American Airlines announced 52 new nonstop flights in 2018, including hourly weekday shuttle flights between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and New York's LaGuardia Airport. "Many of the new routes are focused on connecting smaller cities to one of American's major hubs to create new city pairings for customers," said American Airlines executive Vasu Raja.
United Airlines will use Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft for its first and last daily flights between Duluth International Airport in Minnesota and Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The carrier's other daily flights between the cities will continue to use 50-passenger jets.
Members of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security urged David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, to quickly deploy CT scanners at US airports. Pekoske said efforts to put the new technology in service have been hampered by budget constraints.
Alaska Airlines has revealed redesigned uniforms created by Seattle fashion designer Luly Yang. "Like our refreshed brand, launched in early 2016, our new uniform collection includes bright pops of color, clean lines and stunning finishes, creating a stylish yet approachable look," said Sangita Woerner, vice president of marketing.
United Airlines will introduce its "Premium Plus" premium economy seating on some international flights, featuring more space and additional amenities, including complimentary alcoholic beverages and upgraded meals.
WalletHub evaluated and compared domestic airlines' loyalty rewards programs, putting Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines in the top two spots for most rewards value. WalletHub noted that four of the largest 10 US airlines are offering more rewards in 2018 than they did in 2017, and seven of the 10 don't impose blackout dates on flights purchased with miles.
More than a million drones have been registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, including 122,000 drones deployed for commercial and public uses. "The tremendous growth in drone registration reflects the fact that they are more than tools for commerce and trade, but can save lives, detect hazardous situations and assist with disaster recovery," said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
When Southern California's Highway 101 near Montecito was closed due to mudslides, pilot Jeff Moorhouse and his Beechcraft A36 Bonanza stepped up to help cancer patient Joanne Vega get to the hospital for radiation treatments. Moorhouse provides the 20-minute flights to Vega free of charge.
Tennessee's Memphis International Airport is focusing on adding more direct flights to destinations around the country while at the same time improving customer service and launching a revamp of Concourse B. The airport's renewed commitment to customer service includes more worker training and plans to hire a customer service manager.
At least seven people claiming to be part of a TV film crew were arrested and charged with multiple counts after Transportation Security Administration officers at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport discovered a fake explosive device in one of the travelers' carry-on bags. Endemol Shine North America, the crew's employer, said the device is actually a suitcase designed to compact clothing.
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