Monday, May 06, 2013

Timeshare Vacation – Flying? 5 Things You Should Know

As Memorial Day approaches and you start planning your summer timeshare vacation, you might be in for a few surprises if it’s been awhile since you've flown.

Travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott wants you to be particularly aware of these five changes:

1. New change fees. 
United Airlines and US Airways both raised fees to change a non-refundable airline ticket to $200 for domestic flights, a $50 increase. In other words, it now costs more to change a ticket than to buy one for most passengers. Now the pressure is on Delta Air Lines, the number-two airline, to follow suit. Most industry-watchers believe it will quietly do so.

2. Charge for carry-on luggage. 
Customers who purchase tickets for Frontier Airline flights through outside third-party websites will pay $25 to $100 for a carry-on bag. However, every ticket purchased directly on the airline’s web site will include a free carry-on.

Also, in July, Frontier will begin charging customers with Economy or Basic fares about $2 for onboard beverages – that includes water, sodas, orange juice, etc. Other airlines are predicted to follow the trend.

3. TSA delays knife policy.
The TSA decided to delay a new rule that would permit small knives on planes. This change to the prohibited “sharp items” list was to take effect 4-25-13.

At this time the TSA has issued this statement: “In order to accommodate further input from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) TSA will temporarily delay implementation of changes to the Prohibited Items List.”

Knives continued to be prohibited would have been: knives with locking or fixed blades, knives with molded grips, and razors and box cutters.

4. Tarmac-delay rule may be suspended. 
The rule that let passengers off the plane if they have to wait for more than three hours on the tarmac may be suspended in the wake of sequestration.

The rule prohibits U.S. airlines operating domestic flights from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers.

5. FAA furloughs.
The government cutbacks, known as sequestration, caused the FAA to predict a wide range of delays due to the mandatory furloughs of air traffic controllers across the country.

When the furloughs went into effect April 21, planes were forced to take off and land less frequently, so as not to overload the remaining controllers on duty. Cascading delays held up flights at some of nation's busiest airports, including New York, Baltimore and Washington.

The good news is that on the following Sunday lawmakers rushed a bill through Congress allowing the agency to withdraw furloughs of air traffic controllers and other workers. Rescinding the furlough may also prevent suspension of the tarmac delay rule.

Plan a fun family timeshare rental vacation this summer, and fly easy now that you are updated on things for which you need to be prepared.

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