Amtrak faces bankruptcy


train4.jpgAmtrak faces bankruptcy — America’s rail network will be forced into bankruptcy under Bush administration proposals that have infuriated many congressmen and passengers. The plan to abolish the $1.2 billion annual federal subsidy for Amtrak, the country’s nationalized rail operator, would kill many of America’s most famous rail routes.

Cruise ship passenger rescued after falling overboard — In a dramatic rescue at sea, a cruise ship bound for San Diego abruptly changed course Wednesday so crew members could save a man who had fallen off the 12-deck ship. As other passengers watched, the 49-year-old man was pulled from the ocean about 100 miles south of Ensenada in Baja California. Police said the fall appeared to be accidental, and the man suffered no serious injuries.

Virgin Blue passengers red-faced over delays — Angry Virgin Blue passengers stranded in Brisbane yesterday slammed the airline’s handling of ongoing flight disruptions caused by Monday’s gas leak at Melbourne Airport. Passengers said they were booked on early-morning flights yesterday that were later cancelled and then they were forced to hang around the terminal all day before getting another flight.

Europe paralyzed by blizzard — The first major snowfall of winter hit Europe Wednesday, causing transport chaos as flights were grounded, traffic came to a standstill on main roads and train services were disrupted. Thousands of passengers and commuters found themselves stuck in France, Germany, Britain and parts of Italy in a cold snap forecast to continue for the next few days.

Hyatt installs self-service kiosks — When an airline announces new self-service check-in desks, it barely merits a yawn these days. But when a hotel group announces it is installing them, people sit up and take notice. Waiting in a queue at the hotel reception desk to check in or out is high on the business traveller’s list of gripes so the news that Hyatt is to install self-service desks at 100 hotels in North America and the Caribbean will be most welcome.

Ryanair accused of misleading ads — Budget airline Ryanair misled travellers about the price of flying with rival Buzz, jurors have heard. Its internet advertising claimed some Buzz flights cost more than they did, an Essex trading standards officer told Chelmsford Crown Court.