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Archive: Insta-CoGo

Inaugural Exodus

The following is a special message for all you clever types who, for whatever reason, are getting out of Dodge and planning to enjoy the inaugural festivities in some exotic, stress-free locale, fruity drink in hand: Don't come back. Not yet, that is. Not for at least a few days....

By Christina Talcott | January 16, 2009; 04:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

Insta-CoGo: Drowsy Pilots in the Cockpit?

Let's file this one under "things you'd probably rather not know." According to a report in USA Today, "Two airline pilots fell asleep while cruising over Hawaii last February, flying past their destination toward open ocean for 18 minutes before waking up and returning for a safe landing." The incident...

By John Deiner | June 11, 2008; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (5)

Insta-CoGo: American Airlines' $15 Stunner

Who among us saw this coming: A charge to check even one bag? When the first airline announced it would charge to check a second bag, CoGo knew it was a matter of seconds before other airlines took the idea and ran, but this?? Right out of left field. In...

By Cindy Loose | May 22, 2008; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (24)

Insta-CoGo: Airport Satisfaction Blues

Now here's a no-brainer. J.D. Power and Associates just announced the results of its annual North American Airport Satisfaction Study, and customer satisfaction is down significantly. All together now: Duh. The study divvies up airports into large, medium and small sizes, and measures overall satisfaction according to six factors: accessibility,...

By K.C. Summers | May 20, 2008; 02:13 PM ET | Comments (17)

Insta-CoGo: Baby on Board at Sea

Pregnant woman and new parents alert: New rules from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. state that women must be less than 24 weeks' pregnant before the first day of a cruise for sailings on the company's three brands -- Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara. Additionally, infants must be at least 6...

By Cindy Loose | May 20, 2008; 08:28 AM ET | Comments (15)

Insta-CoGo: Is It Fair?

As CoGo reported in the Travel section's Coming and Going column Sunday, travelers can start signing up this week for a new, $100-a-year program that will allow them access to a special lane to get through U.S. customs quickly. It's similar to the already existing "registered traveler" program. For $128,...

By Cindy Loose | May 13, 2008; 06:08 AM ET | Comments (14)

Insta-CoGo: Even Higher Airfares?!?

Shopping for summer airfares, shocked at the prices, and wondering if you should wait for a sale? You could do that, and maybe you'd get lucky, but the experts aren't betting on it. Big reason: jet fuel prices. You may be thinking, "But they've already added some hefty fuel surcharges,...

By Cindy Loose | May 8, 2008; 06:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: What's in the Cards for Tropicana?

I recently wrote about the state of Atlantic City in this space (it ain't pretty), but now comes word that an entire chain of casinos is in trouble: Tropicana Entertainment LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company says it will keep its properties open and staffing will...

By John Deiner | May 6, 2008; 01:49 PM ET | Comments (2)

Insta-CoGo: Skycaps, Tipping and You

The income of skycaps who check bags at curbside is said to have dropped drastically when many airlines began charging $2 a bag for checking at curbside. The workers depend on tips, with salaries generally at minimum wage or less. According to testimony in a recent lawsuit, many passengers stopped...

By Cindy Loose | May 6, 2008; 06:36 AM ET | Comments (14)

Insta-CoGo: Funding the FAA

America's air traffic control system might finally get a much-needed update. A bill expected to pass the Senate as early as tonight would -- in its current incarnation -- devote $400 million to modernizing the air traffic control system. The bill in question reauthorizes spending for the FAA and has...

By Cindy Loose | May 1, 2008; 06:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Teens and Car Crashes

While no one can calculate the sorrow caused by teen crashes, a first-ever analysis released last week by AAA finds that crashes involving drivers ages 15 to 17 cost American society more than $34 billion annually in medical expenses, lost work, property damage loss and other related costs in 2006....

By Cindy Loose | April 15, 2008; 06:24 AM ET | Comments (11)

Insta-CoGo: Flight Cancellation Rights

If you're one of the tens of thousands of passengers whose plans are being disrupted because of American Airlines' flight cancellations, you're probably wondering exactly what the airline owes you -- since, after all, the disruptions were caused by the airline as it scrambled to make sure its planes met...

By K.C. Summers | April 10, 2008; 12:14 PM ET | Comments (6)

Insta-Cogo: Where Have All the Airlines Gone?

Has there ever been a time when three U.S. airlines suddenly ceased operations in a matter of a few days? Before last week, I mean. They fell like dominoes: Aloha, ATA, Skybus. First, a quick roundup for passengers who happen to be holding tickets: All three recommend that passengers seek...

By Cindy Loose | April 9, 2008; 06:16 AM ET | Comments (2)

Insta-CoGo: The Downright Ugly Skies

The annual Airline Quality Rating report [PDF] is out, and the news is not good. The study, conducted since 1991 by the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Aviation Institute and by Wichita State University, concludes that the top 16 domestic airlines are bumping more passengers, losing more luggage, arriving later...

By Carol Sottili | April 8, 2008; 06:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: ATA Airlines Goes Belly-Up

ATA stopped flying today, leaving passengers stranded. The airline served about 10,000 passengers per day, operating flights from Chicago's Midway Airport to Dallas, Oakland and the Mexican cities of Cancun and Guadalajara, and from Hawaii to Oakland, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas. So what happened? The airline cited the...

By Carol Sottili | April 3, 2008; 01:33 PM ET | Comments (4)

Insta-CoGo: Fees, Fees and More Fees on Delta

You may have heard that Northwest has joined United, US Airways and Delta in assessing a fee for a second piece of checked luggage. It'll cost $25 each way for tickets issued March 29 or later for travel May 5 or later to destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico...

By Carol Sottili | April 1, 2008; 12:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Heathrow's New Terminal Woes

Last summer, when CoGo was inundated with complaints from travelers whose bags had been lost during transfers at Heathrow, British Airways said: Never fear, just wait until the new Terminal 5 opens and all will be well. Well, Terminal 5 at Heathrow opened last Thursday, and all hell broke loose....

By Cindy Loose | April 1, 2008; 06:51 AM ET | Comments (2)

Insta-CoGo: Line Rage at Disney World?

Love Disney, hate Disney, sort of love Disney, really hate Disney: Travelers are generally of mixed opinion on the place. But man, what to make of this? According to a report on Orlando's Fox TV affiliate, a woman named Aimee Krause has accused Alabama native Victoria Walker of beating her...

By John Deiner | March 25, 2008; 07:11 AM ET | Comments (46)

Insta-CoGo: Delta to Charge $25 for Second Checked Bag

Delta is the latest carrier to add a $25 fee for a second piece of checked luggage. The carrier hasn't made a formal announcement (and Delta's Web site still says that you're allowed two pieces of checked baggage), but Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott confirmed today that the fee will go...

By Cindy Loose | March 20, 2008; 02:25 PM ET | Comments (13)

Insta-CoGo: Clear Security Lanes Debut at DCA

When did being special get ... special-er? First there were HOV lanes on the highway, then came EZPass for tolls. Denver and Salt Lake City airports just got separate security lanes for casual, family and "expert" travelers. And as of today, Reagan National has Clear lanes for registered travelers, courtesy...

By Christina Talcott | March 19, 2008; 02:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: JetBlue to Offer Extra Leg Room -- for a Fee

JetBlue boasts of providing the most leg room in coach than any other airline -- 34 inches from the edge of a seat to the back of the seat in the next row. That won't change, but as of April 1, fliers will have the option of buying an extra...

By Cindy Loose | March 19, 2008; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Southwest Airlines: The Plot Thickens

The plot thickens at Southwest Airlines, which as we reported earlier is facing record FAA fines for failing to do mandatory safety checks on some of its older planes. At first Chief Executive Gary Kelly pooh-poohed the reports, saying the maintenance checks were redundant, and there was really no problem....

By Cindy Loose | March 12, 2008; 02:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Where Have All the Tourists Gone?

The dollar is so depressed compared with the euro and most other currencies in the developed world that you'd think overseas travelers would be flocking to the United States to scoop up bargains. Yet they are staying away in droves. There were 2 million fewer overseas travelers to the States...

By Cindy Loose | March 11, 2008; 07:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Southwest Flying Cracked Planes?

Wow. While CoGo was checking into passenger complaints about lost bags and delayed flights, it seems Southwest Airlines might have been flying old planes with big cracks in them! CoGo feels so guilty. But wait, enforcing rules about required inspections of older planes isn't CoGo's job; its the job of...

By Cindy Loose | March 7, 2008; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (13)

Insta-CoGo: Delta vs. the Bag Hogs

Okay, so everyone was bent out of shape when United and US Airways recently announced they'd start charging extra money for most economy passengers who wanted to check a second bag. Now comes this news from Delta Air Lines: On international flights, the carrier will be strictly enforcing rules about...

By Cindy Loose | March 6, 2008; 07:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: All Eyes on the NY Passenger Bill of Rights

New York's Passenger Bill of Rights seems pretty mild to CoGo: It says that commercial planes flying out of New York must provide passengers food, water, fresh air, power and working restrooms if the flight has left the gate and sat on the tarmac for more than three hours....

By Cindy Loose | March 4, 2008; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (2)

Insta-Cogo: Southwest Airlines' 'Pretty' Incident

Oh, Southwest, you never fail to entertain. The airline seems to have a knack for attracting interesting, if not exactly bad, press. Last summer, several female passengers complained that the airline imposed a dress code on them, asking them to cover up their skimpy attire. Now, two college coeds claim...

By John Deiner | March 3, 2008; 01:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Frequent-Flier Changes at US Airways

In response to a recent post on the Travel Log, CoGo did a little research on changes in US Airways' frequent-flier program, and this is what we found. If you earn U.S. Airways Dividend Miles on short hops, you won't be earning as many miles as before on tickets purchased...

By Cindy Loose | February 29, 2008; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (2)

Insta-CoGo: Delwest, or Is it Northta?

The airline industry has been abuzz for months about a possible Delta merger with Northwest. The airline boards reportedly would have voted this week on the merger, but pilots from the two airlines apparently can't agree on how their seniority lists will be integrated. CoGo assumes that with billions at...

By Cindy Loose | February 26, 2008; 02:24 PM ET | Comments (9)

Insta-CoGo: Death on a Flight From Haiti

The Internet is abuzz with an accusation that airline personnel initially refused to help a dying woman, then agreed to give her oxygen only to find that two oxygen tanks on board were empty. Instant news, true or untrue, is both the greatness and the curse of modern communications. In...

By Cindy Loose | February 25, 2008; 02:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: You, Freezing Rain and Canceled Flights

Not more snow, sleet and freezing rain! The forecast is ominous, and having traveled through the last round a week ago, I feel for anyone traveling in the next 36 hours who may have concerns about whether their flights, or connecting flights, will get off the ground. Let's say they...

By John Deiner | February 21, 2008; 01:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-Q&A: Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel

It's time once again for Insta-Q&A, where you can both pose questions to the Travel section, and also help out fellow travelers with your own answers to their queries. Today's question comes from a reader whose wife is soon to celebrate her 50th birthday. If you have some advice for...

By Scott Vogel | February 20, 2008; 07:07 AM ET | Comments (7)

Insta-CoGo: Will Amtrak Be More Secure?

The plan to increase security on Amtrak gets no argument from me, in theory at least. But don't you have to wonder about the effectiveness of various aspects of the plan? First off, both uniformed and plain clothes officers will be riding the trains and be present in stations. The...

By Cindy Loose | February 19, 2008; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (9)

Insta-CoGo: Who Are You?

Americans would have to submit fingerprints and in some cases facial scans before being allowed to enter Europe under a proposal that will likely be considered this week by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union. The rule would also apply to citizens of other countries who...

By Cindy Loose | February 14, 2008; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-Q&A: Finding Someone to Travel With

If it's Wednesday, that must mean it's time for another edition of Insta-Q&A, in which you can both pose questions to the Travel section and help out fellow travelers with your own answers to their queries. If you have some advice for today's questioner, by all means post a comment...

By Scott Vogel | February 13, 2008; 07:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Bend Travel Rules for Iraq Vets?

Should military families get a break on airline rules? Does it make a difference if the military personnel in question is returning from a war zone? CoGo just recieved a complaint about an airline and wonders how, or whether, to proceed. Here's the deal: A mom and dad and fiancee...

By Cindy Loose | February 12, 2008; 07:34 AM ET | Comments (54)

Insta-CoGo: You're Bumped, and Out of Luck

This just in: Not only was 2007 the second worst year ever for flights being late, but airlines bumped passengers at the highest rate in 11 years. The 18 largest airlines last year found 621,717 people willing to switch to other flights voluntarily; they typically offer incentives like a voucher...

By Cindy Loose | February 7, 2008; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (17)

Insta-CoGo: Direct Flights vs. Nonstop

CoGo recently received a letter from a reader apoplectic about US Airways. When calling the airline three times about a ticket from Phoenix to BWI, she wrote, she was distinctly told three times that the flight from Phoenix to BWI was "direct" -- which she assumed meant, well, direct, as...

By Cindy Loose | January 31, 2008; 01:06 PM ET | Comments (19)

Insta-CoGo: Burning Questions From Vegas

If you were anywhere near a TV set on Friday afternoon and it was tuned to CNN or MSNBC, you saw the flames shooting out of the roof of the Monte Carlo casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Pretty harrowing stuff, right? The 3,000-room hotel remains closed, and travelers get...

By John Deiner | January 29, 2008; 07:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Amtrak to Keep on Rolling

A possible strike that could have shut down passenger travel on Amtrak as of the end of this month seems to have been averted. Although a new contract proposal has yet to be ratified, company and union leaders came to a tentative agreement Friday. Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black said the...

By Cindy Loose | January 22, 2008; 01:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Ready for Passport Cards?

The U.S. State Department has just issued the initial rule that will lead to the creation of passport cards, as opposed to the existing passport books. A passport or the new passport cards will be needed when crossing the U.S. border into Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean at some...

By Cindy Loose | January 10, 2008; 07:28 AM ET | Comments (11)

 

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