Money Matters - Simplified


Airline profits expected to fall as fuel costs surge

Natural catastrophe in Japan, political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and spiraling rise in oil prices were cited as the main reasons behind the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warning that airline industry profits will dip in 2011.

Court directs American Airlines to return to Orbitz

The prolonged fued between American Airlines and Orbitz Worldwide Inc, its third-party ticket distributor, has ended, at least as of now. The battle between the two companies took a legal turn, and in the end, Orbitz came out victorious.

Sick airline passenger suspected to be suffering from cholera

The officials of American Airlines have confirmed that there was a suspected cholera patient on flight 778 arriving from Dominican Republic at Miami on Thanksgiving night.

Airlines charging for extra legroom

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Airline passengers who want more legroom on flights might have to pay an extra $100 to get it, an industry watchdog group said.

Some discount airlines also eliminated the seat recline function so they can install additional seats to generate more revenue, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

"If you're a low-cost carrier, you have to look at these moves" to stay price-competitive, said Matt Daimler, founder of, which tracks airline seating information.

Flights where seat rows are spaced farther apart can add up to 2 inches of legroom and passengers who desire the extra space might have to pay as much as $100 for the luxury, the report said.

Volcanic ash takes the sheen off Ryanair Q1 profit

Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, reported a 24 percent drop in first-quarter net profit. The dip in profit has been attributed to rising fuel prices and loss of business due to the volcanic ash cloud chaos.

Google's acquisition of ITA may catch regulators' eye

Google Inc’s intention of buying out flight-information provider ITA Software Inc. for $700 million has raised new antitrust concerns for the world's largest Internet search engine.

Airline plans standing room on flights

Dubline, Ireland -- An Irish airline announced plans to introduce "vertical seats" for standing passengers with $7 tickets, but safety officials said the plans may be quashed.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary announced the plans to replace the back 10 rows in all of the airline's 250 planes with standing areas along with a plan to replace the bathrooms with $1.50 pay toilets, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

A Ryanair spokesman said officials hope to begin safety testing in about 12 months.

However, officials with the European Aviation Safety Agency told The Guardian that the airline would struggle to make the plans conform to safety regulations.

Traffic delays costly for Aeroflot

Moscow -- Russia's largest airline said Thursday traffic tie-ups cost it more than $800,000 on Monday because of road repairs on a route to the Sheremetyevo airport.

Andrei Kalymykov, deputy chief executive officer at Aeroflot, said the airline had refunded 75 percent of the price of the ticket for about 1,300 passengers who had missed their flights because of traffic delays, RIA Novosti reported.

The trip from Moscow to the airport was taking 5-6 hours on Monday as repairs began on the Leningradsky highway.

Kalymykov said the airport was given no warning that the road work was going to begin Monday.

"The first day of this disaster was deadly for us," he said.

Spirit cancels flights through Thursday

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- U.S. airline Spirit said it was extending its flight cancellations through Thursday, as its 500 pilots remain on strike for higher wages and work rule changes.

The airline that normally flies 150 flights a day has been grounded since June 11, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

JetBlue Airways said it would add an additional flight between Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, but it would not honor Spirit tickets.

Meanwhile, as pilots maintained their picket lines, Spirit said negotiations continue with pilots at an undisclosed location in Fort Lauderdale.

Head of the pilots' union Capt. Sean Creed said Monday, "Our demands are still the same."

No end in sight for pilots' strike at Spirit Airlines

Passengers intending to fly by Spirit Airlines were a harassed lot as the pilots' strike at the discount carrier entered its second day.