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BUSINESS
June 26, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Delta Air Lines $750,000 for violating the rules of bumping passengers on overbooked flights. Under federal rules, airlines must first ask for volunteers to give up their seat before the carrier can deny ticketed passengers a seat on an overbooked plane. The airlines must also compensate passengers who are bumped. In several instances in March 2012, Delta bumped passengers without first asking for volunteers and without explaining that the bumped passengers had a right to cash compensation, the federal agency said.
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BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
“Slim-line” seats, with thinner seat-back cushions, are increasingly popular with airlines because they weigh less and help squeeze more passengers into a plane. But the seats may not be so popular with passengers. A new survey by the travel website TripAdvisor shows that many passengers who have tried slim-line seats are not fans. In a survey of 1,391 travelers, the website found that nearly half weren't sure whether they had sat in slim-line seats. But of those who said they had tried the seats, 83% said they were less comfortable than traditional seats, 8% said the slim-line seats were more comfortable, and 9% said they couldn't tell the difference.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
If you cringe at the thought of flying on a commercial flight, you are not alone. You probably have lots of complaints about the long lines, intrusive security searches and fees for food, drinks and even pillows. But airline workers also have gripes, mostly about their tough working conditions and how they are treated by frustrated passengers. In a recent survey of 700 airline workers in 85 countries, fliers who snapped their fingers to get the attention of flight attendants were ranked as the biggest annoyance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
This post has been updated, as noted below. SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Asiana Airlines flight crashed at San Francisco International Airport, passengers fled in all directions from the burning plane. "You have to imagine the chaos of the scene," said San Francisco Police Dept. Acting Capt. Dominic Yin. Some passengers were found wandering, dazed, near the wreckage. Others made a beeline for the international terminal, where they waited for as long as five hours to be reunited with panicked friends and family.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2013 | By Lee Romney
Some passengers whose BART train became stuck in the Berkeley Hills tunnel were being treated Wednesday morning for smoke inhalation after the disabled train emerged at Oakland's Rockridge station. Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman Jim Allison said the train got stuck between the Orinda and Rockridge stations at about 8:30 a.m., after a parking brake apparently deployed accidentally. Passengers reported smelling smoke from the brakes. A technician was able to get the train moving again and passengers were evacuated at the Rockridge station at 9:35 a.m. Some were seen in news footage being removed from the train by paramedics -- one on a stretcher.
NEWS
July 18, 2012 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
The Transportation Security Administration program that allows prescreened passengers to move more quickly through security is scheduled to expand next week to United Airlines in Terminal 7 at LAX . The program, known as PreCheck, is already in place at LAX for select Delta and American passengers. Under the program, such passengers may not have to remove their shoes or lightweight outerwear or remove their laptop or liquids from their carry-on during screening. “All of our customers absolutely love it,” said Alexandria Marren, senior vice president of network operations for United and United Express, under which security falls.
BUSINESS
May 12, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
It's not exactly like winning the lottery, but boarding passes for some frequent fliers on US Airways, Delta and United airlines will now include a symbol that lets them go through screening faster. The faster screening lines are offered under a program called PreCheck, operated by the Transportation Security Administration. Frequent fliers with five of the largest airlines are invited to apply for the PreCheck program. If they get selected by the TSA to participate they can go through screening without removing their shoes, belts, jackets or taking laptops and liquid bottles out of carry-on bags.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 | By Harriet Ryan, Shelby Grad and Carlos Lozano
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 | By Maria L. La Ganga and Lee Romney
Catherine Malone Habas and her family were 20 minutes from landing at SFO, en route home from a two-week vacation in Cape Cod, when the plane headed into an unexpected circle and the pilot came on the public address system. "He said, 'Everything went smoothly for 5 hours and 40 minutes, but we've been put into a holding pattern for at least 20 minutes because of a disabled plane at SFO,' " Malone Habas recounted. Twenty minutes later, the pilot came on wagain with a short message for the passengers of United flight 1699: "We've been diverted to Sacramento.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
When teensy-weensy Samoa Airlines debuted its pay-by-the-kilo policy in January, I doubt it expected to set off an international controversy about fat discrimination. But that's what happened when news seeped out this week after the airline's chief executive, Chris Langton, told ABC News radio in Australia that the system is not only fair but destined to catch on. “Doesn't matter whether you're carrying freight or people,” explained Langton. "We've amalgamated the two and worked out a figure per kilo.” Samoa Air, he added, has always weighed the human and non-human cargo it carries.
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