HEADLINE NEWS.

 
FREE EXCERPT

Readers of Travel+Leisure magazine have recognized Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines as "Top Domestic Airline for Service" for 2004. The magazine's subscribers annually select the world's best services and places, and have named Midwest Airlines the top service provider both years this award has been given. Midwest Airlines topped the domestic airline category with a score of 79.90. Runners-up were:

* JetBlue Airways (78.57)

* Alaska Airlines (67.33)

* Southwest Airlines (66.89)

* Hawaiian Airlines (64.79).

A list of the winners in the hotel, cruise line and international airline categories can be found at http://www.travelandleisure.com and in the June issue of Travel+Leisure, now available on newsstands. Rankings are based on reader evaluations collected in the 2003 World's Best Awards Survey. For airlines, scores are indexed averages of evaluations for the characteristics "customer service" and "in-flight service." Scores were rounded to the nearest hundredth of a point.

The Travel Industry Association of America says the U.S. should be prepared for long lines, delays and gridlock this summer, when it expects leisure travel to rise by 3.2 percent from last summer. Suzanne Cook, TIA's senior vice president of research, says, "For the first time in years, the summer travel season will start off with a bang, and we expect it to stay strong through August." Consumers, however, are concerned with rising prices of travel. But Sandra Hughes, vice president of AAA Travel, believes rising fuel costs will not stop driving vacationers. AAA predicts a record number of Americans will travel for the Memorial Day holiday; its agents say they are seeing dramatic increases in travel interest for this spring.

Air New Zealand has signed agreements to acquire eight new Boeing 777- 200ER aircraft and two Boeing 7E7 aircraft, as well as the rights to buy an additional 42 long-haul airplanes, pending shareholder approval. The aircraft will enable the carrier to stretch its wings in the long-haul marketplace. " These aircraft will allow us to develop new routes and increase frequency on existing routes, as well as provide an overall increase in both passenger and cargo capacity," says Ralph Norris, managing director and chief executive. Norris adds that putting a new fleet in place will mean lower operating costs and better financial performance than the carrier would realize by expanding its existing fleet of 10 Boeing 767s.

AirTran Airways launched June 7 2004 a 36 hour sale for flights to all 45 destinations with fares starting as low as $39 each way. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at airtran.com, through travel agents or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842. These special fares are available for purchase through 11:59 pm (ET) June 8, 2004, are good for travel through November 2, 2004, and are not valid for travel on Fridays and Sundays. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are one-way tickets and do not require a roundtrip purchase or a Saturday night stay.

AirTran Airways began June 5 2004 two new daily nonstop flights between Akron-Canton Airport and...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP