It's been a busy week in the travel industry. While the Texas tornadoes that grounded flights and stranded thousands of travelers on Tuesday and Wednesday were top news, there was plenty more going on from new fees to new a new fare class.
Delta introduces a new fare class: It's called Basic Economy, and it is basic indeed. In essence, you get nothing but the fare. That means no seat assignment in advance and no changes, period. Right now it's only available on select routes between Detroit and Florida, but the airline tells me they're evaluating it for customer response. I conducted a test to see what the savings would be for a basic economy seat vs. a regular economy seat and it looks to be about $15, but I'm told that may vary based on demand and seasonality. Good news is if you're an airline loyalist, you still qualify for miles. But you better like the middle seat, because that's very likely what you're going to get!
Allegiant Air charges for checked baggage: Allegiant air became the second domestic carrier to begin charging for checked bags on reservations made starting this week. Remember when Spirit did this about two years ago? There was tons of consumer outrage, but it seems people have gotten used to fees for everything under the sun. You'll pay as much as $35 to carry on a bag on Allegiant, less if you pay online at the time you make your flight reservation. You can still carry on a personal item, like a purse, free of charge. It has to fit under the seat in front of you - otherwise be ready to pony up the dough.
Maggots on a plane: A woman who was on a Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne on March 26 claims she found maggots in her trail mix - the in-flight snack provided by the airline. Victoria Cleven told me the airline has apologized to her and offered a refund of half the cost of her ticket and access to the airline lounge the next time she flies. Qantas tell me they did in fact apologize and have contacted the supplier of the product and are currently investigating how this issue occurred.
Twitter War Vince Neil and the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas had a bit of a twitter spat. It all began when Neil tweeted I love Vegas, but DO NOT GO TO LITTLE BUDDHA @palms IN VEGAS!! OMG RUDEST STAFF EVER!! Don't go!!" Little Buddha is a restaurant at the hotel. According to Palms, Neil was misbehaving at the hotel restaurant and asked to leave. The hotel says he is no longer welcome at Palms but Neil tweeted he had already stated he didn't want to go there anyway.Neil is also tweeting that spring breakers shouldn't go there, and that there's dishonesty at the executive level. Palms tweeted that Neil threatened the hotel with negative publicity . . . and on and on.