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350 suspected terrorists blocked from planes

The U.S. government has prevented more than 350 people suspected of ties to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups from boarding U.S.-bound commercial flights since the end of 2009, The Associated Press has learned. Get the full story »

Decline in UAL traffic hits its stock, other airlines’

Airline stocks are declining after United Continental reported that traffic fell at a faster pace in March.

“People are very nervous about pricing due to rising oil prices,” says Wolfe Trahan analyst Hunter Keay. Get the full story »

Chicago plane finds snoozing tower in D.C.

The air traffic tower at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington. (Karen Bleier/Getty)

Federal air-safety officials are looking into why the lone air-traffic controller on duty at Washington’s Reagan National Airport early Wednesday repeatedly failed to respond to pilots of two approaching aircraft, forcing both jetliners to land without clearance.

Pilots of an American Airlines jet on final approach tried in vain to contact the tower. A few minutes later, a United Airlines jet, en route from Chicago, experienced the same problem, according to federal air-safety officials. Get the full story »

Unions balk as Japan woes put flight crews on edge

Rising radiation levels and continual aftershocks rumbling through Tokyo are raising tensions between pilots and managers at U.S. carriers flying to central Japan.

Union leaders at United and Continental Airlines say flight crews are anxious about deteriorating conditions in Tokyo, where the carriers’ pilots and flight attendants recuperate from long trans-Pacific flights. Get the full story »

United returning to normal after grounding 757s

United Airlines operations are returning to normal after the carrier voluntarily grounded its fleet of 96 Boeing 757s Tuesday to ensure the planes’ air-data computer software complied with a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive.

The Chicago-based carrier was able to quickly carry out the software checks needed to meet federal guidelines, and most of the aircraft were back in service by mid-day Wednesday. 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 »

United, Delta, Continental raise fares by $10-$20

Passengers whose travel plans were wrecked this week when thousands of flights were canceled might not want to hear it, but airfares are going up again.

Several airlines confirmed Tuesday that they are raising prices on many domestic routes by $10 one way and $20 per round trip, even as snowbound passengers remain stranded at New York City-area airports. Get the full story »

United to switch to Continental’s booking system

United Airlines is dropping the reservations system it created almost 40 years ago in favor of a platform provided by Hewlett-Packard Co.

Travelport Ltd., the travel services group that now runs the Apollo system used by United, said the carrier planned to terminate their deal March 1, 2012, and transition to the H-P system used by merger partner Continental Airlines. Get the full story »

International fees help add $900M to airline revenue

The sky appears to be the limit when it comes to the money airlines make by charging passengers to check luggage.

The 20 largest U.S. carriers collected $906.4 million in baggage-related revenue in the third quarter, a 23 percent jump from 2009 results, according to data released Monday by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Get the full story »

United Continental gets antitrust OK for Japanese venture

The U.S. Transportation Department has issued a final order granting antitrust immunity to allow United Continental Holdings Inc. to join with one of Japan’s major airlines to jointly schedule schedule flights to Asia and conduct sales activities. Get the full story »

Midway has highest rate of delayed departures

A higher rate of airline flights departed late from Midway Airport than at any other major U.S. airport over the first eight months of the year, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported Tuesday.

Three flights out of 10 departed Midway at least 15 minutes after their scheduled time to push back from the gate, according to the department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The 71 percent on-time departure record over the period was only slightly better in August, when 74 percent of flights departed Midway on time.

U.S., Asia air alliances expected to win OK

U.S. regulators say they are likely to approve antitrust immunity for two major airline alliances carrying travelers to Asia.

The tentative approval from the Transportation Department on Wednesday would let American Airlines and Japan Airlines coordinate routes and schedules and share revenue on flights across the Pacific. A similar arrangement between United Continental Holdings Inc. and All Nippon Airways also won tentative approval. Get the full story »

United’s top lawyer resigns ahead of merger

By Ameet Sachdev and Julie Johnsson | The merger between United and Continental airlines is scheduled to become official on Friday, and there is an unexpected hole in the senior management team.

Tom Sabatino, who was supposed to be the top lawyer inside the combined United-Continental airlines, has resigned, the Tribune has confirmed. Get the full story »