All passengers on United Flight 3411 to receive compensation

Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 5:42 PM

VIDEO: Passenger Removed From United Airlines Flight

United Airlines will offer compensation to all passengers aboard Sunday’s Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, the airline announced Wednesday. 

>> Read more trending news

“All customers on Flight 3411 from Sunday, April 9, are receiving compensation for the cost of their tickets,” the airline said in a statement. 

Why Passengers Get Bumped and What They Can Get For it

The airline made headlines this week after passengers filmed and voiced outrage over an incident in which David Dao, a 69-year-old physician aboard flight 3411, was dragged off the plane after refusing to deplane. United Airlines officials had selected Dao as one of four passengers who would be re-accommodated on a later flight. United had fully booked the flight but needed to provide seats for four airline employees who needed to get to Louisville for work.

>> Read more: Man forcibly removed from flight after not voluntarily giving up seat on overbooked flight

The announcement about compensating passengers came the same day United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized on national television for the airline’s role in the incident.

>> Read more: United Airlines CEO apologizes as stock valuation drops by $1 billion

“This will never happen again,” Munoz said Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” “We are not going to put a law enforcement official onto a plane to take them off … to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger; we can’t do that.”

>> Read more: United CEO's internal email describes man dragged off flight as 'disruptive,' 'belligerent'

Munoz, who at one point described Dao as disruptive and belligerent, has released multiple statements apologizing on behalf of the airline. 

>> Related: United Airlines passengers describe scene as man dragged off flight

>>Related: Twitter users respond to United Airlines fiasco, suggest mock company slogans

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 11: Demonstrators protest outside the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare International Airport on April 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. United Airlines has been struggling to restore their corporate image after a cell phone video was released showing a passenger being dragged from his seat and bloodied by airport police after he refused to leave a reportedly overbooked flight. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated that Dao and his wife were two of four passengers selected by the airline to be removed. Additional information from a April 13 news conference revealed that his wife was not selected. 

Thanksgiving 2017 travel trends and tips

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

Thanksgiving - By the Numbers

Whether your Thanksgiving travel plans involve domestic destinations or an international getaway, understanding holiday travel trends for 2017 can help you maximize your Thanksgiving travel budget and minimize stress.

Here are the key travel trends for Thanksgiving, including best and worst places to visit, busiest airports and a look at gas prices for those whose Thanksgiving travel plans includes hitting the road.
 
Thanksgiving 2017 travel trend watch
 
Top trending destinations for Thanksgiving 2017: According to a report by the Points Guy, Google Flights data determined the following as the trending destinations for Thanksgiving in 2017.
 
In the U.S.:

Honolulu, Hawaii
Tucson, Ariz.
Burbank, Calif.
Providence, R.I.
Fairbanks, Alaska
 
International:

Brussels, Belgium
Rome, Italy
Nice, France
Malaga, Spain
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
 
The most wallet-friendly places to visit this Thanksgiving

GOBankingRates used cost of hotels, holiday flights, food, drinks, transportation and entertainment to come up with the most expensive places you could travel for Thanksgiving this year. One of the priciest to visit at Thanksgiving was Cape Town, South Africa. Winter for us is summer in South Africa, and it costs $1,341 to fly from Los Angeles to Cape Town during Thanksgiving, more than any other city on the GOBankingRates list. The average daily cost of meals came in at $48, with the daily drink cost average at $24.

GOBankingRates had much better news at the other end of the spectrum. It listed these three among its most affordable places to visit during Thanksgiving.

  • Seattle: Holiday flights to Seattle are cheaper than to most other cities in the rankings and the average nightly hotel rate during Thanksgiving is $142.
  • Chicago: You’ll be rewarded for braving chilly temperatures with low average nightly hotel rates of $87 during Thanksgiving. And holiday flights to Chicago are among the cheapest in the rankings.
  • San Francisco: The average nightly rate for a hotel during both Thanksgiving and Christmas is $121 and within San Francisco, transportation costs are among the lowest in the rankings and you can see the city’s most popular tourist attractions for free.

KAYAK also ranked "wallet-friendly" Thanksgiving destinations for 2017 using its billions of annual search queries, coming up with these Top 10: Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Calgary and Seattle.
 
Highest and lowest gas costs

If your Thanksgiving travel plans include driving, you’ll want to know the gas price trends.

As of Nov. 7, 2017, the national gas price range was $2.21 per gallon to $3.22 per gallon, according to AAA.

Gas Buddy lets you see gas prices around the country at a glance with a color-coded map indicating the average price for regular unleaded gasoline.

Generally, you'd pay the least for gas in Texas, Midwest states including Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Virginia and Oklahoma and Southeastern states including the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia (Florida is slightly higher.) As you make your way into Northern, Northwestern and Pacific Northwest states you'll encounter the highest gas prices, with California topping the list to the West.

If you're concerned that gas costs will derail your travel budget, check the AAA website a few days before Thanksgiving to get a prediction on how gas prices will fare during 2017 Thanksgiving peak car travel days.

Top 10 busiest airports Thanksgiving 2017

Whether hustle and bustle is your thing or you're looking for an excuse to stay out of the fray, these 10 airports will be the busiest in the U.S. come Thanksgiving, according to Google Flights:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Honolulu
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco

 
Travel tips Thanksgiving 2017
 
When to book: KAYAK's annual Holiday Hacker Guide has a hard and fast rule for Thanksgiving fliers: Avoid flying the Sunday after Thanksgiving. KAYAK data pegs that day as one of the most expensive departure dates.

KAYAK also shared the best days to fly for the price-conscious, based on 2016 data. The best 2016 flight deals were for those who could depart and fly back on Thanksgiving day (median price $163 in 2016) or Black Friday ($261), leave the Monday before Thanksgiving and return Thanksgiving day or Black Friday ($286 and $300) or leave the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and return Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday ($296 and $299.)

Book your flight ahead of the price increases. While variances are inevitable, a good rule of thumb is to expect fares to increase 21, 14 and again 7 days before your desired departure date, according to Google Flights.
 
Plan your road trip costs: To make sure you'll still have money left over for Black Friday, or to avoid arguments with your cheapskate co-travelers, use Gas Buddy's trip cost calculator to plan how much you'll spend getting to Thanksgiving get-togethers.
 
Consider getting away instead of going home. The Points Guy blogger reported 5 top holiday tips from the Google flights team, and this was both the most radical and most sensible idea. If you won't be drummed out of the family over your choice, consider a brief vacation instead of going to a traditional Thanksgiving gathering.

If you can’t afford a high-cost Thanksgiving travel destination, consider traveling to a less popular destination over Thanksgiving week. The Points Guy says that in some cases, travelers can visit international destinations for less than domestic fares during the holiday season.

Related

Holiday travel with kids: Top survival tips

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 3:06 PM

5 Free Things You Can Get When You Fly

Holiday travel with kids can be a challenge. Whether you’re driving or flying, normal routines are interrupted, and challenges such as traffic jams or delayed flights can lead to boredom and fussy children.
 
A little preparation can go a long way to making a holiday trip with kids go more smoothly.
 
The following tips from sources such as ParentsReader’s Digest and the AJC will help everyone keep their sanity when embarking on holiday travel with kids.
 
Pack ahead of time
If you’re stressed at the start of your trip, you could be setting the tone for your entire first day. If possible, have everything packed the night before so you’re not rushed and cranky when you’re starting your trip.
 
Prepare some snacks
Even adults can get cranky when they’re hungry, so why should kids be any different? Be prepared with snacks like cereal, pretzels, granola bars or string cheese and have them easily accessible in the car or on the plane. Water is also a good choice for a drink, since kids aren’t likely to guzzle more than they need. If you’re flying, you can pick these items up at an airport store after you’ve gone through security.
 
Bring some distractions
Help your child pack some small, quiet toys, books, a small box of crayons, paper and a favorite stuffed animal or blanket for the trip. These will help keep them busy and offer comfort in unfamiliar places or situations.
 
Let kids help plan
Allow children to have input on sightseeing when making travel plans. Maintaining a child’s interest can make for smoother travel. Let kids choose their own entertainment when traveling. On long road trips, try to find points of interest along the way if you have time.
 
On the road
 
Prepare for emergencies
If you’re hitting the road for a long trip, have your mechanic check your car out before you go. Few things can ruin a trip faster than a breakdown along the way. While you’re at it, also pack a basic first aid kit, a flashlight and jumper cables.
 
Get enough sleep
This advice holds true for both parents and kids. If everyone is sleep-deprived, they’re likely to be cranky. And if you’re driving, you’ll need to be as alert as possible.
 
Use Pull-Ups
For those with very young children, you may want to use Pull-Ups even If they are potty-trained. If you’re stuck in traffic and are miles away from the nearest bathroom, they can provide an emergency back-up. The same goes for flying, during takeoff and landing when passengers are not allowed out of their seats.
 
Take frequent breaks
Stop every couple of hours if you’re on a long road trip. This can give kids a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. 
 
Prepare for messes
Have an extra change of clothes for everyone, as well as wipes and resealable plastic bags. Traveling with kids often means dealing with a diaper blowout, car sickness or other unexpected mess.
 
Point out the sights
Holiday travel with kids can involve some long, boring stretches, but they can often enjoy mundane sights like a funny billboard and farms with cows and horses. If it’s a long trip, your child may also enjoy seeing changes in terrain along the way.
 
In the air
 
Fly early in the morning if possible
Early flights are less likely to experience delays, and they’re often less crowded. With any luck, your kids will end up napping for part of the flight. 
 
Dress in layers
You’ll be outdoors, in the airport and in the airplane cabin, so your child can experience a wide variety of temperatures. Dressing in layers can allow him or her to add or slip off a jacket or another layer if necessary.
 
Make sure you’re sitting together
Since computers assign seats, make sure you’re sitting together before you board the plane. Be sure to check and sort it out before boarding begins.
 
Board early
Parents with young children are sometimes allowed to board the plane before other passengers, so you can have a minute to let your kids check out the seat, window shades and bathroom. You’ll have the chance to get settled in and not feel like you’re in such a rush.
 
Keep it clean
Wipe down surfaces that can harbor germs, like trays. Also carry along hand sanitizer to use before eating or in other cases where germs can easily be transmitted.
 
Don’t pull out everything at once
Don’t pull out your child’s entire stash of snacks and entertainment right when you’re seated. Most kids will find flying to be exciting at first. Once they’re been in the air a while and have become bored, then you can reach for the toys and food.

72-hour sale: Southwest Airlines offers round-trip flights for as low as $100

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 @ 3:35 PM

Southwest Airlines Having Major 72-Hour

During one of their more popular sales of the year, Southwest Airlines is again offering customers non-stop round-trip flights for less than $100. 

>> Read more trending news 

Dozens of the carrier’s shortest routes are available for $49 each way. Other non-stop one-way fares are offered for $79, $99 and $129 for longer flights. Some international flights are also being offered at extreme discounts.

The prices of flights are loosely tied to distance, according to USA Today.

>> Related: American Airlines to decrease legroom for passengers

Discounted flights can be purchased for travel between Oct. 31 and Dec. 19 and from Jan. 3 through Feb. 14. Travelers cannot purchase the discounted tickets for travel on Fridays and Sundays. 

The sale ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m. local time in the city of the departing flight. 

This is the second time this year the airline is offering the deal. Southwest previously offered the low fares in June.

Read more at Southwest.

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Passengers upset after flight minutes from landing returns to departure airport

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 8:28 AM

What To Do the Minute Your Flight is Cancelled

Passengers on a late night flight to Santa Fe Tuesday were confused when the plane, just minutes from landing, instead returned to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Passengers and those waiting at the airport for loved ones to arrive told KRQE that it was a clear, calm night. After the flight's captain told passengers they were returning to DFW but didn't give a clear reason why, passenger Leighann Gagnon said other staff told her it was because there was no one in the control tower at Santa Fe's Municipal Airport.

>> Read more trending news

While the airport's control tower is unstaffed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., flights can still land, and do so on a regular basis, KRQE reported.

American Airlines and airport staff clarified to KRQE that it was due to a technical malfunction at the National Weather Service, which could not provide a wind speed reading to the pilot. A wind speed reading is require by law in order to land, KRQE reported. 

Passengers were miffed that American Airlines didn't land in Albuquerque, but American officials said they don't operate out of Sunport International Airport, so that's why the flight returned to DFW.

When passengers arrived back at DFW at approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday, everything was closed and passengers were not offered a voucher for a hotel or a meal, KRQE reported. Passengers couldn't access their luggage because airport staff were not available. American Airlines officials said since it was not at fault, it could not issue vouchers per company policy.

Passengers took off for Santa Fe at 7 a.m. Wednesday. This time, the flight landed successfully at Santa Fe's Municipal Airport.