make the DHS your friend on Facebook

Getting the jump on airline "social seating" startups like SeatID.com, KLM launched a new Meet & Seat service last Friday that allows passengers on certain flights (including some to and from the USA) to make portions fo their Facebook and /or LinkedIn profiles available for viewing by fellow passengers --... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 February 2012, 14:19 ( 2:19 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

"Will American's Layoffs Add to Flier Grief?" (Yes.)

I'm quoted (briefly) in a story today by Jonnelle Marte in Dow Jones' "Smart Money" consumer financial advice blog: American Airlines said Wednesday it wants to cut 13,000 jobs as part of its bankruptcy filing, a move analysts say could lead to shuffled or canceled flights, longer waits and poorer... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 February 2012, 19:45 ( 7:45 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Is the advertised price too good to be true? Yes. (Part 1 of 2)

Sometimes an advertised "sale" price isn't as much of a deal as it's made out to be. Other times, the price you are offered turns out to be such a good deal that the seller doesn't want to honor it. This week, I have reports on recent examples of both... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 January 2012, 18:33 ( 6:33 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 11

Panama City (Panama) - Atlanta (Georgia) "Reisefreiheit" (Freedom to Travel) Ironically, the final episode in which The Amazing Race 19 returned home to the USA from Panama was broadcast on the same day that Manuel Noriega, the dictator deposed and kidnapped to imprisonment in Florida during the US invasion of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 December 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 10

Brussels (Belgium) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Panama City (Panama) The outcome of this week's episode of The Amazing Race 19 was determined by yet another challenge in identifying the signal amid the noise: The racers were told that their clue could be found somewhere on the patterned and printed costumes... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 December 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

American Airlines and American Eagle are bankrupt

American Airlines, American Eagle, and their parent holding company AMR Corporation filed for bankruptcy this morning. What does this mean for travellers? See my updated FAQ about Airline Bankruptcies. American Airlines' initial press releases and statements to customers today have carefully avoided the fraudulent claims most of their competitors have... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 November 2011, 09:11 ( 9:11 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

"Bankruptcy talk rattles American Airlines' frequent fliers"

Bankruptcy talk rattles American Airlines' frequent fliers (By Arlene Satchell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 4 October 2011): The rocky financial situation at AMR Corp. -- parent company of American Airlines -- has unnerved some members of the airline's AAdvantage frequent flier program, especially those sitting on a stash of unclaimed miles.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 October 2011, 17:35 ( 5:35 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 2

Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) - Jakarta (Indonesia) - Yogyakarta (Indonesia) Getting from Taipei, Taiwan, to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, presented a potentially more interesting challenge for the cast of The Amazing Race 19 than anything the teams of travellers had to do once they got to Jogja. Yogyakarta is a substantial... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 October 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Is travel safer today than 10 years ago? No.

Is travel safer today than it was 10 years ago on 11 September 2001? No. Here's how and why: 1. Travel by land instead of by air. Some people switched from flying to driving or taking trains or buses because they became more afraid to fly after 11 September 2001.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2011, 21:23 ( 9:23 PM) | Comments (3)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Lessons for travellers from the United Airlines computer outage

It's not yet clear what caused the 5-hour network connectivity problem that disrupted United Airlines flights Friday, and has left many travellers still stranded or facing flight delays and cancellations. But this isn't the first time something like this has happened (the last time I wrote about a similar incident,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 June 2011, 18:27 ( 6:27 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Government puts antitrust conditions on Google-ITA Software deal -- but does nothing to protect consumers

Addressing the concerns of Google's travel industry business competitors but not those of travellers and consumers, the U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to end its antitrust investigation of Google's proposed purchase of airline pricing software company ITA Software. Under the deal announced today, the DoJ is filing an antitrust... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 April 2011, 11:08 (11:08 AM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 28 February 2011

Would you like a side order of speculation with your airline ticket?

Today Chris Elliott reports on a bizarre proposal by Allegiant Air to sell tickets at prices that would be subject to change even after you buy them, on the basis of changes in oil prices between the date of ticketing and the date of travel. Allegiant is a low-fare airline... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 February 2011, 15:17 ( 3:17 PM) | Comments (3)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

"Airline Passenger Profiling: Back From the Grave?"

There's an excellent article on the latest developments in airline passenger profiling today in the Huffington Post by my friend Jay Stanley, policy analyst for the ACLU. It includes a link to my FAQ, What's in a Passenger Name Record (PNR)?, which provides some background on the data being used... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 February 2011, 09:12 ( 9:12 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Airline ticket price transparency

If I weren't busy writing a book, I'd have much more to say about the complex disputes between airlines (especially American Airlines), computerized reservation systems (including Sabre, which ironically was founded by and used to be a division of American Airlines before being spun off as a now-competing company), and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 January 2011, 16:57 ( 4:57 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 7 January 2011

Quoted here and there

Security concerns for IDs with microchips: New 'Ready Lanes' incentive for border crossers by Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera, El Paso Inc. (27 December 2010): Privacy advocates and civil rights groups raised their concerns with the Department of State when it first proposed equipping passport books with RFID tags in 2005. In response,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 January 2011, 08:45 ( 8:45 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Holiday air travel updates and advice

Some of my recent articles from PapersPlease.org: FAQ: What you need to know about your rights at the airport Airlines lie, but you can get a refund if you opt out of being x-rayed or groped. Here's what to do. What to do if an airline cancels your reservation or... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 November 2010, 10:57 (10:57 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 9 August 2010

US-DOT revising airline consumer protection rules

Your chance to be heard: The U.S. Department of Transportation is currently inviting public comments on a variety of proposed changes to the DOT's consumer protection rules. I've been severely critical of the DOT's lax enforcement of its existing consumer protection rules, and its failure to address the key regulatory... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 August 2010, 07:29 ( 7:29 AM) | Comments (1)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Mexicana Airlines is bankrupt

One of Mexico's largest airlines, Mexicana ("Companiaa Mexicana de Aviacion") filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors (including ticket holders) in both Mexico and the USA on 3 August 2010. For now, Mexicana is still operating some flights, despite having had some of its planes repossessed, shortly before the bankruptcy... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 August 2010, 07:26 ( 7:26 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Are air travel taxes refundable even if the airfare isn't?

I've gotten several questions from readers recently (one from a traveller and another from a travel agent) about this section of my FAQ About Changes to Flights and Tickets: If you don't actually fly, regardless of the reason and regardless of whether the fare is refundable, you are always entitled... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 July 2010, 12:47 (12:47 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Google buys ITA Software (Part 3: What's it mean for travellers?)

Monday in Part 1 I discussed the origins of ITA Software, the air travel pricing and reservation software company bought this month by Google for US$700 million. Yesterday in Part 2 I tried to explain what ITA Software actually does (and doesn't) do. Today in Part 3, below, I'll get... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 July 2010, 12:39 (12:39 PM) | Comments (12)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Google buys ITA Software (Part 2: What does ITA Software do?)

Yesterday in Part 1 I told some of the history of ITA Software, the air travel pricing and reservation software company bought this month by Google for US$700 million. Today I'll discuss ITA Software's strengths, weaknesses, and strategic approach to the airfare puzzle (Part 2, below). Tomorrow I'll finish up... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 July 2010, 15:15 ( 3:15 PM) | Comments (7)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Google buys ITA Software (Part 1: The back story)

At the start of this month Google announced its purchase of ITA Software -- if the antitrust division of the USA Department of Justice, and/or the Department of Transportation, decide the deal won't restrain trade by giving Google any sort of monopoly -- for US$700 million in cash. Even for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 July 2010, 12:31 (12:31 PM) | Comments (4)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Lufthansa says they aren't responsible for their agents and contractors

As I've mentioned in an earlier review of their service, I flew Lufthansa to Europe and back in April. As soon as I got home, I sent them a request for their records about my trip and an accounting of what they (and their agents, contractors, government agencies, etc.) had... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 June 2010, 19:34 ( 7:34 PM) | Comments (2)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Are common carriers allowed to "personalize" prices?

The Beat is one of the best online travel industry trade journals. Portions are available only to paid subscribers, but it also has a lot of good publicly available news and commentary. I wrote the following letter to the editor, published today, in response to an article on the trend... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 May 2010, 12:38 (12:38 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 12

Pudong (China) - San Francisco, CA (USA) This week, The Amazing Race 16 returned to the USA from Shanghai, in an episode broadcast the same week that a Shanghai-based startup company launched a very promising, although as yet unproven, new concept in accommodations for future visitors to Shanghai, elsewhere in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 May 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 30 April 2010

European air travel after Eyjafjallajokull

In the Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg: "START OF MEETING POSTPONED" by the ash cloud crisis Now that the volcanic dust has settled (for the moment), what will the fallout be for European travel in the short, medium, and long term? The disruption of air travel caused... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 April 2010, 13:20 ( 1:20 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Home again, home again

I made it home to San Francisco Friday via Frankfurt and Washington, more or less on time. I was very glad not to have to take any of you up on your offers of hospitality if I were stuck in Europe longer. Many, many thanks for your generosity! (But really,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 April 2010, 05:03 ( 5:03 AM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 16 April 2010

European airport closures and flight cancellations

As most of you probably know already, the cloud of ash from the eruption of a volcano in Iceland has forced the closure of airports across a large portion of Europe, and the cancellation of flights to, from, or via the affected area. Even after flights resume, aircraft and crews... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 April 2010, 09:47 ( 9:47 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Testimony to Members of the European Parliament

[Hearing in progress. MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht in the chair, center.] [My presentation. European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx at right.] I'm testifying Thursday afternoon in Brussels (Thursday morning in the USA) on the hotly debated proposed agreement between the EU and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on transfers... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 April 2010, 00:01 (12:01 AM) | Comments (3)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The most dangerous things on airplanes? Bags falling from the overhead bins.

I've often heard, and find it credible, that bags falling from the overhead bins are the leading cause of injury on airline flights. (If anyone can point me to good evidence of this, please let me know or leave a comment.) Some law firms specialize in damage claims for injuries... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 March 2010, 17:32 ( 5:32 PM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But is the airfare lower?

USA Today has an interesting report today by Charisse Jones, Some Canadians cross border to fly in U.S. The article is correct, as far as it goes: If you are travelling from somewhere in Canada near the US border to somewhere else in the US, it is often cheaper to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 March 2010, 08:51 ( 8:51 AM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Missed connections

A comment on one of my earlier posts on airline codesharing warrants it's own response. Kevin asked: My understanding is that if you book on codeshared flights A and B and if flight A is delayed or canceled so that you miss flight B, you will not be penalized for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 February 2010, 22:56 (10:56 PM) | Comments (6)

Monday, 1 February 2010

JetBlue's switch to Sabre: What's it mean to you?

From 36 hours from midnight Thursday night through mid-afternoon Saturday, JetBlue Airways' telephone reservations center (actually a virtual "center" -- when you call 1-800-JET-BLUE, the phone is answered by someone working from home anywhere within a couple of hours of Salt Lake City, mostly mothers with children but also some... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 February 2010, 21:02 ( 9:02 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 8 January 2010

Lessons from the case of the man who set his underpants on fire

If you're looking for my analysis of recent events, I've posted it in the Identity Project blog: We've been having a hard time keeping up with events over the last few weeks. Every time we think the keystone cops from the Department of Homeland Security can't come up with anything... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 January 2010, 22:22 (10:22 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New year, new airline bankruptcy, same old lies

Mesa Air, a "regional" airline operating interisland flights in Hawaii as Go Mokulele and operating codeshare flights elsewhere in the names of United Express, US Airways Express, and Delta Connection, filed for bankruptcy protection today. I've updated my FAQ about Airline Bankruptcies accordingly. In a press release announcing the filing,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 January 2010, 06:52 ( 6:52 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Regional airlines lie about codesharing in USA Today op-ed

Given space for a rebuttal on the same page with today's USA Today editorial, When airlines share codes, truth-in-labeling suffers , president Roger Cohen of the Regional Airline Association (RAA) trots out the airlines' usual "big lie" on code sharing, in unusually blatant form: As complex as travel may seem... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 December 2009, 12:24 (12:24 PM) | Comments (7)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Prelude to PhoCusWright 2009

I leave tomorrow for Orlando, Florida (my idea of hell, although it scarcely matters since all my time will be spent at the conference resort, the cheaper hotel where I'm staying, and in a rental car going back and forth between them on Orlando's miserable failure of a so-called transportation... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 November 2009, 11:57 (11:57 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 5

Dubai (United Arab Emirates) This was one of the rare episodes of The Amazing Race spent entirely in a single city -- in this case Dubai -- without setting foot on a train or bus, much less an airplane. Did the racers like Dubai? That's hard to tell. The one... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 October 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Federal airline consumer protection agenda

The navigator: Airline passengers' rights overshadowed by tarmac delay fight (By Christopher Elliott, Washington Post Sunday Travel Section, 25 October 2009): I think it goes without saying that other, far more important passenger issues are being overlooked. But I'll say it anyway: We're missing a lot. I asked author and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 October 2009, 07:23 ( 7:23 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 3

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) - Phnom Penh (Cambodia) The Amazing Race was back in Cambodia this week. I've talked before about landmines and the continuing issue they pose throughout Cambodia. If you are thinking about going to Cambodia, you can make your own decision as to whether that's a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 October 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

"How an airline's bankruptcy might affect travelers"

"If I were a bettin' man, I'd put some money on a big airline filing for bankruptcy protection in the not-too-distant future," says my fellow travel journalist and consumer advocate Christopher Elliott in this wire-service story in the Settle Times, other newspapers, and on his own Elliott.org Web site. I... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 October 2009, 12:03 (12:03 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 11 September 2009

Charlie Leocha: "Flight attendants -- unsung heroes"

Flight attendants -- unsung heroes (by Charlie Leocha, ConsumerTraveler.com / ConsumerTravelAlliance.org ) Over the eight years since 9/11, there have been many ceremonies, new memorials, congressional plaudits and remembrances for those who died in that day's tragic events. Police officers, firefighters and other first responders gather every year with politicians... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2009, 23:40 (11:40 PM) | Comments (3)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Should you buy an "All-You-Can-Jet" pass?

JetBlue Airways has moved up the deadline, and there are now just a couple of hours left if you want to pay US$599 (plus any international taxes if you leave the USA) for a "pass" good for more-or-less unlimited travel on JetBlue's routes from 8 September through 8 October 2009.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 August 2009, 15:54 ( 3:54 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 16 August 2009

More FAQ's about "Secure Flight"

If you're confused by recent news reports about "Secure Flight", such as why an airline or travel agencies wants you to tell them your data of birth or gender (what are transgendered people supposed to answer?), how they will use this data, or whether they can penalize you or prevent... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 August 2009, 15:39 ( 3:39 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

"Clear" shuts down its registered-traveller system

Verified Identity Pass, Inc. ("VIP") shut down its Clear traveller registration and airport fast-lane scheme last week. Under the Clear scheme, and two much smaller competing ones run by other companies, air travellers could get access to dedicated lanes leading up to TSA checkpoints in airports, in exchange for payment... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 July 2009, 08:55 ( 8:55 AM) | Comments (3)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Congress to vote on virtual strip searches at airports

I'm spending this week in Washington, DC, at one of my favorite annual events, the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference. There's live streaming video of the conference plenaries, although I don;t think it includes the breakout sessions such as the one Thursday where I'll be talking about the Western Hemisphere... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 June 2009, 06:12 ( 6:12 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

What does Air France do with reservation data?

Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines present quite different "corporate cultures", despite being owned by the same French parent corporation , the Air France-KLM Group . Unfortunately, my latest experiments have shown that these two airlines have in common a disregard for the privacy and data protection laws applicable... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 May 2009, 16:59 ( 4:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Saturday, 2 May 2009

"Secure Flight" data formats added to the AIRIMP

How soon will we have to get government permission to move around the USA? My analysis today in the Identity Project blog: Secure Flight data formats added to the AIRIMP... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 May 2009, 18:33 ( 6:33 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

In case you missed this news report

Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 April 2009, 19:22 ( 7:22 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 20 April 2009

New developments in government control of travelers in the USA

Over at the Identity Project blog, I have a pair of reports today on the latest developments in government control of air travellers in the USA: TSA claims new powers of detention, search, and interrogation Secret Secure Flight 'vetting' algorithm now in use by 4 US airlines... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 April 2009, 12:10 (12:10 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 8

Phuket (Thailand) - Bangkok (Thailand) Since Thailand isn't one of my favorite countries, nor Bangkok one of my favorite cities, and I've been in both only briefly, I thought it would be better to give you a chance to hear from people who know and like these places better than... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 April 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 3 April 2009

Aviation and the environment

I've been in Geneva this week for a conference on aviation and the environment; more specifically, on what the air transport industry (aircraft and engine manufacturers, aviation fuel suppliers, air traffic control agencies, airport operators, and of course airlines) are doing about the impact of aircraft emissions on global warming... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 April 2009, 07:41 ( 7:41 AM) | Comments (23)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 7

Jaipur (India) - Phuket (Thailand) I won't be able to watch this week's episode of The Amazing Race until I get home. I'm delighted, however, that one of my talented friends at Airtreks.com, "rate desk" expert David Derrick, was generous enough to accept my invitation to share his thoughts about... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 6 (Flights in BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India, and China)

Novosibirsk (Russia) - Moscow (Russia) - Jaipur (India) Last week's episode of The Amazing Race 14 provided an example of some of the issues that arise with rail travel in Russia, India, and China. If some of you were prompted to ask, "If it's so difficult to figure out railroad... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Air France puts digital fingerprints in RFID boarding passes

I've often said that there's an unfortunate convergence of interests between travel companies' desires for business process automation and collection of marketing data, and governments' desires for surveillance and movement tracking and logging. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Air France's deployment this week, in operational beta testing, of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 March 2009, 20:14 ( 8:14 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Travel reading, travel writing, and the public library

[The Fells Branch of the Wellesley Free Library, where I got my first library card] I spent the weekend in Sacramento, where I was interviewed by Jeffrey Callison on Capital Public Radio's Insight show (the segment with me is from 20-35 minutes into the audio archive) and gave one of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 March 2009, 19:45 ( 7:45 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 2 (Flights within Europe)

Stechelberg (Switzerland) - Zürich (Switzerland) - Munich (Germany) - Ruhpolding (Germany) - Schaünau am Königssee (Germany) - Salzburg (Austria) Last week we had a lesson in European rail route planning. This week our focus will be on intra-European flights, starting with this lesson: If you're paying out of your own... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 February 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

How to request your travel records

[Excerpt from a simple Passenger Name Record (PNR) from the file about me kept by the CBP division of DHS. Click image for larger version. Most PNRs have more information than this. More examples and discussion of what information these records contain and how they are used.] By popular... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 January 2009, 09:57 ( 9:57 AM) | Comments (25)

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Can you really see what records are kept about your travel?

One of the big differences between American and European attitudes is that people in the USA tend to be much less willing to trust that the government is doing its job in accordance with the law. Many Europeans have told me this, and it's also what I've observed in the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 December 2008, 10:49 (10:49 AM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

TSA to require bar-coded boarding passes

Buried in the notice of the final rules for the Secure Flight airline passenger ID, surveillance, and control scheme is notice that the USA Transportation Security Administrations (TSA) intends to require airlines to add machine-readable codes to all boarding passes for flights in the USA: To ensure the integrity of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 December 2008, 14:59 ( 2:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

KCBS: Holiday travel bargains?

KCBS called today to ask about whether the decline in the economy has made bargain airfares available for holiday travel -- and if so, how to find them. For my answers, you can download the mp3 podcast (5 minutes). A lot of travel is discretionary, and both individuals and businesses... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 November 2008, 20:50 ( 8:50 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

"Secure Flight" and the Right to Travel

I've been getting too many questions to answer individually about the regulations issued last week for the so-called Secure Flight program to require ID and permision for air travel in the USA: What does it mean? How will it work (and will it work)? When will it go into effect?... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 November 2008, 20:39 ( 8:39 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 5

Te Puke (New Zealand) - Siem Reap (Cambodia) - Angkor Wat (Cambodia) Should The Amazing Race 13 have gone to Cambodia? And should they have sent the racers to search the vast Angkor Wat complex for a particular temple, on foot, without giving them a landmine awareness briefing first, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 October 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (9)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Radio hour today on "Secure Flight"

I'll be on the Katherine Albrecht Show today from 2-3 p.m. Pacific time (5-6 p.m. Eastern Time, 2200-2300 GMT/UTC), talking about the final rules issued yesterday by the USA Transportation Security Administration for the Secure Flight scheme for control and surveillance of passengers on domestic airline flights in the USA.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 October 2008, 09:55 ( 9:55 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Secure Flight, "Watch-List Service Providers", and more

Today the TSA and DHS released their final rule for the so-called Secure Flight program to require each would-be airline passenger, even on domestic fligths within the USA, to get individualized per-person, per-flight prior permission from the TSA before they would be "allowed" to board a plane. The final Secure... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 October 2008, 15:54 ( 3:54 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Another one bites the dust (Sun Country Airlines)

Sun Country Airlines declared itself insolvent and filed for bankruptcy yesterday. I've updated my FAQ on Airline Bankruptcies accordingly. Sun Country is not well known outside Minnesota, but had exploited the opportunity provided by Northwest Airlines' near-monopoly and consequent high fares at its Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) hub to offer a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 October 2008, 06:34 ( 6:34 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) The first leg of The Amazing Race 13 took the reality-TV racers from the Los Angeles Coliseum to the city of Salvador, in northeastern Brazil. As usual, the flight choices for the first leg (on American Airlines and United Airlines, we were... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 September 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (8)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Another round of illegal USA travel controls

Recently, while I've been travelling, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a press release announcing new, illegal, identity verification procedures for travellers at airports in the USA, while the DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division has published a formal proposal... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 July 2008, 14:12 ( 2:12 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 24 March 2008

Nonstop flights between Asia and Latin America

Paul Lukacs has an interesting recent post updating some of my earlier comments on the (lack of) nonstop flights between Latin America and Asia. For the sake of completeness, there are a few flights and details he missed, although they in no way alter his, or my, conclusions about the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2008, 08:52 ( 8:52 AM) | Comments (11)

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Will you really need a "Real-ID" to fly?

There's been a lot of confusion in the last few weeks as to (1) whether the USA Federal "Real-ID Act" will change the requirements for personal identification documents for airline passengers in the USA, and (2) if and when the Real-ID Act is fully implemented, will it be impossible to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 February 2008, 10:20 (10:20 AM) | Comments (9)

Monday, 29 October 2007

Deadline for public comment on "Secure Flight" extended to 21 November

Just a quick note that by popular demand, the USA Transportation Security Administration has extended the deadline for public comments on the so-called Secure Flight scheme for surveillance and control of domestic and international travellers until 21 November 2007. You don't have to be a citizen or resident of the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 October 2007, 13:05 ( 1:05 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 21 September 2007

Results of requests for my "targeting" records

Following the disclosure in late 2006 of the USA government's illegal Automated Targeting System (ATS), which has been secretly keeping dossiers on tens of millions of innocent international travelers to and from the USA, I and several other activists requested our ATS files under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 September 2007, 11:04 (11:04 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Public hearing in Washington on "Secure Flight"

An obscure notice buried in the Federal Register on 5 September 2007 announced a public meeting in Washington, DC, on Thursday, 20 September 2007, to hear comments on the Department of Homeland Security's "Secure Flight" scheme for additional control and monitoring of domestic air travel within the USA. The current... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 September 2007, 18:08 ( 6:08 PM) | Comments (6)

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Another USA-EU "agreement" on airline reservations

Wendy Grossman has a good story today in The Register on the latest "agreement" between the USA and the European Union on transfers of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data from the EU to the government of the USA. I haven't posted much about the latest PNR "agreement", largely because I... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 August 2007, 11:26 (11:26 AM) | Comments (3)

Air travel and global warming

Just before leaving the USA (on a jet plane) for my current trip around the world, I was interviewed at length for a story that has now been published in the Ottawa Citizen on the growing concern (more in the UK than, to date, in the USA) about the contribution... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 August 2007, 11:02 (11:02 AM) | Comments (12)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

KLM claims it doesn't know what happens with passengers' data

In March of this year, I flew on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (one of the subsidiaries of the merged Air France KLM Group) from San Francisco to a hearing in Brussels before the European Parliament and a meeting of privacy and data protection supervisors of European Union (EU) member countries.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 August 2007, 16:38 ( 4:38 PM) | Comments (6)

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

"Automated Targeting System" redux

In November 2006, the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed the existence of a so-called Automated Targeting System (ATS) of lifetime government dossiers on millions of international travellers to and from the USA, including airline reservations obtained (by unspecified means) from international airlines, as well as a wide range... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 August 2007, 12:29 (12:29 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 14 May 2007

USA-EU "Open Skies" agreement signed but won't go to the Senate

On 30 April 2007, representatives of the USA and the European Union signed a so-called Open Skies agreement revising the rules for airline flights between the USA and the EU. As I've noted in my analysis of the agreement and in my testimony to EU legislators and data protection authorities... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 May 2007, 18:17 ( 6:17 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 3 May 2007

"Your Reputation Precedes You" (CFP 2007)

I'm on a panel entitled "Your Reputation Precedes You: The Transfer of European Union Passenger Name Records to the U.S. and Canada" today at the conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy . Here are links to some of the topics and previous articles I may mention in my talk: Freedom... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 May 2007, 00:17 (12:17 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 19 April 2007

What's wrong with "Open Skies"?

"Open" is good, right? And what could be wrong with a new civil aviation treaty between the USA and the European Union that would "liberate" trans-Atlantic flights from the bogeyman of government regulation? Actually, quite a lot is wrong with the proposed Open Skies treaty, although you wouldn't guess that... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 April 2007, 15:09 ( 3:09 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 15 April 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 9

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) - Hong Kong SAR (China) Once again in the latest episode of the "reality" television series about travel, the deciding factor in The Amazing Race 11 was which teams got on the fastest flights. With six nonstop flights a day on three airlines from Kuala Lumpur to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 April 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 8 April 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 8

Ojcow National Park (Poland) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) - Batu Caves, Selangor (Malaysia) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) After the fact, it's easy to criticize Joyce and Uchenna on The Amazing Race for booking flights from Krakow to Kuala Lumpur with a only an hour to change planes in Frankfurt, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 April 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 1 April 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 7

Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) - Warsaw (Poland) - Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) - Krakow (Poland) - Ojcow National Park (Poland) My first travel job was with an agency specializing in airline tickets to and from Africa (among other complex international tickets). And one of the first lessons I learned was that finding... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 April 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Correction in the Wall Street Journal

From: "readersfeedback@wsj.com" To: Edward hasbrouck Subject: FW: correction re: US-UK flights Date sent: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:43:19 -0400 Thank you for e-mailing The Wall Street Journal. Below is the correction we ran on 3/21/07. "While British Airways is one of four U.S. and United Kingdom carriers allowed to fly... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 March 2007, 18:23 ( 6:23 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 23 March 2007

European Parliament hearing on PNR's

I'm off to Brussels for this hearing on Monday (agenda , additional background documents ) on the transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data from the European union to the USA, and for a meeting of the "Article 29 Working Party" of E.U. national data protection authorities on the same... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 March 2007, 19:23 ( 7:23 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 18 March 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 5

Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) - Ushuaia (Argentina) - Maputo (Mozambique) I'm tempted to reminisce about my experiences in the markets of Maputo, Mozambique, the scene of The Amazing Race this week. But I'll leave that for next week. First, I have to talk about this week's airline routing... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 March 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Europe reconsidering rules for reservation systems

The European Commission (the executive branch of the European Union) has opened a two-month public consultation on possible revision or repeal of the EU Code of Conduct for Computerized Reservation Systems (CRS's). The outcome of this obscure and technical-seeming regulatory proceeding could have important effects worldwide -- not just or... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 March 2007, 12:41 (12:41 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 18 February 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 1

Miami, FL (USA) - Quito (Ecuador) - Cotopaxi National Park (Ecuador) The cast of The Amazing Race , which started its new All-Star season tonight with relatively short flights from Miami to Quito, Ecuador, typically spend about two weeks of the month-long race around the world on airplanes or in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 February 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Radio hour in L.A.

Things went so well the last time I was on KNX radio (1070-AM in Los Angeles) that we're going to do it again this week: I'll be on Money 101 from 10-11 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on Friday, 26 January 2007, with some consumer protection and smart buying advice on... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 January 2007, 21:32 ( 9:32 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 15 December 2006

Congress, EU, and businesses question "targetting" of travellers

Questions are beginning to be asked by members of the U.S. Senate , the European Commission , the European Parliament , and business travellers about the illegal "Automated Targeting System" (ATS) that the USA Department of Homeland Security has already used to deny more than half a million people their... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 December 2006, 10:57 (10:57 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 8 December 2006

Chertoff thinks it's "righteous" to give each traveller a terror score

Everywhere he goes this week, USA Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff is being dogged by questions about the illegality of the Automated Targeting System (ATS) first pointed out in the comments I filed with the DHS Monday on behalf of the Identity Project . Today in Atlanta, Chertoff had... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 December 2006, 14:32 ( 2:32 PM) | Comments (0)

USA to continue targetting travellers

By a notice today in the Federal Register , the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has resumed accepting public comments (search for docket 2006-0060, scroll through the list of documents on that docket to DHS-2006-0060-0062, and click on the "add comment" icon in the right-most column) on the Automated... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 December 2006, 07:56 ( 7:56 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Fallout from illegal "targetting" of travellers

A Wired News story today, also picked up by Slashdot , gives the first hint of how officials of the USA Department of Homeland Security will try to rationalize having defied direct orders from Congress by developing and operating a secret "Automated Targeting System" that "builds a risk assessment for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 December 2006, 14:38 ( 2:38 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 3 December 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 11 ("Automated Targeting System")

Ouarzazate (Morocco) - Casablanca (Morocco) - Barcelona (Spain) As The Amazing Race 10 around the world approaches its final leg, it's harmless fun to take part in the polls on the CBS Web site, where viewers score and rate which team of travellers is their favorite, which they think will... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 December 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 26 November 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 10

Kiev (Ukraine) - Ouarzazate (Morocco) - Idelssan (Morocco) - Ouarzazate (Morocco) This week the cast of travellers on The Amazing Race became the cast of a movie within the TV show, cheered on by a crowd of extras in a chariot race on a Moroccan movie studio's desert back lot.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 November 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 10 November 2006

Consumer Reports' tips for holiday flying

CR's tips for holiday flying -- sans sleigh (Consumer Reports, December 2006): Air travel might not be merry this season. Passenger loads are at a record high, and at press time you could not even carry eggnog aboard unless you bought it after the security checkpoint.... If holiday flying is... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 November 2006, 18:05 ( 6:05 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 29 October 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 7

Kuwait City (Kuwait) - Plaine Magnien (Mauritius) - Grand Baie (Mauritius) - Case Noyale (Mauritius) - Bel Ombre (Mauritius) Viewers of the latest episode of The Amazing Race got a reprise of two travel lessons I talked about two weeks ago. The travellers set off from Kuwait City after midnight,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 October 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Time for Europeans to ask for your travel records

In accordance with a decision made Monday, today the European Union and the USA Department of Homeland Security were expected to complete the signing of a face-saving new agreement on the use of passenger name record data by the DHS and other USA government agencies. This brings to an ignominious... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 October 2006, 16:35 ( 4:35 PM) | Comments (2)

Thursday, 5 October 2006

No change in USA rules for airfare advertising

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has formally withdrawn its proposal to revise its rules for advertising of airline ticket prices. (Thanks to Christopher Elliott for noticing the obscure notice in the Federal Register.) The good news is that the DOT has abandoned -- at least for now -- its... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 October 2006, 16:55 ( 4:55 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 1 October 2006

Airlines and CRS's violating European privacy laws -- again

At midnight last night a decision of the European Court of Justice announced in May took effect, annulling both the "finding" by the European Council that airline reservation data transferred to the USA is protected adequately to satisfy European Union (EU) privacy and data protection rules, and the nonbinding "agreement"... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 October 2006, 21:29 ( 9:29 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Traveller registration redux

Depite a lack of enthusiasm by anyone except the vendors who hope to profit from operating a privatized traveller registration scheme, and total costs estimated at anywhere between US$100 and US$200 per person per year, the USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has published yet another round of draft plans and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 September 2006, 19:05 ( 7:05 PM) | Comments (0)

"Kip Hawley is an idiot."

On Monday the USA Transportation Security Administration revised its ever-changing but still secret rules (check out this parody if you want to try to keep track of the changes) for what it will allow airline passengers to carry onto planes. According to the offiical announcement by Kip Hawley, the Assistant... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 September 2006, 15:51 ( 3:51 PM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

"Forecasting The Best Airfare: Is It Possible?"

Forecasting The Best Airfare: Is It Possible? (By Eric Thomas, ABC 7 / KGO-TV, San Francisco, 30 August 2006) Several new companies that monitor and claim to be able to predict airfares have been bugging me to review their Web sites. I haven't, because I don't think any of them... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 September 2006, 06:13 ( 6:13 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 24 August 2006

European debate on airline reservation data

Government mandates for collection of, access to, and transfer to the USA of information from airline passenger name records (PNR's) are once again on the table in the European Union, with a European court decision annulling the present EU-USA agreement on PNR data transfers and a new EU directive on... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 August 2006, 11:43 (11:43 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 21 August 2006

Bankrupt airlines and cancelled flights

Strategies for when you're stranded: What can you do when a foreign airline cancels its flights? (by Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times Sunday travel section, 6 August 2006; also in the St. Paul Pioneer Press Sunday travel section, 20 August 2006, as Research viability of carrier before ticket purchase to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 August 2006, 09:00 ( 9:00 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 18 August 2006

What's on the horizon in travel security/surveillance?

I've spent a lot of time this week answering questions from other journalists about every aspect of air travel, from the most significant to the most mundane. Here's a sampling: Anti-terror hassles may keep travelers off planes (by Chris Welsch, Minneapolis Star Tribune Sunday travel section, 13 August 2006): Even... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 August 2006, 19:10 ( 7:10 PM) | Comments (0)

Airlines and CRS's squabble over who owns travellers' reservations

An important series of investigative reports by my friend and respected trade journalist Dennis Schaal in the past week in Travel Weekly (free registration and cookie acceptance required) has exposed a significant spat between American Airlines (IATA code AA) and the Sabre computerized reservation system or CRS (a/k/a "global distribution... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 August 2006, 13:51 ( 1:51 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Advice on today's changes in airline carry-on rules

Air travel worldwide is disrupted today. Many flights to, from, and within the United Kingdom (including short-haul flights between the UK and Europe as well as long-haul flights to and from the USA) have been cancelled entirely or delayed by many hours. Heathrow Airport in London is the world busiest... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 August 2006, 14:56 ( 2:56 PM) | Comments (5)

Friday, 28 July 2006

TSA report on what happened to me at Dulles Airport

In response to my requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act, I've received a copy of the USA Transportation Security Administration's Incident Report on my detention, interrogation, and search for asking questions of the people demanding identification credentials of prospective passengers between the airline check-in counter... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 July 2006, 21:21 ( 9:21 PM) | Comments (5)

Friday, 21 July 2006

Why was I detained by police at Dulles Airport?

It appears that even the FBI isn't sure what, if any, legal basis local law enforcement officers have for detentions of passengers at airports, such as I experienced in May at Dulles Airport, even when (as I don't think was the case with me) the would-be traveller is supected of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 July 2006, 15:09 ( 3:09 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

DHS (doesn't) want comments on costs of passenger manifest rules

A week ago, The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division of the USA Department of Homeland Security announced proposed new rules to require international airlines flying to, from, or even over the USA to give the CBP complete passenger and crew manifests between 15 minutes and an hour before push-back... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 July 2006, 11:11 (11:11 AM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 16 July 2006

USA proposes to reduce IATA's exemption from antitrust law

I've spent the last week with a severe summer cold and maybe a touch of the flu -- just the thing to put me in the best or worst frame of mind, depending on your perspective, to analyze the details of several long, arcane legal and regulatory documents of significance... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 July 2006, 17:39 ( 5:39 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 18 June 2006

GAO auditors still grade Secure Flight "incomplete"

In testimony this week to Congress, USA government auditors from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reiterated their earlier testimony to another Congressional hearing in February 2006: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still hasn't met any of the prerequisites set by Congress before the airline passenger "screening" and tracking scheme could... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 June 2006, 20:17 ( 8:17 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Airlines object to traveller registration scheme

In a 1 June 2006 public letter to airport directors throughout the USA, the Air Transport Association of airlines based in the USA has reiterated that ATA's "member carriers remain oppsed to the RT [registered traveler] program as it is currently being developed , and urge that you [i.e. airports]... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 June 2006, 11:35 (11:35 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 9 June 2006

AIRIMP requires airlines to accept more detailed passenger data

Two years ago airline associations in the USA (ATA) and internationally (IATA) jointly amended the specifications for the 28th edition of the "ATA/IATA Reservations Interline Message Procedures - Passenger" (AIRIMP) protocol to support, for the first time, transmission between airlines and reservation systems of detailed personally identified information (address, contact... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 June 2006, 10:33 (10:33 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 28 April 2006

KGO-TV on frequent flyer miles

New Rules For Redeeming Frequent Flyer Miles ("7 on Your Side", ABC 7 / KGO-TV, San Francisco, 28 April 2006): If you like to travel, you probably belong to a frequent flyer program or have a credit card that helps you earn miles. But many of the major players are... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 April 2006, 19:41 ( 7:41 PM) | Comments (0)

AP on summer air travel

Air travel: Book now, or book later? (by Stephanie Hoo, Associated Press, 18 April 2006): Plan to fly this summer? Experts say you should book now because already-high airfares are only going to continue skyward thanks to rising fuel costs and other financial woes at the nation's carriers.... Is it... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 April 2006, 19:29 ( 7:29 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Business Week on rising airfares

Soaring Above High-Priced Airfares (by Marc Hogan, BusinessWeek online, 30 March 2006): SAVVIER AIRLINES. With peak travel season on the way, rates will move inexorably higher, industry watchers say. "Fares are going to go up one way or the other," says Edward Hasbrouck, author of the travel book series The... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 March 2006, 08:24 ( 8:24 AM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

The Amazing Race 9, Episode 3

Brotas (Brazil) - São Paulo (Brazil) - Moscow (Russia) - Frankfurt (Germany) - Stuttgart (Germany) - Bad Tolz (Germany) - Grünewald (Germany) - Munich (Germany) Transportation and navigation problems, culminating in Desiree and Wanda's elimination after a succession of wrong turns and difficulties reading a map and obtaining and following... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 March 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Wired News on airport searches

Fliers Can't Balk at Search (by Ryan Singel , Wired News, 20 March 2006): [A] federal court ruled that airline passengers who enter the airport screening process cannot change their minds once they're singled out for a more extensive search. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (.pdf) that travelers... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 March 2006, 21:03 ( 9:03 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

What's behind the TSA's witness tampering?

Google TSA lawyers and one of my blog posts is the first search result. So CNN called me this morning to ask what I know about the USA Transportation Security Administration lawyer, Carla J. Martin, who was caught coaching witnesses on what testimony they should give in the court hearing... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 March 2006, 19:23 ( 7:23 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

No refund on Northwest Airlines if you won't produce ID

I mentioned in a recent article that airlines' rules explicitly require them to give you a full and unconditional refund -- even if your ticket was otherwise compeletely nonrefundable -- if they refuse to transport you because (among other reasons) you refuse to permit your person or belongings to be... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 February 2006, 08:04 ( 8:04 AM) | Comments (4)

Monday, 13 February 2006

Are incomplete "prices" in airline advertisements misleading?

Inquiring minds at the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) want to know your opinion today: Should the DOT continue to allow airlines to advertise "prices" that are actually less than the total amount that you have to pay for a ticket? The Department [of Transportation] is considering amending its rule... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 February 2006, 11:08 (11:08 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 30 January 2006

Government subsidies to airlines

There's a discussion on Dave Farber's Interesting-People mailing list about the ways that governments subsidize commercial passenger airlines. As I've been writing about for years, airlines whine about "regulations" and "freedom of the skies", but in fact they receive a wide range of subsidies, tax preferences, and other forms of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 January 2006, 08:28 ( 8:28 AM) | Comments (14)

Friday, 27 January 2006

USA Court of Appeals ruling on airline ID requirements

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, here in San Francisco, released its decision in Gilmore vs. Gonzales , the federal lawsuit challenging the secret USA Federal "security directive" which requires ... well, we still don't know what it actually requires, even after the court reviewed it... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 January 2006, 11:02 (11:02 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 13 January 2006

Controlled flight into terrain

Independence Air shut down its flight operations last week. Its planes, which were leased, have been repossessed by their owners, and its remaining assets are being liquidated under the supervision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. As I've noted previously: Independence Air had a business plan as hopeless as the worst... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 January 2006, 07:14 ( 7:14 AM) | Comments (1)

L.A. Times on airline vouchers

Sometimes, those airline vouchers are like a lump of coal (Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times Sunday travel section, 25 December 2005): If you get bumped off your flight, help might -- or might not -- be at hand. As always, the devil is in the details. Home for the holidays?... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 January 2006, 06:49 ( 6:49 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Bankrate.com on bankrupt airlines

Travelers brace for turbulence on bankrupt airlines (Brigitte Yuille, Bankrate.com, 13 December 2005): "A bankruptcy filing is your final warning before an airline could be shut down by the bankruptcy court," says travel expert Edward Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck warns that although operations of these airlines will look normal, this appearance may... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 December 2005, 09:32 ( 9:32 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 8 December 2005

Appeals Court hearing on airline ID requirement

As I mentioned yesterday, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral argument this morning in Gilmore vs. Gonzales (originally Gilmore vs. Ashcroft ), the U.S. Federal case challenging the secrecy and the legality of the requirement for would-be travellers to "show ID" (a surprisingly ambiguous phrase) as a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 December 2005, 11:49 (11:49 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 27 November 2005

EU Court advisory opinion against USA access to airline reservation data

In his advisory opinion on a lawsuit initiated in June 2004 by the European Parliament, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has recommended that the Court annull both the agreement by the Council of the European Union to permit access by certain USA government agencies to airline... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 November 2005, 19:49 ( 7:49 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 7 November 2005

Independence Air is bankrupt

Today Independence Air filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the USA Federal Bankruptcy Act. I've updated my FAQ about Airline Bankruptcies accordingly. Independence Air is a bit different from some of the other airlines in the USA that are already in bankruptcy, in that Independence Air... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 November 2005, 11:49 (11:49 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 4 October 2005

USA requires passenger details from international airlines

Effective today airlines, cruise ships, and other vessels operating on international routes to or from the USA are required to provide the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division of the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS), electronically, in a standard format, with detailed information on all passengers and crew members,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 October 2005, 19:59 ( 7:59 PM) | Comments (6)

Friday, 23 September 2005

USA Today on holiday flights

Now's the time to book holiday flights (Laura Bly, USA Today, 23 September 2005): "I would be surprised to see any airlines go under before New Year's, but holiday schedule disruptions could be problematic," warns Edward Hasbrouck, a San Francisco-based travel expert. "When flights are already fully booked at the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 September 2005, 00:46 (12:46 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are bankrupt

Just before the close of business today at the courthouse in New York, Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines (including its Comair subsidiary and its Song brand) petitioned for protection from their creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal bankruptcy laws. United Airlines, US Airways, ATA Airlines ("American Trans Air"),... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 September 2005, 17:21 ( 5:21 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Airline bankruptcy fears in the news

As I said in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio in June, just before I left for Africa, "I think people have been lulled into an entirely unwarranted complacency about the possibility of [airline] bankruptcy." That complacency may be fading, with renewed speculation as to which additional airlines in the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 August 2005, 08:35 ( 8:35 AM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 19 August 2005

Update on airline codesharing

Back in March 2005, I reported here in my blog and in my e-mail newsletter on the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) solicitaiton of public comments on the practice of airline codesharing (labelling a flight actually operated by one airline with the flight number of a different airline). My comments... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 August 2005, 21:21 ( 9:21 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

The Amazing Race 7, Episode 8

Jodhpur (India) - Istanbul (Turkey) Yet again in this episode of The Amazing Race the key to finishing first was finding "interline" connections between flights on different airlines (in this case, on Indian Airlines and Turkish Airlines from Delhi to Istanbul via Dubai) that arrived earlier than the sole direct... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 April 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 1 March 2005

The Amazing Race 7, Episode 1 (airline codesharing)

Long Beach, CA (USA) - Lima (Peru) - Ancon (Peru) - Lima (Peru) - Cusco (Peru) - Huambutio (Peru) - Pisac (Peru) - Cusco (Peru) The Amazing Race began its seventh season with the racers being required by the producers of the reality-TV show -- at the behest, presumably, of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (9)

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

ATA Airlines is bankrupt

ATA Airlines (also known as "American Trans Air") has joined United Airlines, US Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines (and other airlines in countries other than the USA) in bankruptcy. I've updated my FAQ about Airline Bankruptcies accordingly. I like the service on ATA Airlines -- genuinely unpretentious yet efficient -- and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 October 2004, 12:47 (12:47 PM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Senate votes to reassure, but not protect, holders of tickets on bankrupt airlines

In addition to the provisions for identification, surveillance, and control of travellers which I discussed in an earlier article, the version of the the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 (S. 2845) adopted by the Senate last week includes an amendment introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon that would... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 October 2004, 16:35 ( 4:35 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Disparate treatment for airline lenders

In the wake of recent coverage of the lack of consumer protection for ticket holders if airline go bankrupt, the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and the Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) yesterday issued a joint appeal to USA-based airlines voluntarily to agree to honor tickets of bankrupt airlines --... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 October 2004, 09:38 ( 9:38 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 1 October 2004

More airlines on the brink of bankruptcy or liquidation

With more airlines on the brink of bankruptcy, and some of those already in bankruptcy moving closer to possible liquidation, there's been steadily rising concern for what travellers need to know about tickets, travel, and frequent flyer mileage credits with bankrupt or liquidated airlines. In addition to my FAQ About... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 October 2004, 15:39 ( 3:39 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 12 September 2004

US Airways joins United, Hawaiian in bankruptcy

As many, including me, have expected for months, US Airways filed for bankruptcy today, joining United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The airline's own Web site about its bankruptcy contains, as is typical in such cases, many lies. They claim for example that: US Airways is not going out of business.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 September 2004, 15:49 ( 3:49 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 10 September 2004

Low business class fares from USA to Europe

I don't normally mention specific fares, but there are some exceptionally low prices available for purchase tonight through travel agents that use the Sabre conputerized reservation system -- including through Travelocity.com, the travel agency that is a division of Sabre. If you are planning a trip from the USA to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 September 2004, 22:52 (10:52 PM) | Comments (0)

Another airline bankruptcy may be imminent

Rumors of an immiment major airline bankrupcy once again abound, with the New York Times reporting this morning that "US Airways appears all but certain to seek bankruptcy protection on Sunday". I've once again updated my FAQ on Airline Bankruptcies with the details on what this means for travellers, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 September 2004, 11:46 (11:46 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 7 September 2004

The Amazing Race 5, Episode 10

Kolkata, West Bengal (India) - Auckland (New Zealand) - Rotorua (New Zealand) When the airline counter staff in Bangkok tell them no seats are available on the flight they want, twins Karli and Kami (who actually know they have reservations only on a later flight) don't hesitate: they lie, claim... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 September 2004, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 11 July 2004

The Amazing Race 6 filming underway now or soon

I got a flood of questions after the 6 July 2004 premiere episode of The Amazing Race 5 about how to apply to be a contestant/cast member in future seasons of The Amazing Race . Casting of The Amazing Race 6 is already complete, and filming is or will be... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 July 2004, 21:45 ( 9:45 PM) | Comments (10)

Tuesday, 6 July 2004

The Amazing Race 5, Episode 1

Santa Monica, CA (USA) - Montevideo (Uruguay) - Punta del Este (Uruguay) - Punta Ballena (Uruguay) Before the teams in The Amazing Race 5 even get off the Santa Monica Pier, Jim is knocked down by another racer at the starting line, tears open his leg on a nail, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 July 2004, 23:41 (11:41 PM) | Comments (2)

Thursday, 1 July 2004

"Flight Risk" Friday on KPFA Morning Show

I'll be making a brief appearance tomorrow morning (Friday, 2 July 2004) sometime between 7:30 and 7:50 a.m. PDT (15:30-15:50 UTC/GMT) on The Morning Show on KPFA , 94.1 FM in Berkeley, CA. For those outside the broadcast area, there's real-time streaming audio and archived audio files . I'll be... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 July 2004, 13:47 ( 1:47 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 22 June 2004

TSA names more airlines, CRS's that turned over reservations for CAPPS-II tests

In preparation for today's USA Senate Government Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of (former?) Admiral David M. Stone as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration (i.e. the head of the TSA -- yet another military officer in charge of the nominally-civilian agency), Stone submitted written answers to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 June 2004, 21:59 ( 9:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 18 June 2004

Updated FAQ on dealing with bankrupt airlines

With United Airlines' application for loans from the USA government to bail it out of its ongoing bankruptcy having been denied again Wednesday by the USA Air Transportation Stabilization Board , and with US Airways (struggling to pay back the government loans that got it out of bankruptcy last year),... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 June 2004, 07:54 ( 7:54 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 16 June 2004

USA government requires airline passenger licenses

Following an unpublished and bizarre interpretation of its economic sanctions laws, the USA government is requiring USA citizens and residents already holding fully-paid tickets on the Peru-based international and domestic airline Aero Continente to obtain licenses from the USA government before they are permitted to use their tickets. And if... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 June 2004, 11:18 (11:18 AM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 26 April 2004

Fare fraud on the Airtrain to JFK Airport

In New York last week for the Travelcom travel marketing, distribution, and technology conference and trade show, I had my first chance to ride the new Airtrain shuttle between the terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Howard Beach station on the New York City subway's A-train, and the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 April 2004, 21:22 ( 9:22 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 10 April 2004

American Airlines confirms reservations used in CAPPS-II tests

American Airlines has finally confirmed that, as I reported last year on my Web site, more than a million archived American Airlines reservation records were turned over to each of four competing teams of contractors working on the CAPPS-II passenger profiling and monitoring system in the summer of 2002. According... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 April 2004, 06:24 ( 6:24 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 8 February 2004

"Last-minute travel: Does it pay to wait?"

I'm featured today in the travel section of USA Weekend , the Sunday magazine supplement to Gannett newspapers throughout the USA: Last-minute travel: Does it pay to wait? It used to be a steadfast rule of travel: Plan ahead, save a bundle. But more and more vacationers are waiting until... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 February 2004, 22:21 (10:21 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 5 February 2004

US Airways may be liquidated.

Airline news is often unduly alarmist, especially when it comes to safety issues. But recent headlines like, US Airways losing altitude quickly and US Airways in trouble again are for real, and should be taken seriously by US Airways passengers. US Airways (IATA code "US" -- they bought the code... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 February 2004, 17:12 ( 5:12 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 5 January 2004

USA uses airline reservation data as basis for flight cancellations and interrogations

As I was driving to Los Angeles (it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there) on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Air France (AF) flights to LAX were being cancelled on the instigation of the USA Department of Homeland Security. By the time I got... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 January 2004, 07:53 ( 7:53 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Priceline.com will now name its price -- sometimes

Priceline.com's US$100M startup blitz of television and other advertising in 1998 was the first time most people in the USA had heard of the discounts available on airline tickets through consolidators . Even five years later, Priceline.com remains the name-recognition (if not customer-service or customer-satisfaction) leader and largest-volume retailer in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 December 2003, 08:36 ( 8:36 AM) | Comments (70)

Sunday, 7 December 2003

Focus on competition at PhoCusWright conference

As in years past, the 10th PhoCusWright Executive Conference in Orlando, Florida, 17-18 November 2003, brought together the CEO's of the most influential companies at the intersection of travel, technology, and the Internet, providing those of us who observe those industries with one of our most important annual opportunities for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 December 2003, 09:10 ( 9:10 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 13 November 2003

ICAO proposes to require remotely-readable passports by 2006

This week the Technical Advisory Group on Machine Readable Travel Documents (TAG/MRTD) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation , a technical standards organization affiliated with the UN and the ISO , published a formal proposal that all ICAO member countries begin issuing remotely-readable RFID passports by 1 April 2006. The... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 November 2003, 19:31 ( 7:31 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Setback for "Simplified Travel" field test

Planned airport iris scans illegal Greece's national data protection authority has blocked a test that was scheduled to begin later this month of fingerprinting and iris scans of passengers on Athens-Milan flights. The ruling is a major setback for the joint IATA/SITA Simplifying Passenger Travel (SPT) project, in which "biometric"... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 November 2003, 11:21 (11:21 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003

"Key escrow" with TSA for airline luggage locks?

In a story apparently slated for general release tomorrow, Joe Sharkey gives advance notice in his column in today's New York Times that the USA Transportation Security Administration will cooperate in a program to sell special luggage locks to which the TSA will have either master keys or a master... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 November 2003, 20:44 ( 8:44 PM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 7 November 2003

Cendant buys huge UK consolidator

The Cendant Corp. -- already the most vertically integrated travel company in the USA -- further expanded its range of holdings yesterday with its purchase of Travel 2 / Travel 4 , perhaps the largest purely wholesale airline consolidator in the UK (as well as a major tour and land... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 November 2003, 08:08 ( 8:08 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 21 October 2003

USA airlines say privacy must come before CAPPS-II tests

According to this article in today's Christian Science Monitor, "The Air Transport Association, which represents America's commercial airlines, is just as adamant that proper protections be put in place before they give anyone's private information to the government. They're particularly sensitive since the recent controversy over JetBlue, which provided a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 October 2003, 21:00 ( 9:00 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 20 October 2003

Senators ask questions about jetBlue

In a letter sent Friday, 17 October 2003, to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, three members of the US Senate are demanding answers from the Department of Defense to some (but by no means all) of the many lingering questions about the acquisition and use by a DoD subcontractor, "Torch Concepts,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 October 2003, 21:17 ( 9:17 PM) | Comments (1)

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"Don't believe anything just because you read it on the Internet. Anyone can say anything on the Internet, and they do. The Internet is the most effective medium in history for the rapid global propagation of rumor, myth, and false information." (From The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace, 2001)
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