the Airlines Financially Sound!
been working with the airlines for five years now
and have gained a certain amount of insight that you
may find useful... Since Sept 11 there have been a
lot of changes in the Airline Travel Industry, some
good, some not so good and some just plain bad!
the purpose of keeping this short I will deal specifically
with what you should know to help you protect your
week I recieved an email from a client stating that
she wished she had known that USAir is under Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection and she wishes that I had
told her in advance. That was my fault because I assumed
that everyone knows that the airline industry is in
a dismal state right now. USAir and United are reorganizing
under court supervision, Delta is teetering on the
brink and just recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptancy
protection, American Airline is adding more seats
to their planes, nullifying their campaign they started
a couple of years where they removed seats to give
us more leg room. The fact is that most of the major
US carriers are struggling(A large reason is that
the business class seats which at one time accounted
for a large percentage of the airline revenue is now
down as many businesses are no longer willing to pay
those exhorbitant fares!). The new low-fare no frills
upstarts are also adding to the woes of the major
can add Delta to the list of airlines that have filed
Chapter 11 and are reorganizing. Will they survive?
Hard to say.. so you may want to protect yourself
as outlined below.....
the US Airlines are not doing so well...maybe I should
fly a European Airline?. Well, that may not be much
better. In 2002 Sabena went from a large international
airline to a small european carrier(after Swissair
bought them and promptly put both of them out of business.
Swissair is now Swiss... Same planes, same staff.
same logos, just a different name).
Airways, is now Olympic Airlines. Small unnoticable
change, but necessary or else they would have had
to disappear all together. They changed their name,
sold off some of their other routes and presto...
they can continute to operate(EXACT same planes-As
they always said "Olympic" on them, not
"Olympic Airways"...so they can change to
"Olympic Transit" next and still wont have
to change their planes' paint jobs!)...albeit on the
it stands, Olympic is once again on the verge. There
are two companies that are interested in purchasing
them which will be determined within a couple of months.
Time will tell.
Air is struggling...KLM and Air France merged and
every airline is doing all the scrambling they can
to make sure they can continue to exist.(keep in mind
that their number one goal is to remain afloat, and
as damaging as it is to our egos, we have to realize
that getting you and I to Europe is not their number
one priority and we will be sacrificed if necessary!).
the US, the government has bailed out a number of
airlines a number of times. Whether it will happen
again, we don't know. On the other hand, in Europe,
due to European Community Law, the government cannont
bail out(or even own an airline-which was what got
Olympic in trouble with the EEC in the first place.
They were a government run airline losing hundreds
of millions of dollars a year and being subsidized
by the Greek Government. The EEC doesn't like that
because the recognize that it would give an airline
an unfair advantage which non-subsidized airlines
cannot compete against. So... European airlines can
go down just as quickly(if not quicker) than US airlines.
what to do to protect yourself? I don't think the
choice of airline makes a difference(As Bob Dylan
said so prophetically sang 30 years ago "The
first one now will later be last, for the times they
are a-changin'". Any airline can disappear at
any moment without any warning.
would protect myself by paying by credit card(Congress
has extended a law into 2006 that mandates other carriers
to take the stranded passengers of a defunct airline
on a standby basis for a fee of up to $25 each way.
Of course, you'll ask...What if there are no standby
seats? If that happens, then you may be stranded,
but the chances of you being at the airport when the
airline fails is pretty slim, you will most like hear
about it before you even go to the airport.) As long
as you purchase the ticket within two months of the
airline going bankrupt you will be protected. Outside
of the two months you will be fighting your credit
card company, and probably won't win. So that is not
much protection for someone who is diligent wants
to plan in advance and purchase tickets to save money.(Do
you ever get the feeling that the deck is stacked
have never purchased travel insurance but it seems
like it is becoming a better idea all the time. If
I were traveling with my family and concerned about
losing the money I spent on my vacation, I would consider
it. In contrast, I flew to Greece 8 times last year
and had I purchased insurance, it would have added
up to more than the cost of my lost ticket. You'll
have to weigh the costs vs. the benefits according
to your own situation.
added a link to the Travel
Guard Travel Insurance. All the information is
there for you to read, apply to your own situation
and determine whether it is worth the cost to you.
I will not answer any questions on the insurance for
the simple reason that I don't want to tell you something
that is incorrect or has been changed and find myself
in the middle of an unhappy insured passenger and
an insurance company. That is about the last place
in the world I would want to be....
hope this has helped to outline the risks that you
take purchasing airline tickets and help you to minimize
your loses should your airline run into trouble.....
you have questions about the airlines or tickets,
please feel free to contact