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Oil prices have been in a tailspin for month, falling to a five-year low, yet airfares have barely budged. What gives? Shutterstock

Oil prices have nosedived – why aren’t airfares doing the same?

Oil prices are down almost 50% from their peak this year, and jet fuel has plunged 33% since last December. Given energy costs consume almost a third of airline operating expenses, shouldn’t we expect…
One of the perks of becoming an elite flyer is it’s easier to upgrade to better cabins, such as Virgin Atlantic’s upper class cabin. Phillip Capper, CC BY-SA

Frequent flying is getting a lot more rewarding – for those at the very top

Frequent flyer programs are one of the primary ways airlines build customer loyalty. In a nutshell, the more you travel with the same airline (or its partners), the higher the odds you will be able to…
Prior to the introduction of jets, most commercial airplanes were propeller driven, like the DC-3 pictured here. These planes had a limited cruising altitude – and experienced much more turbulence. NOAA Photo Library

Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air…
Classic traffic jam in the airplane aisle. ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

Passengers boarding airplanes: we’re doing it wrong

‘Tis the season for airplane travel. We may be looking forward to getting where we’re going, but most aspects of the travel itself are merely endured. There’s stressful security, the madding crowd and…
Consumers always hope to get the best deal when they make their travel and holiday plans. But so do the airlines. Shutterstock

So when should you book that flight? The truth on airline prices

How airlines price tickets is a source of many myths and urban legends. These include tips about the best day of the week to buy a ticket, last-minute discounts offered by the airlines, and the conspiracy…
A carrier’s liability for damage, loss or delay of baggage is governed by a number of overarching international treaties. Adam Fagen

What to claim for lost, delayed or damaged bags on overseas flights

If you get on a plane and your baggage ends up being delayed, damaged or lost, who’s responsible: you or the airline? And what rules apply when you’re flying between different countries – even if you don’t…
Following orders from above. Aero Icarus

Explainer: when and why is air space restricted?

The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 has led to many questions being asked about the propriety of planes flying over eastern Ukraine. Many have pointed out that other airlines had prohibited their…
Norwegian Dreamliner has sunset lift-off! Norwegian

Why budget transatlantic flights are a tough nut to crack

The north Atlantic is one of the most lucrative and highly competitive airline markets in the world. Since the late 1940s numerous airlines have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to operate profitable…
While QANTAS offsets go to protecting forests, other carbon offsets can do more harm than good. Claudio Jofré Larenas/Flickr

Carbon offsets can do more environmental harm than good

When was the last time you booked a flight? That extra A$1 in the final stages of booking may seem a small price to pay for offsetting the carbon emissions you generate travelling by air. But globally…
Still no signal. EPA/Luong Thai Linh

If we’d used the cloud, we might know where MH370 is now

As the biggest ever hunt for a missing plane continues, many are beginning to wonder if we will ever know what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. If the plane has crashed, it has been suggested…
What effect will the new uniform have on the Qantas workforce? Qantas

Goodbye Australiana, hello world: the new Qantas uniforms

It’s hard to imagine it today, but once people would put down their newspapers to stop and stare at young women as they strolled through airport terminals wearing figure-hugging suits, the half-winged…
Virgin Australia is trying to revive the supposed romance of aviation’s past. Virgin Australia

Romance reborn: can glamour reboot Virgin Australia’s image?

Remember when airline travel was all about glamorous hostesses, dashing pilots and the stylish, well-behaved jet-set class? No, I don’t either. But it’s a rose-tinted view of the past Virgin Australia…
Airport lounges, loved by frequent flyers, don’t necessarily engender brand loyalty. Richard Moross/Flickr

Airline lounge war could prove futile for Qantas and Virgin

Recently Qantas and Virgin have been fighting a war for “high value” corporate contracts by refurbishing their invitation-only lounges. But is this a wise strategy? The airline industry has long been stuck…
Budget airlines are helping Southend airport compete. Chris Radburn/PA

A multi-airport system works for London and the UK

One of the key issues behind the recent debate over UK airports is the unwieldy dominance of Heathrow, both within London and across the whole nation. But the little guys are fighting back. Using a variety…
CEO Rob Sharp will preside over a leaner Tigerair, now under the wing of Virgin Australia. AAP

Virgin’s takeover ensures Tiger is no longer toothless

The corporate regulator’s approval of Virgin Australia’s 60% stake in fledgling low-cost carrier Tigerair (formerly known as Tiger Airways) marks the Australian aviation industry’s return to an effective…

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