Friday, December 31, 2010

Delta Offers Winter Weather Travel Assistance to Customers in Minnesota

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is offering customers whose flight plans may be affected by winter weather expected tomorrow and Saturday in Minnesota the ability to make one-time changes to their travel schedules without cost. Delta's weather advisory encourages customers to consider postponing or re-routing their travel to avoid possible inconvenience from expected flight delays.

Customers booked on Delta-ticketed flights Dec. 31, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011 to, from or through Minnesota may immediately rebook for travel before or after their original travel dates as long as new flights are ticketed and rescheduled travel starts by Jan. 3, 2011.

Flight delays are possible at Minnesota airports, including Delta's hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul, as a result of winter weather conditions, and flight schedules may be proactively reduced to minimize delays.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

American Airlines says bookings up despite loss of Orbitz

American Airlines Inc. said Wednesday it is booking more tickets now than at this time previous year despite having its fares removed from one major online travel agency and made harder to find on a second. stopped selling tickets on the Fort Worth-based carrier Dec. 21 after the two failed to reach terms on a latest distribution agreement. Two days later, changed its search results to give American's flights less prominence when customers hunted for fares.

Nevertheless, the carrier said it has seen a raise in bookings from its own website,, and from other online travel agencies such as and "metasearch" online travel agencies such as that hunt across a variety of search sites to compile fare results.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Delta and American Pull Information from Travel Sites

The battle between airlines and travel sites is starting to heat up, but for different issue.

The relationship between airline and secondary travel sites is interesting. Most have a relationship like travel agents used to, where the site will get a referral fee for making the booking. However any extra money made from hotels or cars is kept by the outside site.

Back in October 2008, American Airlines went to battle with is pretty darn cool and I don't mind giving them a plug. You are able to say where and when you want to go someplace and they will compare fares. They will also let you know if the cheapest fare is on the airline's website (which I find it almost always is) or on another site like Orbitz or Expedia. Kayak doesn't actually sell you anything, but just refers you to another site to make the actual purchase. Back in 2008, American was not happy since they wanted Kayak to only link to their site and not to third party sites like Orbitz, Expedia, etc for comparison. It appears that American won, since their site is the only one listed under American fares on Kayak.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

AirTran cuts cancellation penalty for Northeast travelers

Travelers whose travel plans were altered by snowstorms in the Northeast will be able to change their reservations without the customary $75 penalty.

That includes affected flights in and out of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. AirTran is BWI’s second biggest carrier behind Southwest Airlines.

Passengers whose flights to or from cities in the Northeast affected by the winter weather system have an additional 14 days past their real travel date to book an alternate flight. The extension applies to passengers with booked travel between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30, according to a news release.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sony to Spend $1.2 Billion for Image Sensor Capacity

Sony Corp. will invest 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) over the next fiscal year to twice its production capacity for image sensors, as the company aims to expand output of the devices used in smartphones.

The maker of Cyber-shot cameras will buy back from Toshiba Corp. a factory making chips used in PlayStation 3 game consoles and convert the plant into an image-sensor production facility, Tokyo-based Sony said today in a statement. The company also plans to include equipment to an existing plant in Nagasaki, western Japan, to make high-quality image sensors, it said.

The investment follows a plan by Sony, disclosed in September, to spend 40 billion yen to boost output of so-called CMOS chips at a factory in Kumamoto prefecture. Japan’s largest exporter of consumer electronics aims to win a 30 percent share of shipments in the market for image sensors used in cell phones, compared with about 10 percent for the year ending March 2011, Yoko Yasukochi, a Sony spokeswoman, said by phone today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

American Airlines pulls fare data from Orbitz site

American Airlines on Tuesday yanked all of its airfares from Orbitz Worldwide Inc., severing ties with the online travel giant that the carrier formed a decade back with United and other leading airlines.

Chicago-based Orbitz stopped selling tickets for travel on American and American Eagle flights after a Cook County Circuit Court judge allowed the nation's No. 3 airline to stop contracts amid a dispute with the online travel agency and its corporate parent, Travelport.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow continues to cause Europe travel chaos

Snow and nasty weather conditions continued to blast Europe, stalling train travel and extending the nightmare for many trying to travel by road and air.

Heavy snow halted all plane travel at the Frankfurt airport in Germany Tuesday for a short time, said Thomas Uber, an airport spokesman.

"The problem is that we clear a runway and right after the snowplow has gone over it, it is full of snow once more because there is so much coming down," Uber said.

Monday, December 20, 2010

KC airport expects boost in holiday travel

Kansas City International Airport is preparing for an expected boost in holiday tourists.

The Kansas City Aviation Department says it is expecting more than 679,000 passengers during the holiday season, that's up five percent from 2009.

Nationally, the Air Transport Association, an airline industry trade organization, says it expects 43.6 million passengers to travel on U.S. carriers over the holidays, up about 3 percent from previous year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday travel in Texas expected to increase, AAA Texas predicts Read more: Holiday travel in Texas expected to increase, AAA Texas predicts

More Texans are expected to hit the road to visit relatives and friends this holiday season.

AAA Texas projects that 7.5 million people a 3.3 percent raise over 2009 will travel 50 miles or more from home between Thursday, Dec. 23 and Sunday, Jan. 2.

About 7 million of the 7.5 million Texans will reach their destinations by driving. The rest will travel by air, bus, rail or ship.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Car Travel to Rise 3.2% This Holiday Season

This current year about 85.7 million people will hit the road during the holidays, a 3.2% raise over previous year, according to AAA.

Folks who take their cars instead of fly are expected to make about 90% of all holiday travelers commuting more than 50 miles. Overall, the average holiday vacationer will travel about 1,052 miles round journey, up 33% from previous year, and it will cost them $694, which is a similar amount spent on the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA says. AAA defines the holiday period as between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Delta Offers Winter Weather Travel Assistance to Customers in the Southeast

Delta Air Lines is offering consumers whose flight plans may be affected by winter weather in the Southeast tomorrow and Thursday the ability to make one-time changes to their travel plans without fees. Delta's weather advisory encourages customers to consider postponing or re-routing their travel to avoid possible inconvenience from expected flight delays.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cold, snow hit schools, travel in many states

chilling cold swept across the snow-hit Great Plains and Midwest on Monday, closing schools and playing havoc with journey plans and pushing sub-freezing temperatures as far south as Florida.

Minnesota and Wisconsin shivered in temperatures not expected to top single digits with wind chills much colder than that ,motorists were stranded on impassable roads in northwest Indiana.

Air traffic was gradually returning to regular after hundreds of flights were canceled at airports in midwestern and East Coast hubs during the worst of a storm that dropped 17 inches (43 cm) of snow in Minneapolis on Sunday that ripped holes in a stadium's inflatable roof.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oracle wants $211 million in interest from SAP

Turning up the heat in a bitter legal dispute, software maker Oracle is asking a federal judge to order German rival SAP to give $211 million in interest on a record $1.3 billion jury award for software pirating.

Oracle filed the request Friday, saying the interest is necessary to "fully compensate" Oracle for the worth of software licenses that SAP should have purchased in 2005 and 2006.

SAP has already made a separate payment to Oracle of $120 million for its legal expenses, after acknowledging that an SAP subsidiary copied Oracle software without authorization. A federal jury decided previous month that SAP should pay what would have been the market value for licenses to use the software at the time, which the jury pegged at $1.3 billion.

Holiday Travel: Government Says Babies Should Be Buckled Up on Airplanes

With the holiday travel period quickly approaching, the federal government, flight attendants and airlines are urging parents to buckle up their babies on airplanes instead of holding them in their laps, even if it means shelling out money for an extra ticket.

A special forum on child safety in Washington today brought together representatives from the NTSB, the FAA and the Association of Flight Attendants. Each one agrees that a young child is safer when buckled into a safety restraint on an airplane, but after decades of debate, tickets still will not be required for children under age two. The FAA has concluded in the past that such a requirement would discourage air travel and put more cars on the road, where the likelihood of harm is statistically far greater.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Airline industry group sees holiday travel up

The business group for the nation's airlines said Wednesday that it expects 43.6 million people to travel by air over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

That's about 3 percent more than previous year. ATA says the busiest days will be Dec. 21-23, Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2-3, based on 2009 patterns. The airlines have added surcharges of $10-$30 on most of those days, anticipating heavier bookings.

ATA says the government will probably open up airspace generally reserved for military aircraft, on an as-needed basis, to ease the air traffic crunch. Fewer flights and the possibility of weather delays are likely to add to congestion at airports and in the air.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Controller sickout causes Spain travel chaos

A massive air traffic controller sickout Friday on the eve of a long holiday weekend caused travel chaos throughout Spain, forcing authorities to close eight airports, including the main European hub in Madrid.

The controllers left their posts amid a lengthy dispute over working situation and just hours after the administration of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodrigo Zapatero approved an austerity measure to partially privatize airports, and to hand over management of Madrid and Barcelona airports to the private sector.

Spain's air traffic right, known as Aena, issued an advisory telling all passengers planning to take flights to stay away from airports because "air traffic has been interrupted" and there was no immediate word when the sickout might end.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow causes more travel disruption as Labour urges ministers to 'get a grip'

Motorists, rail commuters and air travelers endured another day of travel chaos, as Gatwick, Britain's second biggest airport, remained shut for another day and key rail routes were closed.

The government was accused of complacency with Labour urging it to "get a grip" on the widespread transport paralysis amid claims the disruption was costing £1.2bn a day. Philip Hammond, the transport secretary, told lessons would be learned and that an urgent review would be completed before Christmas.

The transport specialist leading the review, David Quarmby, said the heaviest snowfall for this time of year since 1965 had overwhelmed local authorities, train operators and airport owners. "It is unreasonable to expect that you can clear it all in 24 hours flat," said Quarmby, chairman of the RAC Foundation.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Virgin America Flies into DFW

Fliers are getting a new way to journey out of Dallas-Fort Worth airport starting today.

Virgin America, the high-tech airline by Sir Richard Branson, is launching two daily non-stop flights to Los Angeles. They'll add two daily flights to San Francisco International on Dec. 6.

A Virgin Airbus A320 will get all the honors today, including the water cannon salute, at a special welcoming ceremony on the tarmac at DFW.

Branson, Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, Fort Worth mayor pro-tem Danny Smith, and other dignitaries will be on hand.

Virgin America has won top honors from Conde Nast Traveler and Travel and Leisure magazines for its built-in entertainment features, all-red mood lighting and white leather first-class seating.