Bush urges people to conserve fuel


Bush urges people to conserve fuel — President Bush on Monday ordered 2.4 million civilian federal employees to “curtail non-essential travel” — and urged the nation’s drivers to do the same — to ease threatened gasoline shortages caused by temporary refinery shutdowns during the back-to-back Gulf Coast hurricanes. (Hearst Newspapers)

Price-gouging complaints stack up — While some Texans saw disaster in Hurricane Rita, others saw opportunities to price gouge, charging everything from $250 for a night in a motel to $20 for a dozen eggs, according to hundreds of complaints filed with the state. (Houston Chronicle)

Newly merged US Airways pools strength — The new US Airways, billed as the USA’s first low-cost, full-service airline, is set to make its debut today under cloudy industry skies. With $1.5 billion in new cash from outsiders, the new airline combines Arlington, Va.-based US Airways with Tempe, Ariz.-based America West. The merged carrier becomes the USA’s No. 5 airline. (The Arizona Republic)

Independence Air will cut more than half of its flights — Struggling low-fare start-up Independence Air is cutting daily departures by more than half in a bid to avoid bankruptcy court. (USA Today)

Airline workers fear pension plans will end — Northwest and Delta Air Lines, both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sept. 14. Northwest officials have said they hope to preserve the pension benefits employees have accrued. Delta officials have not said they plan to end their plans, but that their future will depend on the airline’s ability to fund them. (AP)

Airline caterer in deal to end dispute — Gate Gourmet, the caterer to British Airways, has reached a deal with the Transport & General Workers Union to end their long-running dispute. (Times Online)

Airline’s gain is another’s loss — In the two months since it began flying nonstop to Chicago, Southwest Airlines has seen passenger boardings jump. United and American Eagle, which also fly the route, have seen their boardings drop. And Albany International Airport officials are viewing the changes with mixed feelings. (Albany Times Union)

Court lets stand ruling in Illinois hotel case — The owners of the Collinsville Holiday Inn and another hotel will consider asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step into their long battle with the state over millions of dollars they owe the Illinois treasury, the owners’ attorney said Monday. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Channel reopens for most vessels — The Houston Ship Channel was reopened Monday to vessels with a draft of 35 feet or less, meaning large tankers carrying crude weren’t able to enter. Those big ships may be able to enter as early as today, but even a short delay for the crude tankers can be significant, experts said. (Houston Chronicle)

Test program for airport security ‘fast lane’ to lapse — The government is ending a program that let frequent air travelers avoid extra security patdowns in exchange for volunteering for background checks, but a private sector version will be allowed to continue, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday. (AP)

Logan considers easing way for frequent fliers — Logan International Airport is taking a serious look at becoming the second airport in the country to create its own ”registered traveler” system that would allow frequent fliers to bypass long security lines. (The Boston Globe)

Wholesale gasoline price spikes after Rita — U.S. drivers who hoped for some relief from the high gasoline prices that followed Hurricane Katrina may be in for a surprise as prices head back up after Hurricane Rita. (Reuters)

A skeptic under pressure — A year ago, Joseph Mangan told European aviation authorities that he believed there were problems with a computer chip on the Airbus A380, the biggest and costliest commercial airliner ever built. (The Los Angeles Times)

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