Cruise line probes why two fell overboard — Princess Cruises is investigating how two passengers tumbled off a cruise ship cabin balcony and into the Gulf of Mexico, trigging a four-hour rescue effort. (AP)

Tourists from UK, Germany, Japan and France dropped 5% last year — The number of tourists to the USA from the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France dropped 5% last year, a development that alarms the U.S. tourism industry. (USA Today)

Extra fees in Southwest Airlines’ future? — Discount king Southwest Airlines (LUV), appreciated by fliers for not charging the kinds of fees common at other carriers, may start charging for extra services. CEO Gary Kelly says the airline needs to generate more revenue without “nickel-and-diming our customers” or raising fares again. (USA Today)

The latest amenity: a hypoallergenic room — Though this much cleanliness might seem a bit neurotic, the concept isn’t aimed just at the allergic, but also at guests who are concerned with what might be called the ick factor. (The New York Times) (Registration required.)

Sex and the window washer — Anita Dunham-Potter asked for readers’ feedback on a recent cruise column, and boy did she get it. The column told the tale of an amorous couple’s outrage when a window washer appeared outside their balcony cabin just as they were enjoying an early-morning tryst (yep, they’d left the drapes open). Four hundred e-mails later, Anita shares readers’ thoughts. (Anita Dunham-Potter on Tripso)

Cruise lines face more policing of waste disposal — While plans to monitor ships’ waste disposal methods and air emissions are under way in Alaska, Washington and California, the ships’ owners say they’re cleaning up their acts on their own. (The New York Times) (Registration required.)

High -tech drivers’ licenses could ease border crossing — High-security driver’s licenses aimed at letting U.S. citizens return from Canada without a passport could be adopted elsewhere if Washington state’s experiment works, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday. (AP)

Airlines question rules for icy takeoffs — The Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines have been at odds for two years about the protocols for taking off in storms that produce light ice pellets, a term for the stinging sleet that occurs when snow melts, then refreezes, as it falls from the sky. (AP)

Can airlines deliver customer satisfaction? — How do you turn a profit and make the customer happy at the same time, especially with less staff and fewer available seats? That question is front and center of late for the slimmed-down airlines with flight delays, computer glitches, lost baggage and weather-related problems getting more attention. (AP)


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