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Bayless O’Hare eatery a top airport restaurant

From USA Today | Tortas Frontera, a Rick Bayless restaurant that specializes in Mexican griddle sandwiches, scores among the Top 10 airport restaurants in a Frommer’s Travel Guides survey commissioned by USA Today.

“We’ve picked places that serve food you’d eat even if you weren’t trapped,” says Jason Clampet, senior online editor for

O’Hare expansion litigation delayed again

By Jon Hilkevitch | Another delay was announced Friday in the litigation over a possible O’Hare expansion to give the city of Chicago and United and American airlines more time to possibly negotiate a settlement, officials said.

A Cook County judge had been scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on a motion by the city to dismiss the airlines’ request for a preliminary injunction barring Chicago from selling about $1 billion in bonds to finance part of the final phase of new runways at O’Hare International Airport. Get the full story »

Virgin to enter O’Hare; makes Groupon splash

A Virgin America Airbus A319 airplane. (Charlotte Southern/Bloomberg)

By Julie Johnsson and Wailin Wong | Virgin America entered the Chicago market Wednesday with typical flair, unveiling a Groupon Deal of the Day that slashed prices on its new West Coast service to $128 round-trip.

The deeply discounted deal was the first air fare to be featured on Chicago-based Groupon and sold out in Chicago in just 8 minutes, said Virgin America spokewoman Abby Lunardini. Within 45 minutes, Virgin’s Groupon offer had sold out in San Francisco and Los Angeles, a total of 2,100 fares in all.
Get the full story »

O’Hare expansion lawsuit to move to trial

By Jon Hilkevitch | United and American airlines’ lawsuit against Chicago over the expansion of O’Hare International Airport will move toward trial after negotiations have so far failed to break an impasse, officials said Thursday.

Both sides on Thursday asked Judge Richard Billik of Cook County Circuit Court to lift a one-week delay on hearing the lawsuit, which seeks to prevent the city from borrowing more money to keep the O’Hare project going.

The delay was intended to give negotiations a chance to resolve major differences over the financing and timing of new runways. Get the full story »

Reports of mistakes by air controllers nearly double

Inside the air-traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport. (EPA/Andrew Gombert)

In a time of unparalleled aviation safety in the United States, reports of mistakes by air traffic controllers have nearly doubled — a seeming contradiction that has safety experts puzzled.

The latest incident — the near midair collision of an American Airlines jet with 259 people aboard and two Air Force transport planes southeast of New York City, has raised eyebrows in Congress and led to questions about a nonpunitive culture of error reporting in air-traffic control facilities. Get the full story »

Tarmac delay rules to extend to foreign airlines

Federal officials are poised to broaden new tarmac delay rules to include overseas carriers, closing a loophole that was exposed during the Boxing Day blizzard that shuttered New York City’s airports.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday it expects to issue the latest passenger protections in April and will likely build on a controversial 2010 rule that set fines of $27,500 for every passenger on board planes operated by domestic carriers that idle at an airport for more than 180 minutes. Get the full story »

Midway ranks worst in on-time performance

Crain’s Chicago Business | Less than half the December  departures from Midway Airport took off on time, according to the Department of Transportation, making its on-time performance the worst in the nation. It did better in arrivals, and United led the major airlines in on-time performance.

O’Hare deal would open gates for Virgin America

The city of Chicago has struck a deal with Delta Air Lines that could pave the way for upstart Virgin America to begin service at O’Hare International Airport.

A proposed ordinance introduced by Mayor Daley in city council Wednesday would give the city control over the L concourse gates in Terminal 3. The gates have been largely vacant since Nov. 17, 2009, when Delta shifted its operations at O’Hare to merger partner Northwest Airline’s base in Terminal 2. Get the full story »

Power restored at O’Hare after 20 minute outage

A major power outage at Chicago O’Hare International Airport brought three terminals to a stand-still for about 20 minutes today, according to Commonwealth Edison. Get the full story »

Weather flight tally: 20,000 canceled

Winter storms forced airlines to ground nearly 20,000 flights this week and chilled industry earnings, resulting in an estimated net loss of $121 million to $150 million, according to AirlineForecasts LLC on Friday.

American Airlines, the country’s third-largest carrier, took the biggest hit after high winds and ice closed its Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport hub Tuesday. Get the full story »

United-Continental maps next steps in integration

Passengers of United Continental Holdings Inc. should expect a more seamless flying experience by late spring on the recently merged United and Continental Airlines.

By the end of the second quarter, customers will be able to check in for flights at United or Continental counters, the carrier’s two Web sites will operate and sell tickets as an integrated network and the new branding strategy will be apparent, first at United’s hubs. Get the full story »

JetBlue fliers can score points from Facebook Places

Mashable | JetBlue has instituted a program under which passenger who check into various airports via Facebook Places can accumulate points to trade in for flights.

Gary runway extension work to begin by July

The interim director of the Gary-Chicago International Airport says work on a $128 million project to move railroad tracks to make way for a runway extension should begin by July. Get the full story »

Ads coming to bathroom mirrors at O’Hare

The ad moves aside when a person stands in front. (Mirrus)Is no place sacred?

Just when you thought it was safe to wash your hands and check for things between your teeth in peace, an offshoot of Clear Channel Communications Inc. has found a way to serve up advertising in the bathroom mirror.

The mirrors in your home are still off limits (for now anyway) but a unit of Clear Channel Outdoor said Thursday that had teamed up with a North Carolina company called Mirrus to turn select bathroom mirrors at O’Hare International Airport into interactive billboards. Get the full story »

Leisure travel is recovering, very leisurely

Leisure travel is recovering from the recession, but at a slower pace than business travel, according to a company that makes reservations for travel agents and Web sites.

Monthly revenue from leisure travel hotel reservations through June will rise an average of 14 percent from a year earlier on average, according to Pegasus Solutions Inc. Get the full story »