US Airways Posts

Has Airline Consolidation Gone Too Far?

Airline consolidation over recent decades

Last week, we learned that the US Justice Department and six states filed an antitrust suit to prevent American Airlines from merging with US Air. The government’s position is that while the merger would benefit the two companies and the air travel industry as a whole, it would have a negative impact on consumers through higher fares and fees. The airlines disagree, claiming the merger would result in improved service for customers; It would also allow American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy court protection, where it has been since filing in 2011.

U.S. Airways Increases Bag Fees

At U.S. Airways customers will be paying more to check their bags. For domestic flights the bag fees rise in October 2009. The first bag charges go from $15 to $20 for an online check-in. The fee is $25 (from $20) if that first bag was checked directly at the airport.

Charges for second bags will also increase by the same amount – $5 for both online check-ins and direct check-ins at the airport. International flights will see an increase in their bag fees as well.

U.S. Airways stated in a press release on Wednesday it is rising their bag fees to match competitors such as American Airlines.

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Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2009/08/24/daily75.html

Use the Form If You Have a Complaint Vs. US Airways

What’s the best way to effectively lodge a complaint against an airline?  Chris Eliot recently interviewed John Romantic, head of US Air’s customer complaint department, and he provided some tips. A recent DOT report says that complaints against airlines are up 77% since 2007, and that one out of every four complaints involved US Airways!

Romantic said the most effective means of reaching US Airways is by using the form on their website. The form is then prioritized to get to exactly the right person. He also said that customers ‘should summarize their concern at the beginning of their note including info like the confirmation code, date of travel, and flight numbers. Then put in bullet points illustrating key aspects of their experience.”  This instead of a rambling, long letter with lots of details that may not be relevant and won’t help resolve the problem.

Romantic also said that airline fees for things like baggage and food are here to stay. He explained that with the current recession and complex pricing model, it’s not easy for airlines to just raise prices and that paying only for what you want, in an a la carte business model is what you’ll see a lot more of.

So the next time you fly, try to fit all of your stuff into one carry-on, and bring a sandwich for the flight, to avoid the extra fees that bug people so much.