Charter Operators See Interest Spike
Demand for charter-jet services rose 52 percent in November compared to the same month a year before, according to the Air Taxi-Air Charter Association. Most of that is due to economic recovery leading to an increase in business travel, said Joe Leader, president of the trade group. However, "the TSA security hassle factor has absolutely had an additive effect on air taxi and air charter demand," he added, in the Los Angeles Times. In addition to the security hassles, airline cabins are increasingly crowded as airlines are reluctant to add capacity. In August, for example, the airlines averaged more than 85 percent full, the highest percentage ever for that month.
Airline fees also are driving irritated travelers to switch to other modes of travel, according to the Times. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, fees alone added up to about $167 million. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., authored legislation that would require airlines to post details of all their fees on their websites. "At a time when families are watching every last penny, they should have a full understanding of what they will be expected to pay not just to get to the airport, but to get to their destination," Menendez said. Airlines have been adding charges for checked luggage, to switch flights, to fly stand-by and more.