REUTERS | American Airlines and its parent company AMR Corp filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday to cut costs and combat soaring fuel prices and dampened travel demand.
American Airlines was once the largest U.S. carrier, but is now third behind United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. It had been the only major U.S. airline to avoid a bankruptcy filing in the last decade and consequently has the industry's highest labor costs.
The airline hopes bankruptcy will cut labor costs after it failed to reach a deal with pilots and other work groups after years of fruitless negotiations. Analysts question, however, whether restructuring under Chapter 11 of U.S. Bankruptcy Code will address operational shortcomings and bolster revenue.
The filing also leaves AMR vulnerable to unsolicited takeover bids by rival airlines in the rapidly shrinking airline industry.
"It completes the cycle," said Helane Becker, an analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co. "Every major airline in the united States has filed for Chapter 11."
Check out the latest openings and exhibits across the world’s cultural map, from New York to the Netherlands.
New York City: After an extensive renovation, the New-York Historical Society (212/873-3400) will show off its upgraded digs—complete with a new children’s history museum and Stephen Starr restaurant.
Washington, D.C.: As part of a project that included a three-part HBO documentary and a book, photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s “Black List” portraits are now showing at the National Portrait Gallery (through April 22).
Bentonville, Arkansas: Until recently, the small town was best known as Walmart’s home base. But that’s all changing with the Moshe Safdie–designed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (479/418-5700). Walmart heiress Alice Walton donated much of the collection.
The before/after photographs are harrowing: in the first, a postcard-perfect Italian village, with pine-green shutters and lemon and rose façades, lapped by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. In the next, the same village buried in a horrifying avalanche of mud, its harbor now the color and consistency of cement.
On October 25, flooding from a freak rainstorm devastated the town of Vernazza, one of the five villages that make up the celebrated Cinque Terre in Liguria . Rivers of water and mud cascaded down the steep and narrow streets, burying the town’s lowest levels in as much as 13 feet of debris, while also overwhelming the railroad tracks that provided the primary way in or out of Vernazza. (Part of the Cinque Terre’s allure is that four of its cliff-hugging villages are accessible only by train, boat, or hiking trail.)
Travel Weekly | New rules are to be imposed to limit the number of cruise passengers visiting The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
Tour operators have until February 1 to incorporate the Galapagos National Park Authority’s new regulations, which are designed to protect the local animal and plant life, into travel programmes.
The rules will allow travellers to stay for a maximum of four nights and five days per ship, with a frequency of four landings within any 14-day period.
The archipelago’s 150,000 annual visitors have been mainly concentrated on the three islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal for the past 14 years. (Photo credit: T+L Photo Contest)
The government agency fined American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines' AMR Corp., (AMR, Fortune 500) a a civil penalty of $900,000 for delays that occurred earlier this year at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
Airlines are penalized for tarmac delays exceeding three hours. The department said this is the first time an airline has been fined since the rules on tarmac delays were imposed in April 2010.
Yesterday, the world lost a true visionary. At the age of just 56, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and innovator of some of the most groundbreaking technologies of our time, died after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. His amazing creations changed the way we all live our day-to-day lives.
Do you have iPad envy? Book your next trip at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and you can pretend like you own one during your stay. Each of its 285 rooms and suites will be stocked with iPad2s for guests to use throughout their stay starting October 3.
Each iPad comes with an innovative program called ICE (Interactive Customer Experience™) from Intelity that will make you feel like you're staying at the Jetson's. How does it work? Instead of picking up the phone to order room service, just press a few buttons and food arrives at your door. You can also make restaurant reservations, request valet parking, airport transportation, spa treatments, and housekeeping. So far, the Four Seasons LA is only hotel on the West Coast and the first Four Seasons property to offer this cool and convenient amenity.
Lyndsey Matthews in an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
USA Today | President Obama is asking passengers to pay a few dollars more in taxes for an airline ticket — which already is about 20% taxes and fees. And the travel industry is in an uproar about it.
Big airlines say people would buy fewer tickets if Congress approves the president's proposal to help cut the deficit and pay for the nation's aviation system.
Regional airlines, which carry more than half of domestic fliers each day, say it could force them to pull out of small cities.
Small-city airports worry about that.
And some travelers and consumer groups say it's just unfair to ask passengers to pay more on top of the taxes and fees that government and airports already charge.
Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport is experimenting with an innovation that air travelers have fitfully dreamt of for years: a safe and clean place to grab a few hours’ sleep.
Installed a month ago in the AeroExpress terminal, the prototype Sleepbox shows travelers a small, private oasis in which to spend layovers. The 13-sq.-ft. box, covered with an attractive pale ash veneer, is efficiently kitted out with two bunks, LED reading lamps, electrical outlets for laptops or phone charging, WiFi, ventilation and sound systems, under-bunk space to stow luggage, and motor-controlled blinds. Apparently, there is even an automated process to change the linens between guests.
No sooner did Google unveil Flights, its new airfare search tool, on Tuesday than the criticism began to fly—not least from key competitor Kayak. But let's let's let Robert Birge, Kayak's chief marketing officer, speak for himself.
"We recognize Google is a formidable competitor, but they haven't been successful in every vertical they've entered," Birge said in a statement that went on to laud Kayak's own attributes.
I got the statement in an unusual email today from the Kayak's P.R. rep, who suggested that Google Flights doesn't work for international destinations; has no regional airports; and has questionable accuracy when it comes to actual airfares. I noted some of those things myself when I spent some time on the site this morning and Tweeted about it.