Some answers to readers' airline questions:
Question: I understand that London's
Answer: I'm not sure if you're referring to the airport landing fee, which is assessed based on the size of the aircraft and does vary from airport to airport but is paid directly by the airline, or
When introduced in 1994, it was 10 pounds. On a flight from the eastern U.S. to Britain and return, it's 67 pounds (about $103 at current exchange rates) in economy and 134 pounds ($205) in business or first class. On a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to London it's 83 pounds ($127) and 166 pounds ($254), respectively. These rates are set to increase April 1.
That's in addition to taxes imposed by the U.S. government and the Transportation Security Administration. If you're wondering why flights to Britain are so expensive compared with those of years past, that's one reason. By the way, Northern Ireland airports, such as Belfast, are exempt from the tax at present.
Question: Is it possible to buy an airline ticket without knowing the exact date of travel? I'm wondering if I can purchase a ticket ahead of time and decide later when I was going to fly.
Answer: You can always purchase a ticket and change the dates of travel, but the fare may change (either up or down) for travel on the date on which you decide to fly, and in most cases the cheapest fares will also require a change fee ($150 on a domestic fare on most U.S.-based airlines, $250 on international) if you change dates.
Of course, you can buy an expensive fully refundable fare and change the dates all you want, but I'm guessing that's not what you had in mind. You can also purchase an airfare on
Question: I read that
Answer: If you were flying to Scotland, it was on Virgin Atlantic, not Virgin America. Although the two airlines have a business relationship, Virgin Atlantic, like many foreign-based carriers, does not issue refunds on non-refundable fares when there's a price drop after you buy. By the way, Virgin America upped its fee to $100 effective in July, and United and
Question: I will be flying on
Answer: Even though you began your trip in the U.S. and connected within the U.S., your trip would be considered an international itinerary. International lost luggage compensation, which is typically lower than domestic compensation, would apply. Domestic compensation tops out at $3,300. Compensation for luggage lost on an international flight is capped at 1,000 Special Drawing Rights, a currency established by the