Passenger Experience

JetBlue to Guarantee Overhead Bin Space, Drop Most Change Fees

JetBlue to Guarantee Overhead Bin Space, Drop Most Change Fees

JetBlue announced plans to end change fees on most fares and guarantee overhead bin space to all non-basic economy passengers.
The move by the New York-based carrier follows similar actions by other major U.S. airlines last summer and fall.
The change applies to all fares except basic economy, which the airline calls Basic Blue.
In addition to these changes, basic-economy passengers will no longer be allowed to bring carry-on bags but they will …

DOT Grounds Emotional Support Animals, Limits Service Animals to Dogs

DOT Grounds Emotional Support Animals, Limits Service Animals to Dogs

The era of flying pigs, rabbits, and turkeys came to an ignominious end after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued new rules on service animals on airplanes on Wednesday.
The new rule provides a narrow definition of a service animal as a dog that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” It also limits the number of service animals with …

FCC Ends Consideration of Plan to Allow In-Flight Mobile Phone Calls

FCC Ends Consideration of Plan to Allow In-Flight Mobile Phone Calls

Travelers who relish the respite an aircraft cabin brings from ringing phones and loud conversations, rejoice!  The Federal Communications Commission said on Monday it was ending ended a regulatory proceeding that had sought to lift the ban on using mobile phones while in flight on U.S. airlines and allow those airlines to install onboard equipment that would facilitate in-flight calls.
The action, which ended a proceeding that had begun in 2013, …

American Airlines and Alaska Plan Reciprocal Elite Benefits for 2021

American Airlines and Alaska Plan Reciprocal Elite Benefits for 2021

American Airlines and Alaska Airlines will roll out reciprocal benefits for passengers with elite status on one airline when traveling on the other, starting next year.
“Next year will bring significant enhancements that will make the experience more seamless and rewarding for our customers,” said American’s chief revenue officer, Vasu Raja.
Members of American’s AAdvantage frequent-flyer program with Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elite status will be eligible for free domestic upgrades …

American Airlines Eliminates Change Fees on International Flights

American Airlines Eliminates Change Fees on International Flights

American Airlines said Thursday that it would henceforth eliminate change fees on international flights.
The move, which comes amidst a continued coronavirus pandemic-induced decline in travel, makes American the first U.S. airline to do so.
“We are committed to making travel easier for our customers who fly on American,” said Vasu Raja, the airline’s chief revenue officer, in a statement.  “By eliminating change fees, we’re giving customers more flexibility no matter when …

Delta to Continue to Block Middle Seats Through March

Delta to Continue to Block Middle Seats Through March

Delta announced plans to continue blocking middle seats in coach on its mainline aircraft through March 30, 2021.
The Atlanta-based carrier first introduced social distance-friendly seating in April as the coronavirus began to cripple the travel industry.  It had previously planned to block middle seats only until January 6, 2021.
The move makes Delta the only U.S. airline to block middle seats.
The blocking of middle seats is more psychological than a means …

American ‘Streamlines’ Kiosk Check-In Process at Airports

American ‘Streamlines’ Kiosk Check-In Process at Airports

American Airlines said it has simplified the check-in procedures passengers use at airport kiosks.
The kiosks no longer display credit-card or passport swipe options to begin the transaction although those options will remain available. Travelers can start the process by scanning a boarding pass, entering a record locator number, or entering the traveler’s AAdvantage frequent-flyer program membership number.
“We’ve made some exciting enhancements to the self-service check-in process,” the airline said in …