Airline industry optimism hurt by surging oil prices

Whatever relief airlines hoped to receive from lower oil prices this winter is quickly disappearing. As the second-quarter reporting season wraps up, carriers have warned again that fuel, which is right up there with personnel as their biggest cost, is headed higher in the third and fourth quarters. That would put overall fuel costs for 2007 as high or even higher than they were in 2006.

My worst flight ever

Trips from hell — everyone has a horror story about a bad flight on an airplane. James Wysong has worked as a flight attendant for 18 years, and he’s had some doozies. In this column, James tells about his worst flight ever and invites readers to write in with theirs.

Another surge in cancellations riles NWA passengers

Northwest Airlines’ pattern of cancellations continued Sunday, with more than 200 flights dropped as pilots who were pushed to the limit of hours they are allowed to fly each month stayed home from work. (Detroit Free Press)

10 great European drives

Driving.gifOn a great drive, the destination never surpasses the journey. In Europe, with the densest highway system in the world, good roads are easy to find, but great drives come once in a blue kilometer. The drives that follow are more than means to an end, more than concrete curls along countryside contours or asphalt assaulting towering peaks. They transcend the danger of the road, the thrill of driving, or the response of a well-tuned machine. Rather, they are sublime sensuous weaves of man-made and natural beauty.

Carnival’s Freedom takes on the Mediterranean

Can a giant, mass-market cruise ship renowned for its “Fun Ship” atmosphere make it in the sophisticated Mediterranean cruise market? Can two American kids and their mom survive the 12-day whirlwind tour? After cruising the Mediterranean with her two young daughters aboard the Carnival Freedom, Anita Dunham-Potter says yes, on both counts.

Southwest tests new ways of boarding families

Can airlines do a better job of accommodating families? That’s the question Southwest Airlines is asking by experimenting with various ways to board and seat traveling families.

Man misses flight, creates bomb scare

A man who had missed his flight Wednesday said there was a bomb aboard the plane, forcing it to return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport even though authorities did not believe the threat was legitimate, an airport spokeswoman said.

Help! Our suite is swamped

Linda Cohn’s room at the Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort is waterlogged in the wake of a hurricane. She checks into another hotel with the understanding that she’ll get back the loyalty points that she used to pay for her visit. Nine months later, the loyalty points are still missing. What gives?

TSA: Airport incidents may be terror ‘dry runs’

Airport security officers should be on the lookout for possible “dry runs” for a terror attack, federal officials advised, after a series of suspicious incidents at U.S. airports. In one case, a plastic bag with a block of cheese was found taped to a bag with a cell phone charger.