Airport Passenger Facility Charges, American Airlines Merger and Carnival's latest Triumph
18/02/2013

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has been published of a study of alternative means of collecting airport passenger facility charges (PFCs) that would allow such charges to be excluded from the ticket price.  GAO considered: (1) collection options for arriving, connecting, and departing passengers at airports; (2) cost sharing or allocation methods based on passenger travel to address connecting traffic; and (3) examples of airport charges collected by domestic and international airports that are not included in ticket prices.

All of the aviation stakeholders that GAO spoke to, including representatives from selected U.S. airports and airlines, supported the current collection method over any alternative due, in part, to passenger ease and low administrative costs. The full GAO report can be accessed at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652162.pdf

Several airline mergers have taken place during the last 12 years, but the American Airlines and US Airways merger is like no other. American and US Airways will become the world’s largest airline once the marriage certificate is signed, and their marriage signifies the final major U.S. airline merger for years to come. American Airlines and US Airways are combining histories filled with mergers, bankruptcy filings, and labor issues. There is one question on everybody’s mind. Will the American Airlines and US Airways be a marriage made in Heaven or Hell?

A business insider article on the merger can be accessed at:http://www.businessinsider.com/questions-about-the-american-us-airways-merger-2013-2  An interesting original post with historical data and images of American Airlines can be accessed at: http://airchive.com/blog/2013/02/14/american-airlines-and-us-airways-tie-the-knot-a-marriage-made-in-heaven-or-hell/

As the Carnival Triumph limped across the Gulf of Mexico towards port on Thursday, passengers on the stricken cruise ship told of human waste overflowing into corridors, food rationing and the fear of looting. The 13-storey, 272-metre liner, which set out on a four-day cruise from Galveston last Thursday, has been without power since an engine fire on Sunday. Many of the 3,143 passengers have since slept on deck in the absence of air-conditioning, and have had to use showers, sinks and plastic bags instead of bathrooms.

After drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, listing alarmingly in heavy swells, the Carnival Triumph was intercepted by tugboats earlier this week and arrive in Mobile, Alabama late on Thursday. Officials from Carnival Cruise Lines have said the company will pay for all passengers' onward travel and fully reimburse everyone for the trip. This second Guardian article can be accessed at This Guardian newspaper report can be accessed at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/14/carnival-triumph-cruise-liner-toilets-overflowing