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BUSINESS
May 2, 2010 | By Hugo Martín, Times Staff Writer
The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull, whose name no one can seem to pronounce (it's ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl ), made a pronounced impact on business travel last month. More than 80% of the 234 businesses worldwide surveyed by the National Business Travelers Assn. said they had employees either stranded or delayed because the volcano's eruption grounded thousands of flights into and out of Europe. In all, more than 310,000 business travelers were stuck away from home, costing each company an average of nearly $200,000 in unexpected travel expenses, according to the survey released last month.
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BUSINESS
April 16, 2010 | By Julie Johnsson
United Airlines has resumed merger discussions with Continental Airlines that were suspended two years ago after Continental's board opted to remain independent, said people with direct knowledge of the talks. Houston-based Continental was drawn back to the merger table after learning last week that Chicago's United also was courting Phoenix-based US Airways, said a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks. Analysts consider Continental a better fit for United, because their combination would form the world's largest airline and there is relatively little overlap in their networks to draw scrutiny from antitrust regulators.
BUSINESS
April 9, 2010 | By Julie Johnsson
Time finally may be on United Airlines' side as the carrier's executives, staunch proponents of consolidation, again explore a merger. The underlying financial dynamics of the airline industry have greatly improved since 2008, when Chicago-based United and other U.S. carriers last engaged in the aviation equivalent of speed-dating, analysts said. And United has made itself a more attractive partner by cutting costs and paying greater attention to details such as its on-time performance.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2010 | By Hugo Martín and W. J. Hennigan and Julie Johnsson
An on-again off-again merger of United Airlines and US Airways seemed to be in the works again Wednesday as the two seek to forge a potent competitor in the ailing industry. Although the deal may make financial sense for the two companies, aviation experts said consumers could see higher ticket prices in the months ahead. "It's the consumers that will pay for this," said Michael DiGirolamo, aviation consultant and retired deputy executive director of the Los Angeles airport department.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2010 | By Hugo Martín
It's the end of the free lunch. And breakfast and dinner. Continental Airlines Inc. announced last week that it would stop serving complimentary meals in coach for most domestic flights, marking the end of the free-meal era among most U.S. airlines. The Houston-based carrier is the last major airline in the continental U.S. to serve free meals in coach on most domestic flights. The free meals will end this fall. That leaves only Hawaiian Airlines, which still serves free meals in coach on flights from the mainland to Hawaii and the South Pacific.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2010 | David Lazarus
Beginning Feb. 1, your money's no good on American Airlines. The carrier is the latest to go completely cashless during flights, meaning that if you don't have plastic, you won't be buying food, drinks, duty-free items or whatever. "The implementation of cashless cabins on select flights last summer has simplified the in-flight transaction process for both customers and flight attendants," Lauri Curtis, American's vice president of onboard service, said in a statement. "For this reason, we look forward to going cashless on board all American Airlines flights."
NATIONAL
November 25, 2009 | Mcclatchy Newspapers
Federal fines totaling $175,000 were levied Tuesday against the three airlines that stranded dozens of passengers for nearly six hours on a tarmac in Rochester, Minn., last summer. The fines are the first that airlines have received for lengthy tarmac delays. Continental Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines were given a total civil penalty of $100,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation for their roles in keeping passengers on board Continental Express Flight 2816 on Aug. 8. Also, the department assessed a civil penalty of $75,000 against Mesaba Airlines, which provided ground handling for the flight.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2009 | By Julie Johnsson
Ruehl Bulan perches on the left rear exit of a United Airlines jet and flings seat cushions, three at a time, into the chilly October night. He's part of a skeleton crew of mechanics swarming the Airbus A320, which just pulled into Dock 2 at the carrier's cavernous maintenance hangars at San Francisco International Airport. By dawn, they will have stripped the plane down to its metal seat frames. For the first time this decade, Chicago-based United is giving a makeover to every aircraft in its fleet.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Continental Airlines Inc. has changed teams in the battle among three large alliances of global airlines. The airline officially switched from SkyTeam, which is led by Delta Air Lines Inc. and Air France-KLM Group, to the Star Alliance, which includes UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, US Airways Group Inc. and Lufthansa. The move gets Continental out from under the shadow of Delta Air Lines and could mean a bigger piece of international revenue that is shared among team members.
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