September 2007

President Bush ordered his top aviation regulators Thursday to reduce the record flight delays that plagued airports this summer.

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On the south bank of the Ohio River in northern Kentucky is a town where time stands still. Riverboats dock beside the bridge. Cabaret plays in the restored opera house. Locals talk politics over ham and eggs at the diner. Maysville and its neighboring town Washington (a living museum) offer a wonderful and fast-disappearing peek into the world of early America.

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You paid a fee to purchase the ticket, you may have even chalked up the extra charge for an exit-row seat, and you’re prepared to spend $5 for a cocktail on board – but when plans change and you need to modify your flights accordingly, that’s when you really get hit.

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Expedia confirms a reservation for one night in a New York hotel. There’s just one problem: The booking doesn’t exist. That leaves one unhappy traveler homeless for the night — and Janice Japa, the person who made the reservation, is trying in vain to get her money back.

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Frequent and lengthy flight delays are increasing and worsening, putting 2007 on track to break records set in 2000, according to a Department of Transportation inspector general report.

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We’ve all seen the headlines in magazines and catalogs: “Check out the hottest new travel gear!” And what do we find? Expensive clothing, complicated equipment and ridiculous gadgets “for your in-flight convenience.” What we really need is some lightweight, packable, multi-tasking gear that will pass through security and keep our bags under the weight limit. Tim Leffel’s got the goods.

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Like golfers who reserve tee times and diners who reserve restaurant slots, airline passengers may be able to reserve the time they go through airport security.

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Air travel is full of mistakes waiting to happen. There are the errors we make at home before the trip, and the ones we make at the airport, and of course the ones we make once we get where we’re going. But some of the worst mistakes are the ones people make on the airplane. James Wysong sets folks straight.

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A group of disgruntled US Airways pilots says it’s close to forcing a vote to choose a new union and stall contract negotiations with the carrier indefinitely.

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