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Air France to Charge Obese Travelers for Two Seats

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.


Bird-Plane Collisions May Pass 10,000


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.

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Security Gripe? There’s an App for That

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.

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Airports Intensify Screening of Airline Passengers Heading to U.S.

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.




Airlines Face Big Fines for Delays

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.


U.S. Sets 3-Hour Limit on Tarmac Waits for Plane Passengers

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.


With a Flashy New Airport and Hot Hotels, Uruguay’s Star is Rising

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.

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Finally Takes Off

Associated Press | EVERETT, Wash. - Boeing's new 787 jetliner finally got airborne Tuesday, the long-delayed inaugural flight of the world's first commercial plane mostly built from lightweight composite materials.

The sleek jet lifted off from Everett's Paine Field on a flight over Washington state, beginning an extensive testing program needed to obtain Federal Aviation Administration certification.


Go Native: Handy Transit Apps


Hit the ground running. CityGoRound.com, a remarkably useful new website, has compiled tools that can help you get around wherever it is you’re heading. Just type in your destination city for up a list of websites and easily-downloaded apps for mobile phones (not just iPhones) that can get you up real-time help in navigating the mean streets.

Some of the available tools are tried-and-true favorites like Google Maps, but others possess that tingly magic of future must-haves:

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British Airways to Strike Over Christmas Holiday

The Daily Mail |  A million people were left facing a nightmare Christmas today after British Airways staff voted to strike for 12 days right through the festive period.

Union members voted massively in favour of their first walkout for 12 years as a bitter row over jobs, pay and working conditions escalated.

The industrial action will last from December 22 until January 2, hitting everyone trying to travel with BA over Christmas and the New Year.



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