November 22, 2013 |
Giving voice to the outrage felt by many, my colleague Paul Whitefield blasted the Federal Communications Commission for considering a new rule that would allow airline passengers to use their cellphones in flight. "Now I may have to hear the Valley girl on my left and the punk rocker on my right describe their BFF who's so LOL and their bitchin' night in Vegas? I'm gonna have to hear Grandpa Earl regale his kid with stories of his prostate problems?" an exasperated Whitefield (although that may be redundant)
October 31, 2013 |
Score one for the weary air traveler. Ever-increasing baggage fees, vanishing leg room and invasive security screening measures have made air travel hellish for millions of passengers. Now the government is giving fliers more screen time with their gadgets. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday that it will ease restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. Within a few weeks, travelers will be able to operate their iPads, Kindles and even smartphones throughout a commercial flight, though phone calls will still be banned.
October 13, 2013 |
An arms race is heating up among airlines battling to lure passengers with a taste for luxury. Etihad Airways fired a volley in the war recently when it announced that it is offering the services of nannies and onboard chefs on long-haul flights from Los Angeles. The chefs will serve made-to-order meals only for customers in the “diamond first class” seats, but the “Flying Nannies” will help clean, pamper and entertain children throughout the plane. “It's all about how to differentiate yourself for regular travelers,” Etihad president and chief executive James Hogan said about the new services.
July 14, 2013 |
With Madrid-based Iberia Airlines, you can now bag it and tag it yourself. The airline claims it is the only carrier to let passengers print out luggage tags at home. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines tested the idea of home tagging for passengers flying from Seattle to Hawaii last year but has not continued the program. Alaska, along with several other carriers, lets passengers print out luggage tags from airport kiosks. Iberia passengers can print their luggage tags at home and download their boarding passes onto their smartphones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 |
San Francisco International Airport was closed after a Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines crashed while landing on Saturday. It's unknown when the airport will reopen. Photos taken by a passenger on the plane shows people on the runway with smoke coming from the aircraft. In a brief phone interview, a passenger from the flight who didn't want to give his name told the Los Angeles Times that most of the passengers on the flight were unharmed. “I just want their families to know,” he said.
June 3, 2013 |
The "nude scanners" are gone. The full-body scanners that used X-rays to create what look like nude images of passengers have been packed away and removed from airports across the country. The 250 or so machines were removed about two weeks ago, before the June 1 deadline set by Congress. But privacy advocates aren't satisfied, noting that the Transportation Security Administration is still using full-body scanners that employ a different technology. "They've never made a case that these scanners are better than using metal detectors or swabs to detect the use of explosives," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research center that sued the TSA in 2010 over the use of all full-body scanners.