May 2006

A huge fire engulfed the cargo section of Istanbul’s Ataturk International airport on Wednesday, blocking air traffic and causing hundreds of panicked people to flee, television reports said.

Most big U.S. airports expect record parking revenue this year, a strong hint of headaches to come for travelers over Memorial Day weekend and the peak summer travel season that follows.

The Airbus A380 will soon rumble into the skies, carrying 555 passengers on routes as long as 8,000 nautical miles. We already have bigger airports, longer lines, heavier baggage and heftier flight attendants. Do we really want bigger airplanes?

Agents are increasingly finding niches, like adventure, ethnic and eco-travel, to entice customers to book with them. And while nearly all agents charge fees to offset the commissions they used to receive from airlines and hotels, prices remain relatively low.

When most people take a cruise, they focus on the fun, the sun and the food. But here’s another thing to think about: sanitation. Poor sanitation can ruin your cruise — ask anyone who’s been felled by the Norwalk virus. And the biggest culprit? Fellow passengers who don’t wash their hands.

A government lab is testing a “very promising” new machine that would allow airline passengers to keep their shoes on while going through security checkpoints, the nation’s aviation security chief said Thursday.

The difference between a car ride and a road trip lies in your state of mind. A car ride requires a sense of purpose; a road trip, a sense of adventure. Perhaps surprisingly, it is this latter, more free-spirited wheeling that requires the greater planning and investment. Here are five pack-and-go essentials that will put you on the road to adventure.

The number of Americans driving and flying over the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to rise only slightly this year as consumers respond to the rising cost of airfares, hotel rooms and motor fuel, according to travel agency AAA.

Southwest Airlines acknowledged yesterday that it was considering abandoning its free-for-all boarding process and implementing assigned seating. The nation’s largest low-cost carrier said it spent $5 million to enhance its reservation system as part of an internal test to see if it could easily implement assigned seating.

Planes were already packed in April, and passengers planning travel in the months ahead should brace for a season of long lines in the terminal, tight quarters on board, delayed flights and mishandled luggage.