Travel bounces back after Hurricane Rita

by Jon Surmacz on September 26, 2005

Travel bounces back after hurricane Rita — 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. But the Intracoastal Waterway from Houston to Louisiana remained closed because many aids to navigation were washed away or damaged by the strong wind and waves. (Houston Chronicle)

Bankruptcy lawyers profit from ailing airlines — About a half-dozen U.S. airlines are in Chapter 11, others are in deep trouble — and life is good for bankruptcy lawyers and consultants. If United Airlines’ nearly 3-year-old bankruptcy case is a guide, the professionals advising Delta and Northwest airlines, both new to bankruptcy reorganization, will walk away with fees totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. (USA Today)

Detroit Marriott replaces toilets — The Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center recently completed the installation of new toilets in every one of its 1,298 guest rooms. The Kohler toilets were designed to correct the No. 1 complaint from hotel guests: toilets that flushed incompletely or not at all on upper stories of the 73-story Marriott, Detroit’s tallest structure. (Free Press)

Scottish resort sued over slippers — Bosses at Gleneagles were forced to pay thousands of pounds to a guest – after they ran out of complimentary slippers. Beauty therapist Nicola Feeney sued the five-star hotel after she slipped on a wet floor, breaking her wrist. The 24-year-old claimed she would never have fallen if the hotel had given her slippers, which are normally handed out to guests. (Daily Record)

Cruise extras can double your price — So you’re going on a cruise you booked at a bargain price? Well, step right up and learn how you can virtually double your spending with hardly any effort. True, nearly all cruises include meals and entertainment in their price. So what is there left to spend on? (The Boston Globe)

Mile-high dating service debuts — Unless you can afford a first-class seat on an airplane, you’re stuck in steerage — a cargo area where solo travelers have little say about the person who will become their seat neighbor — also known as the person you plan to claw your way through when this thing ditches in open water. (The Washington Post)

Typo causes hijacking scare — In the world of aviation, what’s the difference between the codes 7600 and 7500? Plenty of panic. Deputies and a SWAT team surrounded a plane at the Georgetown County Airport after a pilot accidentally entered a code saying the aircraft had been hijacked. State Ports Authority Chairman Harry Butler was flying the plane Thursday when he lost both radios. (Sun Times)

Northwest flight to Tokyo leaves 43 hours late — A Northwest Airlines flight that was scheduled to leave from Minneapolis for Tokyo on Thursday afternoon finally took off Saturday morning — 43 hours late. (USA Today)

Indonesia passenger boat accident kills 15 — Fifteen people have drowned and three are missing after a boat sank in bad weather off Indonesia’s Sulawesi island. The inter-island passenger boat, carrying 52 people, capsized on Saturday shortly after leaving Batuata island for the nearby coastal town of Baubau in Southeast Sulawesi province. Search and rescue official, Roki Asikin, says big waves of up to two metres overturned the vessel.
Rescuers managed to save 34 people.. (ABC Asia Pacific News)

Lawmakers question Carnival’s deal for relief efforts — Two U.S. lawmakers are questioning whether Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines is being paid too much by the federal government for allowing three of its ships to be used for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Carnival will receive $192 million under a deal negotiated with the Navy’s Military Sealift Command on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Sept. 2 deal also allows Carnival to be reimbursed up to $44 million for fuel and other costs over the next six months. (Miami Herald)

Airline mergers have bad track record — Airlines should resist the temptation to merge with or acquire rivals during the industry’s current crisis, since such deals tend to create more problems than they solve, analysts and experts say. Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. each declared bankruptcy on the same day earlier this month, touching off speculation they could merge with each other or be acquired by other airlines. (MSNBC)

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