Categorized | Airlines


Posted on 19 July 2010

This was supposed to be the summer of the canceled flight. Airlines predicted that new rules to reduce long tarmac delays would force them to ground planes and leave passengers stranded in terminals. But after two busy summer months, it hasn’t happened, says The Wall Street Journal’s “Middle Seat” column. Instead, airlines have adapted with new procedures, flagging long-delayed flights, sending in help and returning planes to gates before the three-hour limit to let passengers off and then continuing without canceling the flight. Moreover, says The Journal, the rule seems to be working. Long delays aboard airplanes are down, at least so far. In May, only five flights were stuck on the ground for more than three hours, compared with 34 in May 2009.

 Business travel is on the rise but employees remain cautious about keeping costs low for employers. Several studies examining business-travel trends show that employees are attempting to cut costs during business trips by flying economy class and booking flights early. An Orbitz survey of nearly 850 travelers released this week found that 70% of business travelers felt obliged to save their company money when they travel. Thirty-eight percent said they flew economy class on domestic flights and 64% booked flights at least two weeks in advance to reduce airfare. A study by Forrester Research found that more travelers are using their own cars for an entire work trip and that the average number of business trips involving hotel stays declined by 11% in 2010 from 2008.

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