Travel News September 2005.

 
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Data-sharing deal challenged by European Parliament. The European Parliament is challenging an agreement between Europe and the U.S. on sharing airline passenger information. The European Commission and EU governments in 2004 reached a deal with the U.S. to share data. The agreement stipulates that European airlines must turn over detailed personal data about passengers who travel to the U.S. The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will hold hearings on the issue Oct. 18. Some members of European Parliament believe the agreement violates privacy laws. Sep 30, 2005

Airlines ask for relief from fuel tax, cite storm's impact. The airline industry needs relief from soaring fuel prices exacerbated by Hurricane Katrina, said James C. May, president of the Air Transport Association. The ATA is asking Congress to waive a jet fuel tax for one year. The proposal would save the airlines $600 million. Other industries, including manufacturing and oil, say they were damaged by the storm and are lobbying for aid. Sep 28, 2005

Airline travelers say delays have become the norm. Travelers who book late-afternoon flights often face long delays related to weather or problems in an airline's network. Storms this summer caused extensive delays at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Some fliers say they have come to expect extensive delays and are more tolerant of long waits in an airport. Sep 28, 2005

Storms force airlines to cancel thousands of flights. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights. Many passengers have tried to rebook their flights, but planes are flying near capacity. Airlines will lose revenue for passengers that they cannot rebook. Before the two storms struck, the Air Transport Association expected airlines to lose between $8 billion and $10 billion this year because of high fuel costs and low-fare competition. Sep 27, 2005

International carriers add seat-beds to business cabins. Many big international airlines now offer seat-beds that allow travelers to sleep during long flights. Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific are among the airlines offering the beds. Financial problems have prevented most large U.S. carriers from adding seat-beds. Seatmaker B/E Aerospace said business has jumped in the past four years. Sep 27, 2005

Budget carriers expand to international destinations. Several low-fare airlines are adding flights to international destinations with hopes of winning more market share away from bigger rivals. The US Airways-America West merger could create low-cost European service, analysts say. But low-fare carriers face challenges in the international market, including the need to purchase new planes capable of flying longer distances. Sep 26, 2005

New Web site finds seat neighbors for travelers. A new Web business sets out to match solo travelers with compatible people to sit next to during airline flights. A traveler buys a...

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