FAA: rough summer for air traffic delays


FAA: rough summer for air traffic delays — The nation’s aviation chief warned Tuesday that travelers could expect a “rough summer” for flight delays, largely because of a surge in air traffic. Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey said that after a “good spring,” flight delays have shot up in July and are exceeding the number of delays in July 2004 by 31%. A flight is considered delayed if it reaches a gate 15 minutes after it is scheduled to arrive. (USA Today)

Free tickets? Check! — Wanna fly somewhere for free this summer? When you register at Tripso’s forums and make your first post, you’ll be automatically entered to win two tickets on US Airways. The tickets are good through June 30, 2006. But hurry: you have to register and post before August 15, 2005 to be eligible.*

Southwest moves put light rail on hold — In a move that could delay or scuttle efforts to connect Sound Transit’s light-rail line to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Port of Seattle said yesterday it is putting about $580 million in airport-expansion projects on hold until it knows whether Southwest Airlines will decamp to Boeing Field. (The Seattle Times)

Probe begins in cruise disappearance — The night a newlywed vanished from his honeymoon cruise, the sounds of a loud party were coming from his stateroom, followed by male voices arguing on the balcony and then a “horrific thud,” a fellow passenger says. The ship was in the Mediterranean Sea when Connecticut resident George Smith IV disappeared more than three weeks ago. (AP)

U.S. renews Mexico travel warning — The United States renewed a travel warning on Tuesday for U.S. citizens crossing the border into Mexico, noting more than 100 murders had occurred in the border region since June. The U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Tony Garza, said that with violence showing no sign of abating, the travel warning issued twice by Washington since the start of the year had been extended and would be reviewed as necessary. (Reuters)

Mexican media company to launch airline — Televisa, Mexico’s largest broadcaster, is teaming up with Carlos Slim, the nation’s richest man, and two partners to launch a new discount airline. The announcement comes as several airlines are eyeing Mexico’s lucrative aviation market, which carried 30 million passengers last year. (FT)

Fairmont expects U.S. travel lull
— Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Inc. reported a higher quarterly profit yesterday, partly on a tax recovery, but lowered its outlook for the year, citing less travel to Canada from the United States. (Globe and Mail)

Airport wants lawsuit immunity for screeners — San Francisco International Airport is asking the government to shield it from potential lawsuits over failures at security checkpoints. If that request is granted, passengers could see the biggest change in aviation security since federal screeners took over three years ago. (USA Today)

Bankruptcy likely for Northwest Airlines — Bankruptcy attorneys and others close to Northwest Airlines see signs the Eagan-based carrier is edging closer to filing Chapter 11. Some view a Chapter 11 as a near-certainty by late summer or early fall, regardless of whether the airline’s mechanics strike or are locked out next month. (Pioneer Press)

Despite high rates, hotel guest satisfaction is on the rise — Hotel guests are reporting higher satisfaction despite rising room rates as more properties offer value-added amenities like free high-speed Internet access, according to a survey released by J.D. Power and Associates on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Security gaps exposed in LA subway — Surveillance cameras in Los Angeles County’s subway and along its most heavily traveled light-rail line do not routinely record images — a security gap that has attracted more attention since British police used recorded pictures to help identify suspects in the recent London transit bombings. (LA Times)

AA’s Arpey could get $7 million bonus
— American Airlines’ top executive could qualify for more than a half-million shares of company stock in 10 years under a deal signed this week — but only if the airline meets a host of performance goals and if he stays on the job until 2015. (Star-Telegram)

Terror fear grips New York City tour bus — The concerns over a possible terror attack on a New York city tour bus emerged just before noon on Sunday, when a supervisor with Gray Line, the bus company, approached a police captain in Midtown Manhattan to tell him that five suspicious men had just boarded one of the company’s famous red double-decker buses, No. 320. (The New York Times)

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

* Here’s the fine print on Tripso ticket giveaway: When you make your first post as a registered user, you will automatically be entered to win. Travel is roundtrip in coach class anywhere US Airways flies in the continental United States, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, and Central America. There are some blackout dates, such as major holidays. Sorry, they must be US Airways flights and their codeshare partners don’t count.