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Airfares soar as planes fill up — Soaring jet fuel prices and rising traveler demand are driving high airfares even higher. Fares for flights departing in the USA rose a record 10.3% in the first quarter of 2006 from a year ago, according to data released by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Wednesday. (USA Today)

Northwest flights returning to normal after computer glitch — Northwest Airlines Corp. said it was able to fly its full schedule Wednesday after its computer system resumed normal operations. Northwest said 277 of its 1,373 flights on Wednesday were delayed an average of 12 minutes before technicians fixed the system. (AP)

Conquer the currency conversion conundrum — There are several options when making foreign transactions, and the experts concur: Use several of them. (CNN)

New Orleans regains 70% of jobs since Katrina — New Orleans has recovered about 70 percent of its jobs since Hurricane Katrina, a university researcher said on Wednesday as Mayor Ray Nagin pronounced the recovery of the damaged city on track. (Reuters)

Company says human error caused cruise tilt — Human error caused a cruise ship to abruptly tilt at sea last week, sending furniture and debris flying about the boat and injuring 240 passengers, a cruise line official said. (AP)

Jetliner loses engine, lands safely in NYC — A jetliner carrying more than 250 people lost power in one of its two engines Wednesday but landed safely at a nearby airport, officials said. The Boeing 777 plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport less than a half hour after the engine failed, said an American Airlines spokesperson. (AP)

NTSB concerned rules don’t apply to aging planes — Planes like the aging seaplane that lost a wing and crashed in Miami in December, killing all 20 people aboard, won’t be subject to new federal rules designed to protect the safety of older aircraft. (USA Today)


The best (and worst) destinations for women worldwide
— The authors say Amsterdam and Ireland are among the most women-friendly destinations. Places to avoid: the Middle East, Northern Africa and the United States. (SmarterTravel.com)

US Airways reports 2Q profit of $305 million — US Airways today reported a second-quarter profit of $305 million, its second straight quarter in the black. The result exceeded analysts’ expectations. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Best ways to book: agent or airline? — Customers lured by convenience and promises of the best deal are booking more trips online. But is Internet booking always the better way to go? That depends on the traveler and the type of trip. (The Arizona Repbulic)

Royal Caribbean sees profit sink — Royal Caribbean Cruises, the world’s No. 2 cruise group, Thursday said quarterly profit fell 21% and cautioned that jittery customers are not booking as early. Shares sank 4%. (Reuters)


Carrie Charney, Christopher Elliott, John Frenaye, Charles Leocha, Marge Purnell, Valerie Schneider, Mary Staley, Stephanus Surjaputra, Richard Wong.