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Baggage Fees / Airline Fees / Frontier / Airline News / LCCs / Baggage / Luggage / Carry-on Baggage Fees / → All Tags
Baggage fees turn six years old this July. That's no cause for celebration, but travelers have gradually grown accustomed to forking over an extra $25+ to stow bags in a plane's hold. The real indignation comes of what will be the fourth anniversary of carry-on baggage fees, initiated in August 2010 by Spirit Airlines.
Spirit now charges passengers $35+ for a carry-on bag, and their success has inspired another American airline to join in the collection of these extra dollars. Frontier has just announced the start of carry-on baggage fees, beginning with tickets purchased on or after today.
To put the evil of carry-on baggage fees into perspective, not even the infamous nickel-and-dimers of Ryanair have attempted them yet.
New Airlines / Avatar Airlines / Airlines / Airline News / Florida Travel / Boeing 747 / 747 / LCCs / → All Tags
We’ll go ahead and admit we have our doubts about Avatar Airlines. There’s been a few articles here and there as well as a couple of press releases, as this new carrier attempts to share their vision and create a little buzz ahead of what is, hopefully, their first flights.
As is usually the case when a new airline tries to enter the market, there’s little detail about the larger plan with Avatar Airlines. They’re setting up shop in South Florida, and they plan to exclusively utilize Boeing 747s to operate domestic flights. That should make for a nice novelty, as jumbo jets rarely run routes that stay in the States these days.
Airline Websites / Ryanair / LCCs / Airlines / STN / Budget Travel / → All Tags
Well, looky here. Ryanair is using 2014 to turn a new leaf, beginning with a refreshed website which surprisingly does not assault the eyes. In fact, the new look (above) is rather refreshing, employing cool blues and a touch of warm yellow, not unlike the shades you'd encounter on an ideal beach day.
Ryanair began flying way, way back in 1985. Their website didn't go live until 2000, and it took us until 2003 to book a flight on them (Roma-Ciampino to Barcelona-Girona for 19 Euro, if you're interested). Despite the long history, Ryanair maintained a policy of pairing the ugliest design with the least customer service possible; heck, they only joined Twitter last year, in 2013.
Let's take a quick look back at some of the earlier versions of their website, and the evolution of a sample airfare:
V Air / TransAsia Airways / Taiwan Travel / Airlines / Airline News / Low Cost Carriers / Budget Travel / LCCs / → All Tags
We’re not really experts when it comes to the aviation scene over in Taiwan, but we do know we’re always interested in the latest and greatest in low cost carriers. The country’s first cheapo carrier is still very much on the drawing board, but it sounds like things are quickly moving off paper and into practice.
TransAsia Airways does its thing in and around the region with a home base over in Taipei, and apparently they’re interested in spinning off a subsidiary. That’s where V Air comes into the picture, as it’s the name of the new budget arm of the airline. The carrier has a name and even a logo, as the airline is planning to use a smiling bear—it’s a Formosan black bear technically—as a logo and mascot.
Flight Attendants / Skymark Airlines / LCCs / Japan Travel / Uniforms / Airline Uniforms / A330 / A380 / → All Tags
Japan's third-largest airline, Skymark, is raising eyebrows this month after raising hems for flight attendants. A newer, shorter uniform is supposed to celebrate the launch of A330-300 flights from Tokyo-Haneda.
The miniskirt outfit are mod 1960s-inspired, and feature a form-fitting royal blue dress accented with a bright yellow neckscarf and a stylish wedge cap. No doubt they will turn heads when walking through any airport, but that's just the issue. The uniforms are facing opposition and criticism as they seem to sexualize Skymark flight attendants more than allow them to do their jobs in a professional manner (don't ask for help lifting your bag into the overhead bins!).
Ryanair / Social Media / LCCs / Airline News / Travel News / → All Tags
An unordered list of things that we thought we knew about Ryanair and social media: Ryanair hates social media, when Ryanair does use social media it's only in a deeply hateable way, and - if the airline's PR shop is any guide - you have to hate other people to do social media on Ryanair's behalf. So basically, everything you'd expect from a company where the CEO spent years openly denigrating customers, at one point suggesting that recession-plagued Greeks could pay for flights with goats.
Flight Reviews / Frontier / TTN / DTW / Detroit Travel / LCCs / Trenton Travel / New York City / Airports / Photo Gallery / New Jersey Travel / Philadelphia Travel / → All Tags
In case you haven't flown to New York City lately, the metropolis' "big three" airports of JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark are pretty hectic places, operating at capacity most hours of the day. Expansion isn't much of an option since, last time we checked, the Big Apple was pretty skint on available land. Thus, to find cheaper airfares and more flexibility, a traveler can look to airports further out, and perhaps even as far as the other side of New Jersey from Newark.
On Frontier's route map, Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) is touted as being an alternative to Newark Airport, and only "1 hour away." If it's an option for Newark, that means it could be yet another airport choice for travelers headed into or out of the NYC area as well.
Currently Frontier flies nonstop to 13 destinations from Trenton: Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Nashville, Chicago-Midway, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood. That's quite a lot of activity for an airport which, up until very recently, didn't even offer restrooms after security. One flyer even joked, in a Foursquare tip, that the tiny airport is "easy to miss, with that bush in the way."
Undaunted, we booked a flight to see for ourselves if Trenton is the new Newark....
Airline News / LCCs / Budget Travel / Airlines / New Airlines / Thailand Travel / Nok Air / Scoot / → All Tags
We’ll be honest—we have a hard time keeping up with all the new low cost carriers that continue to pop up each and every month. This week brings another one, so we’re definitely going to need to make some flash cards or something to study. That way we can remember where they fly, what they’re called, and what their livery looks like.
Anyway, enough about us, as the news is all about Nok Air and Scoot. These two carriers are teaming up to set up a new budget airline, and the plan is for the new airline to do its thing with a base over in Bangkok. Each carrier is going to throw around $60 million in cash to set things up, as the new venture will be known as NokScoot.
In-Flight WiFi / Fly-Fi / Travel Tech / JetBlue / JFK / A320 / Travel News / Airlines / LCCs / A321 / WiFi / ViaSat / Airline News / → All Tags
[Update: To view what routes will have Fly-Fi each day, check the frequently updated list on JetBlue's blog]
December, 2007: JetBlue christens an Airbus A320 "BetaBlue" and becomes the first airline to offer in-flight WiFi, even if it is extremely limited and quickly outdated.
December, 2013: JetBlue again launches an Airbus A320 with in-flight WiFi, but this time the focus is on freedom and a tech-positive future. The system is called Fly-Fi and it promises to do everything other in-flight networks cannot, and still go beyond. It is the Survivor of in-flight WiFi networks, designed to "Outwit Outplay Outlast."
It was only this morning that Fly-Fi saw its first official flight, and we were onboard. Naturally we tried our very best to break the network or at least throttle it, but to no avail; Fly-Fi is a beast of technology, an in-flight WiFi network passengers can finally rely on, and likely even come to love.
New Routes / Airlines / Airline News / Thailand Travel / Thai Lion Air / Lion Air / Low Cost Carriers / LCCs / → All Tags
There’s a new airline taking to the skies just in time for the busy holiday season, but this one is a little far from home, so you might just need to take a flight to catch a flight aboard this new carrier.
Thai Lion Air started its operations last week with a route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai with flights that run back and forth twice daily. You can expect the usual low-cost carrier service as it focuses on keeping fares reasonable.
The airline is already looking to expand beyond these initial options, though, as it sound like it's getting ready to head over to Kuala Lumpur as well as Jakarta as soon as December 18.
Airline Fees / Luggage / Baggage / Ryanair / LCCs / Carry-on Baggage / → All Tags
The impossible is possible. At least that's the lesson we've learned today, after the notoriously miserly European low-cost carrier Ryanair announced it would ease its policies on carry-on luggage.
Specifically, Ryanair will now allow its flyers to carry on 10 kg of hand luggage plus a second carry-on piece measuring no more than 35x20x20cm (14"x8"x8"). While that is still a relatively small allowance, at least it's free.
Additionally, Ryanair is reducing their "punishment" fee for passengers who do not print their boarding passes at home. Now, instead of €70/$95 each, the fee for printing a pass at the airport will be a far more reasonable €15/$20.
New Airline Alert / Up by El Al / El Al / Israel Travel / Europe Travel / LCC / LCCs / TLV / → All Tags
The past few years have absolutely been high times for full-service airlines to stretch their legs and enter the low-cost carrier market. Singapore Airlines has Scoot, ANA has Peach and Vanilla Air, Thai Airways has Nok Air, Air Canada has Air Canada Rouge, and these are only a few examples. Now, El Al is getting in on the fun with their own little brother of an airline, UP by El Al.
The new airline will fly from Tel Aviv to five cities in Europe, giving cost-conscious travelers a new option between Israel and Berlin, Budapest, Kiev, Prague and Larnaca. Offering the typical à la carte service model we've come to expect from budget airlines, Up will save passengers some cash with tickets to Prague and Budapest starting at $69, and the other destinations from $99 one-way.