Screener cuts may lengthen wait times — Airline passengers will face longer airport security lines starting this fall if Congress goes through with plans to cut up to 13% of the nation’s checkpoint screeners, a top Transportation Security Administration official said Thursday. (USA Today)

Hot topic: Getting bumped?

Win free tickets — 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.*

Delta tries to speed up planes — Delta Air Lines Inc., announced several changes to its fall schedule on Thursday, as it works toward improving flight arrival and departure times. Starting Sept. 1, the airline will reduce to 45 minutes the minimum time narrow-body aircraft spend on the ground between flights — achieving a 10-minute reduction year-over-year — and will make better use of aircraft by freeing eight additional planes from the schedule. (Biz Journal)

Does U.S. go easy on “friends'” travel warnings? — Are politics involved in the U.S. State Department’s decisions on which foreign countries it targets with warnings and advisories to Americans traveling abroad? (Seattle Times)

Panel may approve freebie trips for lawmakers — Speaker Dennis Hastert urged the House ethics committee Wednesday to give lawmakers and their aides advance approval before they accept travel paid for by special interests. Hastert said members of both parties had asked him to make the proposal so they could avoid running afoul of ethics rules. Several lawmakers, including Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, have come under media scrutiny this year for their nongovernment travel. (AP)

South African air strike is over — South African Airways has reached a pay deal with two unions, it said on Thursday, ending a strike which crippled Africa’s largest airline for almost a week. “The decision here taken by the unions and management again confirms that this airline is in safe hands,” SAA Chief Executive Officer Khaya Ngqula told reporters. (Reuters)

There’s a bomb on this plane! (Just kidding)– In a case that could have been torn from the pages of “How Not To Behave On a Plane, Post-9/11,” an Oakland man is alleged to have drunkenly challenged a pilot at San Francisco International Airport to a fight and then claimed to be a terrorist with a bomb. (Mercury News)

United tags curbside service with new fee — United Airlines, in its constant, desperate search for ways to save money, will end a venerable service: the free skycap. Starting next month at curbside at O’Hare International Airport, passengers turning over their baggage to a porter for check-in will be charged $2 a bag. Until now, it has been a free service, though tipping is customary. (Tribune)

Will a new Web site save Delta? — Delta Air Lines wants to lure fliers to a new destination: its revamped Web site. On Monday, the airline will launch an updated Delta.com site that has streamlined features, including a closer focus on core consumer services such as booking trips, checking flight information, viewing itineraries and monitoring frequent-flier miles. (USA Today)

Polluted beaches are becoming a big problem
— Water quality was so poor at beaches across the United States last year that authorities ordered a record number of health warnings, according to the latest annual report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. (CNN)

Another close call at LAX — Two aircraft came too close to each other for the seventh time this year at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday morning when a Cessna Caravan crossed a runway on the south side where an American Airlines Boeing 757 was preparing to take off. (LA Times)

Britons plan fewer overseas trips — If you are thinking of a business trip from the UK, the skies are likely to be less crowded, according to a new survey. Nearly a third of Britons will not be going on trips overseas this year, most blaming money worries for staying at home. (Reuters)

Buying car insurance? Not so fast — Poring over insurance policies may not be your idea of fun bathtub reading, but it beats making split-second decisions on financial and legal matters at a car rental counter. (LA 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.