US Airways on the brink?


End of the line for US Airways? — Local airports and competing airlines are preparing themselves for a world without US Airways. The bankrupt airline faces several financial hurdles that will determine whether it survives beyond next month. What’s more, the carrier is coming off a Christmas weekend in which a large number of employees calling in sick left thousands of passengers — and their luggage — separated from their loved ones.

Tsunami effects on tourism minimal — Tourism in parts of Southeast Asia will be devastated by the economic aftershocks of the earthquake-triggered tsunamis, but the broader impact on the Asian travel industry is not expected to be as severe as last year’s deadly SARS outbreak. “The impact will be very different,” from the severe acute respiratory syndrome, said Douglas Ludwig, chief financial officer of Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels Inc., an international chain with about 15 hotels in Southeast Asia.

Another hotel falls to Norwalk virus — A hotel has been forced to close and 45 patients at a city hospital have been stricken in separate incidents involving a viral gastroenteritis bug. A total of 39 people staying at the Moat House Hotel, in Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, were struck down with the Noro virus between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and one person was taken to Peterborough District Hospital after contracting the bug.

Travel scams growing problem in Florida — Complaints about travel and vacation scams topped the list of consumer complaints in Florida this year. Consumers lodged 4,312 complaints involving travel and vacation plans in 2004 — an increase of about 45 percent compared to last year, according to state Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson. Complaints about telemarketers related to the “Do Not Call List” dropped to second place for the first time in years.

In Canada, cmoke-free means job-free — A bartender at a Melfort hotel could be an early casualty in the province’s anti-tobacco campaign. On Jan. 1, wait staff in bars and restaurants will find themselves working in a smoke-free environment – if they are working, that is.

Woman delivers baby at Atlanta airport — As packs of holiday travelers waded through lines and traipsed through the airport, one passenger found herself in the solitude of a Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport giving birth. The father of the woman, whose name hasn’t been released, rushed from the bathroom and alerted the first airline employees he spotted.