Airline hears ‘moos’ — When Southwest Airlines’ chief executive wrote this week on the company blog that it soon plans to test assigned seating on several flights from San Diego, it got a surprising rush of responses that were mostly in favor of keeping the signature first-come, first-served system. (The Baltimore Sun)

New York hotel workers look set to ratify deal — New York hotel workers look set to ratify a new contract with the city’s leading hotels, except two Hilton Hotels Corp. properties where talks are turning contentious, a union spokesman said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Maintenance issues found at tiny airline — Federal investigators examining a fiery seaplane crash that killed 20 people last December in Miami have discovered maintenance problems at the small but popular airline that operated the flight. (USA Today)

Internet losing favor as travel tool — U.S. consumers are still largely satisfied with making travel plans online, but fewer are using the Internet to meet their travel needs than two years ago, according to the latest Consumer Internet Barometer. (ConsumerAffairs.com)

In search of giants — With expressions that stretch from benevolence to menace to just plain dim, fiberglass giants first started popping up across America sometime in the middle of the last century. They were mostly used by businesses as attention grabbers that poked the sky. Now, they’re tourist attractions.(The New York Times)

‘Whistler’s Mother’ at Boston museum — The iconic artwork “Whistler’s Mother” will be on display beginning Sunday at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, on loan from a Paris museum. (AP)

Serious fire hazards at suburban NY airline terminal — A new airline terminal at MacArthur Airport has serious fire hazards that could cause an explosion and immediate steps should be taken to address the problem, a prosecutor said. (AP)

Fan forgets hotel location in six-hour ordeal — German police rescued an American soccer fan lost in Hanover and unable to find his hotel again after helplessly wandering around the city for more than six hours after a match, federal police said on Friday. (Reuters)

Don’t let high gas prices get your goat this summer — This summer’s hottest travel gimme is free gas. When fuel prices inched up last summer toward $3 a gallon, a number of hotels began offering gas incentives to keep travelers on the road. Now, entire vacation areas are seizing on the idea to ease the pain at the pump. (USA Today)

AirTran issues a $100 apology — In an apology to thousands of AirTran Airways passengers delayed for hours Tuesday by a computer glitch, the company said it is sending each of them a $100 travel voucher. AirTran Vice President Tad Hutcheson, who acknowledged Wednesday that some customers “had to wait all day” to catch their flights as lines snarled through Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, said the airline is mailing the vouchers to passengers whose trip began in Atlanta “to say we’re sorry.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Southwest could be tinder box by July 4 — As firefighters battle a major blaze on the outskirts of Sedona, a northern Arizona town whose striking scenery and New Age vibes draw more than 3 million tourists a year, experts are warning that a forecast of unusually hot, dry weather across the Southwest through the Fourth of July weekend could translate to a spike in wildfires — and a need for greater flexibility and vigilance on the part of outdoor recreationists. (USA Today)


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