June 2005

The audit, along with interviews with people involved in the passenger-screener contract, paints a rare and detailed portrait of how officials at the fledgling agency lost control of the spending in the pell-mell rush to hire 60,000 screeners to meet a one-year congressional deadline.

I’m lucky. Many people have to fly off to distant cities, rent cars and spend their nights in hotels to attend good musical events. I can just jump in my car and, for a few bucks to park, take in an evening of free, top-notch entertainment. Best of all, I can sleep in my own bed that same night. This summer will be another opportunity for me to take advantage of my location here in Northern California.

Motorists renting cars at Midway Airport would pay a $4 surcharge to finance construction of a facility that would bring eight rental car companies under one roof, under a plan to be unveiled by Mayor Daley today to increase parking and reduce roadway congestion.

Travelers who carry banned items through airport security don’t simply risk losing a favorite Swiss Army knife. They also face potentially big fines — and these penalties can vary sharply from airport to airport, according to an analysis of federal airport-security data.

TSA doesn’t stand for Thousands Standing Around, although sometimes it seems like it should. Not only are there swarms of TSA employees everywhere, but when you get to a line during rush hour, you too become one of the thousands standing around. Nobody likes waiting around after being told to take off some of your clothes, or watching as other passengers ahead of you take an agonizingly long time being searched.

Australia’s largest airline, Qantas Airways Ltd, has played down merger suggestions but said it was likely to have an “association” with another airline in five to 10 years. Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said the Australian government would be reluctant to see Qantas disappear and any future merger would probably involve two brands and dual listing.

U.S. anti-trust enforcers cleared the proposed merger between bankrupt US Airways and America West Airlines, saying it would be good for consumers, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

It could be the architecture – the soaring cathedrals built on Roman ruins – that draws visitors to the ancient Hungarian city of Sopron. Or maybe it’s the sidewalk cafés, with their delectable pastries such as the dense chocolate Sachertorte or the Ferenc Rahozzi, a multilayered cheesecake, which bring them to this town along the Austrian border. Then again, it’s probably the teeth.

When Lynne Dolce-Brouwer’s flight from Boston to Chicago lands, her six-year-old daughter runs off the plane. She pursues her but isn’t allowed back on the aircraft to help the rest of her family disembark. When she tries to push her way past the flight attendant, fists start to fly. Was the flight attendant out of line? Is this passenger entitled to an apology – or even, a refund?

Travelers buying summer tickets may be in for sticker shock on airfares to Europe and within the United States. The four biggest U.S. airlines – American, United, Delta and Northwest – raised most airfares Wednesday, citing record-high fuel prices.