Gas price average tops $3 in Calif. — California on Thursday became the first state in the continental USA to see average gasoline prices go above $3 a gallon in 2006, while the price at the pump in Los Angeles hit an all-time high. (USA Today)

20 airports get Registered Traveler — Only 20 airports will be allowed to start programs in the next year that speed trusted travelers through checkpoint security, the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday. (USA Today)

TSA: Computer glitch led to Atlanta airport scare — A bomb scare that led authorities to evacuate security checkpoints at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday was the result of a “software malfunction,” Transportation Security Administration Director Kip Hawley said. (CNN)

Spirit Airlines raises fares $5-$20 each way — Miramar-based Spirit Airlines on Thursday increased most fares between $5 and $20 each way to help offset the rising price of fuel, which in the last month alone jumped 9 percent, a company official said. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

How to pack the trunk — It’s tempting, when you’re getting ready to hit the road, to just throw your gear into the back of your vehicle and roar off toward the horizon. Tempting, that is, until a tire blows and you can’t find the lug wrench. For a real feeling of freedom, a little planning can go a long way. Herewith, some road-tested trunk tips. (Mark Sedenquist on Tripso)

Like Manchester, Worcester may add Boston to airport’s name — First it was Manchester, New Hampshire, now Worcester is thinking about putting “Boston” into the name of its regional airport. City Councilor Joseph Petty says it would put Worcester on the radar screen of more air travelers. (AP)

St. Peter’s Basilica: 500th anniversary — The Vatican is marking the 500th anniversary of St. Peter’s Basilica with an exhibit featuring Michelangelo’s model of the church dome and an ancient inscription reading “Peter is here” — a reference to the tomb of the apostle Peter on which the basilica is believed built. (AP)


Coke wins airline soda war
— After years of serving Pepsi products to passengers, flight attendants of the former America West Airlines this summer will have to alter their routine when passengers ask for soda by name. Coke will be the official beverage of the merged America West-US Airways. (The Arizona Republic)

Tickets hot for Portland-Boston train — With gas prices surging upward again, ticket sales are hot for the Portland-to-Boston Downeaster passenger train. Winter is usually a slow season for the Downeaster, but this year has been an exception, with ridership for the quarter up 35 percent over last year’s figure. (AP)

Major US airlines cannot count on customer loyalty — Brand loyalty, once a key factor in all major U.S. airlines’ strategies, has become less of a priority as carriers believe that price is what more and more customers care about. (Reuters)

Airlines buffeted by revenue gains, higher fuel costs — Travelers are boarding planes in increasing numbers and are paying more for tickets, boosting revenue at U.S. airlines, but the carriers continue to struggle with jet fuel prices that could be headed even higher. (AP)

Travel industry trots out driver incentives — With gas prices soaring almost as quickly as spring pollen counts, nervous travel companies and drive-to destinations are offering earlier-than-normal incentives to hit the road, from $20 ethanol vouchers in South Dakota to discounts of $10 per car-engine cylinder at bed-and-breakfast inns in Maine. (AP)

American improves facilities at Logan Airport — In an initiative that will significantly enhance New England travelers’ convenience and comfort, American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines today announced a series of major improvements to their facilities at Logan Airport. (BreakingTravelNews.com)

Southwest counters American’s free flight offer with free drinks — Drinks will be on the house for Southwest Airlines customers who fly from Dallas Love Field through Memorial Day. That was Southwest’s response Thursday to a free ticket giveaway by rival American Airlines. (AP)


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