Daily Mail | Air passengers who refuse to submit to controversial full body scans will be barred from boarding their flights.
The technology—which has been strongly condemned by civil liberties campaigners—began operating at Heathrow and Manchester airports yesterday. Birmingham will follow suit later this month before the anti-terror devices are rolled out nationally....
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: 'In the immediate future, only a small proportion of airline passengers will be selected for scanning.
'If a passenger is selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.'
Travel Weekly | While airlines continue to rack up even more revenue by charging higher checked-baggage fees, Southwest remains resolved to let bags fly free, saying it has enabled the carrier to capture market share from its competitors.
And a recent report analyzing the baggage-fee bonanza suggests that while Southwest might be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate cash, the low-cost carrier’s strategy promises to pay off in the long run as fed-up passengers make the switch to avoid paying the extra baggage charges. (Read more.)
In other Southwest Airlines news, the Chicago Tribute reports the carrier is adding WiFi to its fleet:
Southwest Airlines finally has decided to wire its Boeing 737 fleet for wireless Internet service after dabbling with the concept for two years.
The big question: Will the discounter offer its Wi-Fi service for peanuts?
Texas-based Southwest said Friday that it plans to begin outfitting its aircraft to handle Row 44 Inc.'s satellite-based broadband service by the second quarter.
Southwest initially will install equipment on about 15 aircraft per month and gradually increase that rate to 25 planes per month. It estimates that Wi-Fi will be available on the more than 540 planes in its fleet by early 2012.
Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines
Bloomberg | California will get $2.3 billion and Florida $1.3 billion to help build high-speed passenger-train service, the biggest winners among 31 states sharing $8 billion in rail grants from the U.S. economic stimulus package.
President Barack Obama will be in Tampa today at an event to announce the awards, most of which will go toward developing or laying the groundwork for 13 new high-speed rail corridors across the country, the administration said in a statement...
“There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains,” Obama said yesterday in his State of the Union speech, citing Florida’s rail development. “There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation’s goods, services and information.”
Telegraph | From next month seriously overweight flyers will be asked to pay for two seats, or not be allowed on board for “safety reasons”, the airline announced yesterday.
“People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat,” said Monique Matze, an Air France spokesman.
“They will be charged 75 per cent of the cost of the second seat, which is the full price excluding tax and surcharges, on top of the full price for the first.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the US Airways’ miracle landing in New York on the Hudson River. Veteran pilot Captain Sully is a full-fledged national hero, and the incident in which all 155 passengers survived is a now fuzzy memory. But, the cause of the crash—Canada geese in the plane’s engine—has not gone away.
A new government report claims that the tally of bird-plane collisions (or "bird strikes") could reach as high as 10,000 for the first time ever. Some incidents caused serious damage, even death. And annual damages in the U.S. alone have been estimated at over $400 million.
After a flurry of security breaches and a healthy public outcry over the holidays, travelers with iPhones can give the Transportation Security Administration a piece of their minds. The tech company On the Spot Systems, Inc. announced a new iPhone application that allows flyers to rate airport security screening via a TSA survey.
Originally created to capture reviews for restaurants, hotels, and services, Survey on the Spot’s first phone application rolled out in November 2009. Now is shaping up to be the perfect time for the feedback interface to include airport security in its fold.
The Globe and Mail | Airline passengers heading to the United States met increased security screening Monday in airports around the world following U.S. requests for stricter checks after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to ignite explosives on a flight to Detroit.
Pakistan's national airline said it was intensifying security checks for U.S.-bound passengers, even though there are no direct flights to the States from Pakistan. Screening was also stepped up for those flying to the U.S. from other parts of Asia and the Middle East.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said people flying into the United States from countries such as Nigeria, Yemen, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are to face the extra screening, which is likely to annoy passengers already facing intrusive security procedures.
The Wall Street Journal | The Obama administration said Monday it would begin levying hefty fines against U.S. airlines for subjecting domestic passengers to lengthy tarmac delays, the government's latest response to a series of high-profile incidents.
The new rule adopted by the Department of Transportation sets fines of as much as $27,500 per passenger when airlines leave fliers stuck on a plane on the ground for more than three hours. Based on a delayed plane carrying 120 passengers, the fine could be as much as $3.3 million. The rule would apply to planes with more than 30 seats.
New York Times — Associated Press | The Transportation Department is ordering airlines to let passengers stuck in stranded airplanes exit after three hours.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday announced the three-hour limit and other new passenger protections long sought by consumer advocates. From January to June this year, 613 planes were delayed on tarmacs for more than three hours.
Most people probably couldn’t locate it on a map, but the tiny, verdant, indomitably friendly Oriental Republic of Uruguay is one of the world’s underrated places. I like to consider its long virgin shorelines, burgeoning wine industry, and charming European coffeshops my little secret.
But that may soon change.
In early December a beautiful, dome-like new terminal designed by Uruguay-born, New York-based architect Rafael Viñoly opened, replaced the aging Carrasco International Airport and vastly increasing flight capacity. Here’s to hoping some U.S. airlines will finally begin to offer direct routes to Montevideo (currently passengers must first stop in Buenos Aires). Yes, I’m talking to you, Delta.