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Airline Passengers

March 22, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
U.S.-based airlines carried 730 million domestic and international passengers in 2011, the highest total since 2008, a government report said Thursday. The latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics also showed that airlines flew with an average of 82.87% of all seats on domestic flights occupied in 2011, a record high for what the industry calls the "load factor. " On international flights, the load factor was 80.30% in 2011, the second highest rate for that category.
February 19, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
The latest federal statistics that measure the performance of the nation's airlines offered some good news for passengers and some bad. First the good news: In 2011, the airlines set new records for the lowest rate of lost or mishandled baggage and the lowest rate of passengers bumped from overbooked flights. In 2011, the department received 3.39 reports of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, the lowest rate since the Transportation Department began keeping track of lost bag reports in 1988.
January 29, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
New federal regulations aimed at giving airline passengers the true price of their tickets when booking a flight may provide some travelers with an unpleasant surprise. The new U.S. Department of Transportation rules that took effect last week require airlines to include taxes and fees in their advertised prices. But travel experts say they may have the unintended effect of reducing airline ticket sales by scaring away passengers with prices that suddenly seem much higher than in the past.
January 16, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide. But the TSA does not plan to retest the machines or passengers. Instead, the agency plans to test its airport security officers to see if they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working with the scanners. News of the test leaked out after the TSA issued a request last month to government vendors to provide wearable, personal dosimeters, devices that measure exposure to radiation.
December 2, 2011 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Officials have promised to make changes before the Christmas travel season in an effort to prevent airline passengers from suffering the nightmare of being trapped for hours on a tarmac with no way to reach an airport gate. “We can move pretty quickly on this,” Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt said after a forum with airlines, airports and government officials on ways to prevent a repeat of an October incident that left hundreds of passengers stranded in Hartford, Conn..
November 27, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
With the busy holiday travel season in full swing, federal lawmakers, passenger rights advocates and airlines are squaring off over one of the thorniest issues in flying today: baggage fees. The bottom line is that you will probably get no reprieve from the fees any time soon. A Louisiana senator proposed legislation last week that would allow airline passengers to check one bag for free on each flight. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said the bill is meant to protect passengers from excessive fees.
November 16, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel blogger
More passengers toting more carry-on bags clog Transportation Security Administration checkpoints and frustrate air travelers, according to a U.S. Travel Assn. survey released Wednesday. "The recent trend of most airlines charging separate fees for every checked bag has resulted in airline passengers 'carrying on' substantially more baggage per person," the organization's president and Chief Executive Roger Dow told a Senate committee this month. "The increased volume of carry-on baggage is causing significant checkpoint congestion, negatively impacting security and causing significant strains on TSA personnel and resources," he said.
October 31, 2011 | By Christopher Hinton
JetBlue Airways Corp. and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines could face huge U.S. fines after their passengers sat for hours in jets stranded on a snow-covered tarmac near Hartford, Conn., this weekend. The U.S. Transportation Department is investigating the JetBlue reports and "several other possible delays" but couldn't comment immediately on American Airlines. Under rules in place since April 2010, most tarmac delays at U.S. airports are limited to three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights, the agency said.
September 14, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Smoking electronic cigarettes would be explicitly banned on all domestic and international commercial flights in the U.S. under a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Current federal law prohibits passengers from smoking any tobacco product on a commercial plane but does not single out the use of electronic cigarettes. Most electronic cigarettes do not burn tobacco but use a lithium battery to heat up a liquid nicotine solution, creating a vapor that can be inhaled to deliver the chemical directly into the lungs.
August 31, 2011 | By Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
The scenario is all too familiar: A love affair that started out wildly romantic and adventurous grows bitter and dreary over the years. Communication breaks down. Disappointments replace dreams. And before you know it, the relationship seems unsalvageable. Is there a couple's counselor in the house? Counselor: OK, let's just start by listening to one another. No interrupting, no name-calling. We'll start with you, Airline. What would you like to say to your Passenger? Airline: When we first met, you treated me like a hero who swept you off your feet.
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