Government admits TSA ‘no-fly’ list is flawed


Feds admit TSA’s ‘no-fly’ list is flawed — The U.S. government’s no-fly list has shortcomings that could allow suspected terrorists and people with ties to terrorism to board U.S.-bound airplanes from overseas, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials said. Foreign and U.S. carriers departing for the United States are required to check each passenger’s name against the no-fly list before takeoff, but some airlines complain that they sometimes do not have access to the full, or most up-to-date, version. (Post)

New airline to replace Concorde — Executives are being offered business class-only flights to New York by the man who put beds on to British Airways planes. Fly First is being run by Hamish Taylor, 44, the former chief executive of Eurostar and previously BA’s head of brand management, who plans to lease two Boeing 757-200s to replace the void left by Concorde. (Telegraph)

Security program makes weapons smuggling easier — The Department of Homeland Security’s effort to extend its antiterrorism campaign overseas by enlisting help from importers and foreign ports has been so flawed that the program may have made it easier at times to smuggle unconventional weapons into the United States, Congressional officials say. Homeland Security has reduced inspections in the United States of cargo coming from 36 foreign ports and 5,000 importers that were certified under its antiterrorism initiatives. (The New York Times)

North Carolina compromises on NASCAR hotel tax
— Hospitality leaders and city officials navigated a compromise on increasing hotel taxes this week for a NASCAR Hall of Fame, but now must resolve concerns over finding more money to lure conventions to town. Opposition by lobbyists in Raleigh forced the city and local hoteliers to drop plans calling for a 1% business-development tourism fund as part of an overall 2% hike in the taxes paid by hotel guests. (Biz Journal)

Commentary from Christopher Elliott — Whether you’re a racing fan or not, you can agree that hotel guests shouldn’t have to pay for a NASCAR museum. This is right up there with Huntsville’s infamous “rocket tax” that funded a space museum. Simply put, it’s taxation without representation. A revolution can’t be far behind.

Travel slump hits Tsunami areas — Travel and tourism spending in countries hit by the December 26 tsunami is experiencing a renewed slump, after an initial recovery two months ago. The economies of the areas that were hit still remain fragile and are likely to take a lot longer to recover, according to fresh data from credit card firm Visa International. (CNN)

In Moscow, hotels declare ‘bed wars’ — Some hotels have unbeatable historic locations. Others are known for their exquisite interiors or have had an array of famous guests. But all of this matters little to an average business traveler, whose primary concern is getting a good night’s sleep before an important meeting — or so the inventors of the “Sweet Sleeper” beds recently installed at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in Moscow would want us to believe. (Moscow Times)

3 Pittsburgh TSA managers quit — Three top U.S. Transportation Security Administration managers at Pittsburgh International Airport, including Federal Security Director Robert Blose, resigned yesterday as an internal investigation into employee complaints of intimidation, fraud and sexual harassment neared its conclusion. (Post-Gazette)

Analysts: US Airways name must go — A combined America West and US Airways would fly under the name US Airways, prompting the question: Why? “Why you’d want to do that boggles my mind,” says veteran airline consultant Jon Ash of Washington, D.C. US Airways hasn’t had such a great run lately. (USA Today)

Commentary from Stephanus Surjaputra — It sure seems like almost everyone thinks this merger is a mistake. Epecially taking the US Airways name.

Cruise lines roll out amenities — It’s no secret that cruise lines offer some of the most intriguing scenarios to entice passengers, and the 2005 season is no exception. Take for instance what’s happening at Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, hosts of Live with Regis and Kelly, will broadcast their morning talk show aboard Pride of America, becoming the first national program to broadcast a full week of shows (airing June 20 through 24) from aboard a cruise ship. (Sun-Times)

Correspondents: John Frenaye, Leslie Friedman, Stephanus Surjaputra.