InsideTrip Emerges From Beta!

Hi, just a heads up of all the new, cool things at InsideTrip.  Please take a look around and let us know what you think at feedback@insidetrip.com

  • FinalAirfareSM – Dynamic bag and drink fee calculator estimates the total amount to be paid by the consumer taking into consideration not only airfare but also most common airline fees (available for most domestic U.S. flights)
  • Flight Connection Risk Indicator – InsideTrip lets shoppers know when there is a particularly strong likelihood that a connecting itinerary could turn ugly – for instance, an itinerary involving a chronically late inbound flight with a very short layover increases the probability for a missed connection
  • MarketQualitySM – InsideTrip tracks and displays historical average TripQuality scores for all observed itineraries in a market to give shoppers an idea of what to expect on a given route
  • New search capabilities – InsideTrip now offers the ability to search for business-class, first-class and multi-city itineraries
  • Improved user interface, cleaner navigation, and major browser support
  • InsideTrip now partners with American Airlines to integrate their fares and schedules

Welcome to the New InsideTrip!

Hi and thanks for coming by the InsideTrip blog.  We’ve come a long way since launching our beta in 2008 and are thrilled to be the 1st and only airfare shopping engine providing TripQuality, a rating system that evaluates air itineraries on 12 quality elements including legroom, aircraft age, and much more.

As an airline insider (I spent 10+ years running pricing departments at 3 different major US airlines), I’ll be posting my thoughts and observations on airlines, airfares, and just generally important stuff that I think you should know about in air travel.

So please add us to your reader, become a Facebook fan, and above all, shop for airline tickets at http://www.InsideTrip.com for a true insider’s view of how to find the best itineraries.

Holy Bag Fees, Batman: UA doubles second checked bag fee

United Airlines announced today that they have DOUBLED the fee charged for checking a second bag on domestic itineraries from $25 to $50. I guess they are testing all of us to see if we’ll pay more and assume we aren’t paying much attention.

Until the airline bean counters see that this policy is costing them bookings, they’ll continue to push it as far as they can.

My advice is simple: BUY DELTA: they are the only large airline left out there not charging for checking the first bag and are no doubt revisiting their policy every time a new fee is introduced.

P.S. Southwest charges no bag fees whatsoever and are the most customer-friendly when it comes to fees.

Frontier’s First-Bag-Free Flies Away … And then there are 5

Another one bites the dust … Frontier Airlines just announced today that they are jumping on the bag fee bandwagon. And then there are 5 … The updated list of airlines not charging for the first checked bag:

Good Guys: AirTran, Alaska, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Midwest, and Virgin America

Bad Guys: American, Continental, Hawaiian, Midwest, Northwest, Spirit, United, and US Airways

Update: “Good Guy” First-Bag-Free Airlines. Buy Delta or Pay Later.

A little while back, I posted about the “good guy” airlines who weren’t charging a fee for the first checked bag when flying domestically. I mentioned that those airlines would be watching closely to see whether they would gain any additional market share by being more customer friendly. Sadly, we’ve had some defections:

Continental Airlines has now jumped ship along with Hawaiian adding fees and Midwest Airlines charging for the first bag. Here’s the new list:

Good Guys: AirTran, Alaska, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Midwest, and Virgin America

Bad Guys: American, Continental, Hawaiian, Midwest, Northwest, Spirit, United, and US Airways

BOTTOM LINE: Support Delta (or one of the smaller guys) now or expect Delta to fold to competitive pressure and for all of us to pay later.

Support the “First Bag Free” Airlines or Pay Later

As airfare consumers, against the backdrop of an already degrading air travel experience (TSA lines, packed planes, etc.), we are now being asked to help shoulder the burden of $130/barrel oil as the airlines struggle to stay alive.

So what can we do to help stem even more fees coming our way in the future? One simple idea: support those airlines whose “First Bag Free” baggage policies are more customer-friendly than their blockhead competitors and their caveman approach to passing on fees. (Hey airlines, check out Amazon Prime as a way to get people to prepay their future shipping costs.)

As it relates to bag fees, you should know that US airlines are really now divided into two camps: the “Good Guys” and the “Bad Guys” based upon their checked baggage fee policies. The Good Guys don’t charge you to check your first bag while the Bad Guys soak you to the tune of up to $80 round-trip for the pleasure of carrying your luggage.

Good Guys: AirTran, Alaska, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Midwest, and Virgin America

Bad Guys: American, Northwest, Spirit, United, and US Airways

Having been an airline bean counter myself, I promise you that the Good Guys are waiting to see if they can gain market share by not charging passengers as much as the Bad Guys.

Therefore, support the Good Guys now because if you don’t, they’ll just jump on the Bad Guy bandwagon later and we’ll all be paying more to send our socks to St. Louis.

Top 10 Things You Can Do About New Airline Baggage Policies

So by now you’ve likely read about the new baggage policies the airlines are implementing that charge you for checking bags. In most cases, the first bag is free but American Airlines announced today that they would start charging $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second bag. At InsideTrip we are passionate about being the best source of travel information and, in that spirit, offer our newest Top 10 List:

InsideTrip’s Top 10 Things You Can Do About the New Airline Baggage Fees

  1. Save space by finally making that long discussed leap to thong undergarments
  2. Tell the service agent your family still cannot believe that your brother-in-law is actually allowed to run the airline
  3. Trial size, trial size, trial size
  4. Save space by changing socks every other day
  5. Who needs all those silly toys when shoelaces can be just as fun
  6. Buy a ticket for your bag
  7. Three words: Nudist colony vacation
  8. To save weight, suggest the airline creates new industry-leading cotton candy inflight service
  9. Tell airline personnel that the only numerical system your religion will allow is strict adherence to the Dewey Decimal System
  10. Per the Rick Steves travel nation, discard your unwanted clothing at your destination to make room for souvenirs

Check out great prices and our breakthrough TripQuality score at www.InsideTrip.com

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