Millions head home after holiday


Millions head home after holiday — Millions of travelers headed home Sunday at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, braving crowded roads and airports on one of the busiest travel days of the year. (CNN)

Complaints cite airline wheelchair service — Bad service for passengers using wheelchairs drew more attention than any other problem on the government’s first tally of disability-related complaints to airlines. (USA Today)

Congressman plans cruise disappearance hearings — With at least eight people missing from cruise ships in the past two years, a U.S. congressman is calling for hearings to examine safety regulations within the billion-dollar industry. (The Business Journal)

Tale of the Tape: Travel tips in time of terror — A Spokane, Wash., company is offering travelers tips on how to avoid kidnappings, hijackings and suicide bombers. The “Safe Passage” DVD is the brainchild of the Safe Travel Institute, which has offered executives personal safety and anti-kidnapping seminars for years. (New York Daily News)

Online travel takes off — Online travel is flying again with investors. Venture capital firms are plunking down bets on a growing horde of niche travel web sites, many in the Bay Area. (San Francisco Business Times)

WHO’s flu strike force plans for worst case — WHO physician Michael Ryan is one of many flu experts who believe the world is closer to a pandemic now than anytime since 1968, when the Hong Kong flu killed about a million people worldwide. (The Washington Post) Blogs from the road — Three years ago, Ali Waters, a 29-year-old computer programmer from North Norfolk, England, was looking for a way to keep in touch during his travels across the globe. So Mr. Waters wrote blogging software that would make it all easier for him and his fellow travelers. (The New York Times)

Hertz adds ‘fun’ dimension to upscale car rentals — It’s a bummer when you don’t get the make of rental car you requested — especially when you want hot wheels on vacation. Now, they’re guaranteed in a Hertz program launching Thursday. (USA Today)

Southwest to lease more gates in Philly — Southwest Airlines plans to increase the number of gates it leases at Philadelphia International Airport next year, allowing the low-cost carrier to significantly boost its daily flight schedule. (AP)

Santa Claus could bring delays for Norwegian travelers — Norwegian aviation authorities last week warned that Santa Claus flights could cause delays for airline passengers in December as thousands of tourists flying through Norwegian airspace to reach Santa’s village on the Arctic Circle in Finland. (AP)

Flight diverted after passenger smokes, urinates in aisle — A United Airlines flight was diverted to Charlotte after a passenger lit a cigarette, argued with a flight attendant, then urinated in the plane’s aisle, the airline said. (AP)

Passenger takes nap – and a return flight — It’s not uncommon for airline passengers to doze off during their flight. But for 21-year-old Tor Martin Johansen, the snooze lasted an entire round trip. (The Guardian)

United’s Ted to sell small items on flights — Ted, the low-fare unit of bankrupt United Airlines, will begin selling items ranging from magic kits to sunglasses on about half of its flights starting Dec. 1. (Bloomberg News)

Some airlines are making money — While most major U.S. airlines continue losing money every day, a lesser known group of airlines are profitable and thriving. I’m not talking about low-cost carriers (LCCs) like Southwest and JetBlue. These lesser known airlines have names like Chautauqua, Mesa, SkyWest, Republic and Freedom Airlines. (USA Today)

‘Regular guy’ steers new airline — Doug Parker was the marquee speaker at the recent Las Vegas World Aviation Forum here, but the CEO of the “new” US Airways may also have been one of the event’s most unassuming guests. (USA Today)

Ski gondola problem in Canada traps 65 — About 65 people were trapped in gondolas for hours after a ski lift at Canada’s Lake Louise resort malfunctioned. (AP)

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