Cranky in the News Archive – 2009

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Sun-Times Logo

Airlines find coach travelers willing to pay extra for perks

Mary Wisniewski – December 25, 2009

“More and more airlines keep trying it,” said Brett Snyder, who runs the Web site and offers an air-travel assistance service at “It’s crept into the mainstream.”

Snyder said the charges don’t bother him, since the airlines are actually offering something better for a price, rather than just adding a charge.

But he admits not everyone feels the same. “Every change tends to make people mad because they’ve come to expect one thing, and they don’t get that anymore,” Snyder said.


WBBM 780 Chicago Noon Business Hour

WBBM Interview with Cranky – December 7, 2009

Three minute interview on Boeing’s fortunes begins at the 25 minute mark.

New York Times Logo

Airlines Charging More for That Sought-After Seat

Barbara Peterson – December 7, 2009

Some travel experts think the trend is positive. “They are charging you for something of value,” said Brett Snyder, a former airline employee who writes the blog. “Why should someone who sits in an exit row aisle seat pay the same as someone who sits in the last row in the middle?”

Still, he said, some consumers were not happy with this development. “I think the biggest problem is that for fliers, it looks like just another fee,” on top of a myriad of new charges for items like checked bags and pillows.

USA Today

Enjoy foreign service on N. American flights

Ben Mutzabaugh – December 7, 2009

“For enthusiasts, these flights are fantastic,” says Brett Snyder, a self-proclaimed “airline dork” and author of the popular aviation blog The Cranky Flier.

“People choose this kind of stuff all the time,” Snyder says of the routes, which often are referred to as “fifth-freedom” routes in aviation lingo.
. . .
“It’s like a little bit of exotic flavor,” Snyder says.

He points out the Las Vegas-Vancouver fifth-freedom route operated by Philippine Airlines, one of the more unusual carriers to sell flights between two mainland North American cities.

“Even if you’re just flying between Las Vegas and Vancouver on Philippine Air, it’s just kind of cool that you can do it. It’s something a little different,” he says.
. . .
“My personal favorite of all the fifth-freedom routes is Air New Zealand’s London-Los Angeles” route, Cranky Flier author Snyder says.

Although he has plenty of other options on the route – including non-stop service on both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic– he says the business class on Air New Zealand is often a bit cheaper than other carriers flying the route.

Perhaps more important, he says, “I just really like what those guys do. I really like their onboard product. It’s just something a little different.”

ABC News Logo

Electronics Top Splurge Gifts for Travelers

Beth Harpaz – November 16, 2009

“With the proliferation of onboard Wi-Fi, I’ve thought about a tablet PC or a netbook,” said Brett Snyder, who spends a lot of time on airplanes and writes a blog at “The seat pitch is so awful on some of these airlines that a full laptop is hard to use.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer Logo

AirTran, SkyWest deal challenges traditional regional-airline model

Alison Grant – November 11, 2009

“The balance of power has shifted,” said Brett Snyder, who previously worked for United Airlines and US Airways and now runs the blog. “You have so many jets out there — more than the big guys need.”

Washington Times Logo

Bloggers offer paid travel services

Nicholas Kralev – October 12, 2009

Last week, Brett Snyder announced the launch of “The Cranky Concierge,” which he called “the next logical extension” of his blog, “The Cranky Flier,” for travelers “who would like to have an airline dork watching over them to help with all aspects of their trips.” Mr. Snyder will provide services before, during and after travel.
. . .
The $30 covers all these services for a domestic trip for all passengers on the same itinerary, although if you contact Mr. Snyder one week or less before departure, the price is $60. For an international trip, the rates are $50 and $80, respectively. It seems like a great bargain if you make use of everything he offers.

Bloomberg Logo

United Offers One-Year Pass for Checked Bags for $249

Mary Jane Credeur – October 5, 2009

United led major U.S. airlines in 2008 in charging $25 for a second bag to boost revenue beyond tickets. The new service may help attract semi-regular travelers and families, said Brett Snyder, a Long Beach, California-based consultant who runs the blog and is a former United employee.

“It’s money in the bank, and it will help them keep the loyalty of some customers,” Snyder said. “If a person uses this once or twice, even if they find a cheaper flight next time on another airline, they’re going to be more likely to pick United because they already bought this thing.”

Bloomberg Logo

Delta, American, United Add $10 Holiday-Travel Fee

Mary Jane Credeur – September 25, 2009

Brett Snyder, who previously worked for United and US Airways and now runs the blog and works as an aviation consultant, said airlines recognized that they were “leaving money on the table” by not boosting prices on the days when most vacationers want to travel after U.S. holidays.

“On off-peak days it probably can’t be sustained or won’t be matched by others, so they’re just targeting the returns,” said Snyder, who is based in Long Beach, California.

In Business Las Vegas Logo

Not all Southwest passengers on board with EarlyBird Check-In

Richard N Velotta – September 11, 2009

“If they wanted to really do this right, they should tell you what your check-in position will be before you purchase it,” said Brett Snyder, a self-admitting “airline dork” who writes an award-winning consumer blog called The Cranky Flier. “They could even charge more for the highest spots if they wanted. At the very least, they could cap the number of seats so they can guarantee value.

“I know some people are moaning that this is a fee and Southwest said they wouldn’t add any fees (now they say no ‘hidden’ fees), but I disagree,” Snyder said in a blog posting. “To me, this is an example of creating additional value in a way that many people will appreciate. It makes it easier if you don’t have to sit by the computer waiting for that magical 24-hour time to check in. They should have done this long ago.”

The Indianapolis Star Logo

Indianapolis airport security reflects the new reality

Dan McFeely – September 10, 2009

Brett Snyder, an airline industry blogger, said that’s the biggest advantage of moving through the new airport, which he does frequently to see relatives in Fishers.

“I honestly don’t know whether Indianapolis is one of the most secure airports around or not,” said Snyder, known on his blog as the Cranky Flier. “What I can tell you is that it is one of the few airports that actually has the room to comfortably do what the TSA is trying to do.”

Budget Travel Logo

8 Things an Airline Would Never Tell You

Alexander Basek – September 3, 2009

Advises Brett Snyder, author of The Cranky Flier and a former pricing analyst at America West: As soon as you find out that your nonstop flight has been canceled, check to see if there’s another nonstop option. If there is, call the airline and ask—nicely—to be put on it. But if nonstop service on the route has disappeared, threaten to switch to another carrier for the trip. Major airlines will typically agree to refund your money without any fees if you refuse to accept a new, multistop flight that will arrive at your destination more than two hours later than you were originally scheduled.

Frommer’s Logo Podcast: A Conversation with the Cranky Flier

David Lytle Podcast Interview with Cranky – August 25, 2009

Brett Snyder, of, joins host David Lytle for a discussion of recent news and issues in the travel industry: decreased demand, ever-increasing fees, and how you can still find a good deal

To download this episode to your hard drive, click here.

Chicago Tribune RedEye Logo

Booking the hot seat on airlines

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz – July 28, 2009

Brett Snyder, founder of the blog, said his pickiness manifests itself in his intolerance for delays. Snyder said he avoids O’Hare and J.F.K. airports “like the plague” when he has to make connections because of their poor on-time records. In winter, he tries to connect in warmer cities to avoid weather snarls.

In the Loop Logo

Minnesota Public Radio: In the Loop Podcast

Jeff Horwich – July 10, 2009

My interview starts at 18:30

WFIT-FM Melbourne Logo

JetAmerica Interview with WFIT-FM Melbourne

Ryan Arens – July 8, 2009

Washington Times Logo

The ethics of travel blogs

Nicholas Kralev – June 15, 2009

Brett Snyder, who writes “The Cranky Flier” blog, has a bit more experience with free or discounted travel than Mr. Guillebeau and has come up with a “general policy.”

“I will disclose that it was given to me when or if I write about it. If it is a discounted rate, then I will disclose the rate that was offered,” he said. “I will write as if I paid for it. In other words, if the experience isn’t good, then I won’t be holding back simply because it was offered to me at a discount.”

. . .

Just as with any reporter, it all comes down to his credibility with readers, Mr. Snyder said.

“I know that my reputation lies solely with the content I provide, and I’m not willing to risk that by polluting my content with paid advertorials,” he said.

USA Today

JetBlue CEO: Long Beach brouhaha was not inadvertent

Ben Mutzabaugh – May 6, 2009

Mutzabaugh: Of course, in the blogosphere, there are blogs that run the gamut of journalistic integrity. But The Cranky Flier is one that’s very well respected and has a good reputation. What’s your perspective?

Barger: I believe so. And, by the way, I think whether it’s written format or TV or radio, I think there would also be others who would say some (of those outlets) are also less professional (than others).

But this was not happenstance with Brett. We’ve spent time with Brett and The Cranky Flier in the past.

Press Telegram Logo

Don’t shoot the blogger, in this case

Paul Eakins – April 8, 2009

. . . What was surprising was the council’s derision of the blog, which is run by Brett Snyder, a Long Beach resident who has worked for airlines, airports and a travel Web site.

Snyder, a self-proclaimed “airline dork,” may be local, but his blog reports on international airline issues and has been recognized with several awards. The Observer, a major newspaper in the United Kingdom, last year ranked No. 29 in its list of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs.

Not all blogs are reliable, but Snyder’s certainly seems to have a good reputation.

So while the council may not always like the news, it shouldn’t shoot the messenger.

Press Telegram Logo

Blog: JetBlue CEO says leaving L.B. an option

John Canalis – April 1, 2009

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger told an aviation blogger that his company may pull out of Long Beach Airport unless terminal improvements are made and the relationship between his company and the city improves.

Barger told the Long Beach-based blog that the city of Long Beach should not take JetBlue for granted in the current economic climate. . .

Real Simple Logo

Have (less) money, will travel

Elizabeth Schatz Passarella – April 2009 Issue

“In 2008 airlines cut capacity so they were able to survive without discounting fares too much,” says Brett Snyder, an airline-industry veteran and the founder of the blog “But because of the current economy, we’ll see see some price cutting.”

Cranky Flier