honeybees Upgrades and Downgrades: Bees, fees, recline, Ryanair, and more
Upgraded: Hotel Honeybees
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Charlotte has a new amenity: Rooftop honeybees. The hotel restaurant will use approximately 70 lbs. of honey produced by the hive.

Upgraded: The Widespread Status Quo of Not Charging for Carry-On Bags
Five airlines have pledged not to start charging for carry-on bags: American, Delta, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and US Airways. Yay, status quo!

Downgraded: Recline on Spirit
Upgraded: Marketing spin!

Spirit Airlines, which never skips an opportunity to be passenger-unfriendly, is downgrading its seats, preventing you from reclining. The best part, calling them “pre-reclined.” Nice work, Spirit marketing team!

Upgraded and Downgraded: Fees on Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines is increasing the checked-bag fee for the first bag, by $5. But then they’re reducing the fee for the second bag, also by $5. The third bag’s fee drops by $30. And the fourth bag drops by $50. The new baggage fees apply to travel starting June 16 for tickets bought beginning May 1. At the same time, Alaska no longer lets you hold a reservation for 24 hours. Alas.

Upgraded, eventually: Ryanair Reimbursement
If you were stranded by the volcano and Ryanair was your airline of choice, you were likely cursing their name. They weren’t much in the way of reimbursing costs for stranded passengers: They covered the equivalent of the base cost of the ticket, which, given Ryanair’s revenue model, isn’t much. But it may have been illegal: “The European Union, which enforces consumer laws that hold airlines responsible for stranded passengers’ ‘reasonable costs,’ warned Ryanair it could face fines ranging from euro5,000 to euro150,000 ($6,750 to $202,500) per complaint.” Subsequently (and nearly a week late), Ryanair has agreed to cover the lodging and meal expenses of stranded passengers, as the EU law requires. But the company is challenging the law — and the airlines’ responsibility in situations like the recent volcano — with an appeal to the European Commission and the European Parliament.


pixel Upgrades and Downgrades: Bees, fees, recline, Ryanair, and more

6 Responses to “Upgrades and Downgrades: Bees, fees, recline, Ryanair, and more”

  1. David M Says:

    “US Air Airways”?

    Alaska is offering one free change or full refund within 24 hours of purchase, so this offsets not being able to hold a reservation for 24 hours.

  2. Mark Ashley Says:

    Heh. Typo. Moving too fast. Corrected.

    And thanks for the clarification on the Alaska Airlines fee (or is that Alaska, AK Air Airlines? :) )

  3. robert Says:

    Good to see that loudmouth yob O’Leary has to eat his words. You can only go so far in dumping on your customers.

  4. Internet Travel Says:

    [...] Upgrade: Travel Better tells us about the birds and bees, but not really the bird part. [...]

  5. frostysnowman Says:

    I can’t believe Spirit didn’t just put a coin slot in the arm rest and charge $0.50 to recline. What a missed “anciliary revenue” opportunity.

  6. Craig Says:

    Mixed feelings on a couple of these…I’m not sure the no-recline seats on Spirit are such a bad idea. Personally I prefer to sit up on daytime flights, and it’s annoying to have some git slam their seat into full recline (making using a laptop impossible) every flight. Most of Spirit’s flights are relatively short, so why the need for recline? (My understanding from other blog posts is that the seats on the A319s they use for longer flights, such as Lima, will still offer recline.)

    And as for Ryanair, while I have no love for O’Leary, I have to admit he had a point here…it’s simply not realistic to put an airline on the hook for hundreds, possibly thousands, of pounds in hotel and food expense for people traveling on a 30 quid ticket for an event that is clearly and absolutely beyond the airlines’ control. The European Union’s regulations are not reasonable.

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