November 2005

An adviser to the European Union’s highest court on Tuesday called for the annulment of the deal that provides U.S. counterterrorism authorities with information about air passengers, arguing the measure insufficiently protects privacy.

A time to give thanks

by James Wysong on November 22, 2005

The old joke goes something like this: What do you call a bunch of flight attendants in a basement? Answer: a whine cellar. There is a lot to complain about this year in the airline industry, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to mention those things that I’m thankful for.

Deaths and injuries from hotel fires are down dramatically in the United States, thanks to tough safety regulations enacted in recent decades. At the same time, hotel fires continue to kill or injure scores each year, and the threat of catastrophe remains.

When the bigwigs met to discuss the state of the travel industry last week at the PhoCusWright Executive Conference, the buzz among online providers was all about “content” and “community.” Does the new online environment really empower travelers, or is it just chaos?

Delta says it’s losing $5 million per day — Delta Air Lines needs to cut pilots’ pay and benefits because it is losing $5 million each day, much of it due to high jet fuel prices, even as it works to stay afloat, the company’s chief financial officer testified at a bankruptcy court hearing Thursday.

Feeling Hong Kong’s energy

by Jon Surmacz on November 18, 2005

1118.honkong.150-1.jpgHong Kong is probably the most energetic city in the world. It’s got the bright lights of Vegas, the hustle of New York, the swank of Rodeo Drive and the fantasy power of Disney World all rolled into one vibrant city. It is the gateway to China, and it exerts a strange pull on Western visitors.

The union for Delta Air Lines pilots on Thursday called for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Prudence Beatty to disqualify herself from a case that could cut their salaries, saying that she had shown bias against airline pilots in various prior statements.

Lee Askern put down a deposit for a cruise next spring, and agreed on a price. But now American West Steamboat is imposing a $40 fuel surcharge on Askern’s floating vacation. Can it do that? And what recourse does anyone have when prices change?

The Bush administration needs to strengthen the security of domestic air cargo, Congressional investigators said in a report released on Wednesday.

Hope for the best

by Terry Riley on November 16, 2005

Have you ever had a business trip where everything — and I mean everything — went perfectly? Me neither. Yet while paging through a periodical that targets business travelers, I noticed that the people in the ads all appear to be on trips that couldn’t be more pleasant. What gives?