Obama seeking hike in airline ticket price
Although the airline industry has collected billions of dollars in fees to check bags and change flight reservations, among other charges, it is crying foul over a government proposal to increase a passenger charge by $2.50 a ticket.
Facing a massive federal deficit, President Obama's latest budget proposes giving airports the authority to raise a passenger facility charge to pay for airport construction projects. The current fee is $4.50 a ticket and could go as high as $7 to offset $1.1 billion in cuts to airport grants. Congress must approve the proposed increase for it to take effect.
Extra legroom great -- but it'll cost you
Business travel is roaring back after a two-year slump, and the airlines are welcoming it with a selection of new amenities, including bigger, more comfortable seats. But the luxuries typically come at a price.
For example, Delta Air Lines announced plans to add a premium economy section -- "economy comfort" -- on all long-haul international flights by this summer. The airline will charge an extra $80 to $160 each way, depending on the route.
The new seats will feature up to 4 more inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta's standard international economy-class seats. The seats will be installed in the first few rows of the economy cabin on more than 160 aircraft by this summer.
It may become illegal to leak scanner photos
There is good news for airline passengers who worry that embarrassing photos taken by airport scanners may leak out and show up on the Internet: Two senators are proposing to make it a crime to disseminate such images, punishable by up to a year in prison.
Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Charles E. Schumer of New York have proposed an amendment to an aviation spending bill that would prohibit anyone with access to the scanned body images from photographing or disseminating those images. As proposed, violators could face fines of up to $100,000 and a prison term.
Virgin Atlantic's crew voted most attractive
For decades, airlines hired only young, single women to work as flight attendants to put a pretty face on in-flight services.
But in the 1960s and '70s, airline unions pressed the carriers to allow any qualified person to work as a flight attendant regardless of gender, age or appearance.
That didn't stop the organizers of the Business Travel and Meetings Show in London from taking a survey of 1,000 participants to choose the airline with the best-looking flight crew.
Of those questioned, 53 percent said Virgin Atlantic's crew was the most attractive, followed by 18 percent for Singapore Airlines' crew and 12 percent for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.
Jeff Pharr, a spokesman for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, called the survey "very offensive."
-- Standard-Examiner wire services