September 2005

A veteran air traffic controller was stripped of tower duty at McCarran International Airport while authorities investigated how two commercial airliners nearly collided on a runway, officials said Thursday.

Three manly factory tours

by Jon Surmacz on September 30, 2005

FireTruck150.jpgMen are all little boys at heart. They just love big machines that spit steam and engines that make too much noise. Vroom, vroom! Here are three larger-than-life factory tours for all those not-quite-grown-up boys who still thrill to massive trucks, giant planes, and shiny-red fire engines.

An Amtrak train derailed in eastern Missouri after apparently striking boulders on the tracks from a rockslide, officials said. Eleven people suffered minor injuries.

Joe Crawford cashed in his hard-earned American Airlines frequent-flier miles for a first-class ticket on Cathay Pacific. But then the airline changed equipment, and suddenly there was no first class. To make matters worse, American refused to credit Crawford for his missing miles. Can you lose your upgrade and your miles, too?

On Sept. 1, under pressure to move tens of thousands of desperate Louisianans out of New Orleans, the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted one of the most controversial contracts of the Hurricane Katrina relief operation, a $236 million agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines for three ships that now bob more than half empty in the Mississippi River and Mobile Bay.

President Bush on Monday ordered 2.4 million civilian federal employees to “curtail non-essential travel” — and urged the nation’s drivers to do the same — to ease threatened gasoline shortages caused by temporary refinery shutdowns during the back-to-back Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The nightmare in the next seat

by James Wysong on September 27, 2005

If you fly often enough, sooner or later you will sit next to a passenger you can’t stand. There are the complainers, the opinionated, the loud and obnoxious, those with unusual quirks or phobias, and those with gas. You name it, I have probably sat next to it at one time or another.

Planes and trains were back in service Sunday morning, but ships continued to anchor offshore waiting for the Houston Ship Channel to reopen. More than 60 ships were waiting to enter the channel or en route on Sunday.

The bankruptcy subsidy

by Charlie Leocha on September 26, 2005

About a week ago, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines both declared bankruptcy. That makes American Airlines the only major airline not to have been in bankruptcy proceedings in the last dozen years or so. The bankruptcy laws must be changed before the incompetent, debt-ducking, legacy carriers gang up on American Airlines and force it into bankruptcy, too.

Nearly 2 million flee Rita

by Jon Surmacz on September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita roared toward the Texas and Louisiana coasts early Friday, a major Category 4 storm that spurred a traffic-snarled exodus toward higher ground and fears it could cripple the heart of the nation’s petrochemical industry.