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New Airline Fuel Surcharge
First, a little background: last week, the airlines released their earnings reports and for the most part, the numbers came in well short of what Wall Street wanted. Why? The airlines said they're spending more on labor and fuel.
Now, "fuel" is important because instead of going ahead and raising their listed fares, several airlines this week started charging -- you're not going to believe this -- they're calling it a "fuel surcharge" on domestic flights -- $10 dollars for a one-way ticket, $20 dollars per round trip.
What this means is when you book your flight, the price will look the same. I just found a $228 dollar round trip from Washington, D.C. to L.A. on Continental. But were I to go ahead and pay for it, the actual price would be $20 higher. When you add in all the other taxes and surcharges, it's more like $270 dollars.
So who are the offending airlines? Well, Continental started it and now most major airlines have followed along. Let's hope some airlines hold back, because usually when even one or two of them do, these higher prices fall apart.
United Email Alert for Flight Delays
Lost or Delayed Luggage
Last Wednesday, the F.A.A. doubled the "minimum reimbursement" for lost luggage to $2500, which is great. The catch is, you have to submit a written list of what you pack, along with the date of purchase and how much each item cost.
That's a lot hoops to jump through. And some airlines require you to file your claim within 24 hours of your flight. You should also know that even if your bags aren't lost -- say they're just delayed, sent to Hanoi instead of Hawaii -- you could be entitled to a little spending cash while you wait. How much depends on each situation.
But the most important thing is you have to be persistent. The airlines don't exactly like to give away money -- even if it is their fault -- so you can be sure that if you lose interest in your lost luggage, they will too.
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