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"What Airlines Take Away, One Airport (Partially) Gives Back"
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
What Airlines Take Away, One Airport (Partially) Gives Back
By Erika Morphy
Business travel these days is rarely pretty and it's never inexpensive. It
is about to get a bit more expensive if the recent fare hike by Southwest
Airlines is any indication. The airline has added $10 to round trips for
flights shorter than 500 miles-a rate increase that will be primarily borne
by business travelers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Southwest's ticket increase follows similar rate hikes put in place by
United Airlines, Delta, US Airways and American Airlines on most of their
domestic routes earlier this month, the LA Times reported in a separate
article. Virgin America too.
Unless you are a well-heeled business traveler working-or owning-a company
than can afford to use a business jet, or a business that just doesn't need
to send its employees on the road that often, this price increase matters.
A Shorter Wait in Line
There is one bit of good news for business travelers though-all travelers in
fact. Dulles International Airport, in the Washington, DC area, is testing a
new system that will let travelers know in real time, in advance, how long
of a wait time they will have in the security line. This is according to yet
another article in the LA Times, which, if you haven't guessed by now, does
an excellent job covering travel issues.
The airport is the first in the nation to use a video analytics system that
counts the number of people in the security lines, via video cameras and
proprietary software that analyzes how fast passengers are moving. People
can check out how long the lines are running that day and plan accordingly.
A Savings of $36.75 x Millions of Passengers
Kate Hanni of FlyersRights.org is impressed, and when it comes to air travel
it takes a lot to impress her.
"$36.75. That is what Dulles is saving us on average per hour," she says.
Hanni is referring to a GAO study that found that the average loss per hour
when there is a fight delay for passengers is $36.75 in productivity.
It may not be enough to make up for the fare increases but for the
beleaguered and exhausted small business traveler it is an okay start.
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