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TSA: Keep Your Shoes on at Security?

July 31, 2008 | Posted in: Security | 0 comments

KEY WORDS

It may happen.

According to the blog on the Transportation Security Administration’s website, testing is underway that could mean we keep our shoes on. Wouldn’t that be something?

The TSA is well aware that the removal of shoes is not our most popular policy. In fact, it probably ranks up there with root canals and doing your taxes.” TSA blog

According to the blog, “last year, TSA tested a shoe scanner from General Electric in Orlando. Today, we’re testing shoe scanning technology at Los Angeles International Airport. If all goes well, these tests could lead the way to quelling of one of our most unpopular policies.”

They don’t say when this might happen, though…so keep wearing those moccasins and clogs or whatever easy-on, easy-off shoes you prefer.

Apples and Oranges: Check Airline Fees (and We’ve Got the List)

July 31, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News | 0 comments

Couldn’t resist a minor but somewhat shameless plug after seeing this online story from an Austin radio station.

It seems the reporter talked to a rep from the Better Business Bureau, who said you must know all the fees an airline piles on, otherwise comparing ticket prices is like comparing apples and oranges.

Right she is.

The rep went on to say, you’ll have to do some digging around on airline web sites to find them all.

Wrong she is.

All you have to do is check FareCompare’s Domestic Airline Fee Chart, which we update regularly. End of plug.

United Tells Pilots Union: Stop the “Slowdown”

July 31, 2008 | Posted in: Pilots,United | 2 comments

Actually, it’s an “alleged” slowdown, but real enough to United that they’ve asked a federal district judge for an injunction against it.

So far, the pilots union (Air Line Pilots Association) isn’t talking, but United claims the union is “encouraging sick-leave abuse” — according to the carrier, sick-leave among first officers is up 103% this summer.

United thinks the pilots’ alleged actions are “absolutely irresponsible” and due to unhappiness with some of the “unprecedented actions” the carrier is taking to “offset record fuel costs”.

Of course, one “action” is United’s plan to furlough nearly 1,000 pilots.

American Airlines: Whew! Baggage is Back to Normal at JFK

July 31, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News | 0 comments

American spokesman Tim Wagner was no doubt VERY relieved when he emailed the following:

“The bag system is fixed.” And JFK is “back to normal.”

If you haven’t heard, they had a problem with the automated baggage sorting system at an American terminal at Kennedy yesterday, so they were reduced to sorting by hand. Let’s just say, it wasn’t very efficient, and hundreds and hundreds of passengers arrived at their destinations — without their bags.

The problem turned out to be a network hardware issue, according to Wagner, who adds that he hears there are still “several hundred” bags that must be reunited with their owners — and they will be, today.

By the way, American waived their fees for checked-luggage yesterday. You can see that as a nice gesture — or — the least they could do.

Northwest Raises (Some) Airfares – $80 Round-trip

July 31, 2008 | Posted in: Airfare News,Northwest | 0 comments

Well, we had about a month of silence on the airfare-hike front. But that’s over.

Last night, Northwest Airlines increased domestic airfares by $80 roundtrip on over 4,000 city pairs. We’ll call this a mini-hike, in that it does not quite reach our threshold of two-thirds of a legacy carrier’s route system — which means I will not list this as the 22nd attempted hike of the year (not yet, anyway).

But what is noteworthy, is that this is the FIRST time Northwest has initiated an airfare hike this year.

So why the long break from airfare hikes? Keep reading

Northwest Raises (Some) Airfares – $80 Round-trip

American Airlines: On-Going Baggage Problems at JFK

July 30, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News,Delays | 0 comments

If you’re going to get a flight out of JFK on American today, this would be the day to stuff everything into a carry-on.

According to American Airlines, a glitch in the software that operates the airline’s baggage handling system there is creating all kinds of problems — and delays. Passengers are reaching their destinations, but their bags are not.

The main problem with the software: it isn’t working. Normally it reads luggage tags and sends bags to the proper gates. Now, American employees are sorting baggage by hand.

Passengers are being allowed to opt out of the affected flights, and re-schedule without paying any penalty fee. Also, the airline is waiving the first and second bag fees (but many of these flights are international, and the fees don’t apply in any event).

NOTE: As of this writing, American spokesman Tim Wagner said there is no estimate on when the problem will be solved.

British Airways and Iberia in Merger Talks

July 30, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News | 0 comments

This could be huge.

British Airways and the Madrid-based airline Iberia are in talks about a possible merger, which would create Europe’s largest carrier.

Like most mergers lately, the thought behind this one is to save costs.

And there’s a U.S. element to this story, as well: British Airways has also been in talks with American Airlines about “deeper cooperation” on trans-Atlantic routes.

ABCNews.com Column: Kids vs. Business Travelers

July 30, 2008 | Posted in: ABC Column,Travel Tips | 2 comments

In today’s column, I write about war.

Well, a kind of war: that between traveling families and the brief-case brigade.

Both sides seem to sneer at one another (and worse! read the column!) but I think I have some ideas to ease the hostilities.

What do you think about banishing kids to the back of the plane?

See the column here. And tell me what you think.

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