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United OKs mobile check-in for international travel

United Continental has announced the expansion of mobile check-in and mobile boarding passes to United customers traveling with international itineraries. 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 »

Orbitz to add rail trips for business travelers

Business travelers can book rail trips online with Orbitz for Business as a result of a partnership with SilverRail Technologies, an online search and booking service. Get the full story »

United, Delta, American cancel most Japan flights

The three largest U.S. carriers scrambled Friday to ensure that employees in Japan were safe as they re-routed passengers and aircraft bound for the earthquake-stricken country.

United, Delta and American airlines canceled many, but not all, flights to Japan Friday and offered to waive booking fees for those who opted to cancel or reschedule travel there as the country recovers from one of the largest earthquakes on record. Get the full story »

Southwest recovers from 2 glitches, snarled flights

Southwest Airlines is recovering from two unrelated computer outages Tuesday that caused the carrier’s online reservations systems to crash and briefly snarled its flight operations.

The technical foul-ups were resolved overnight, said Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz, via e-mail. “We may have had some temporary periods of slowness as we are still working through all issues with the conversion, but for the most part it’s been running smoothly today,” he added.
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Airline profits expected to halve in 2011

Global airline net profits will halve this year as rising costs, especially oil prices, offset increasing demand, the industry body IATA said on Wednesday.

The result would be a net profit margin this year of only 1.4 percent — dismissed by IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani as more worthy of a charity than an industry — down from 2.9 percent in 2010. Get the full story »

US Airways to offer all services on Travelocity

Travelocity said Tuesday it signed a multiyear deal with US Airways  to offer the carrier’s full range of content through the Sabre Holdings global distribution system, a third party agent that owns Travelocity. Get the full story »

Southwest chief sees no cuts over higher fuel prices

The head of Southwest Airlines Co.  said Friday that successive fare increases brought on as the industry battles with soaring jet-fuel costs isn’t cutting into demand.

Gary Kelly, chairman and chief executive of Dallas-based Southwest, said he didn’t see signs of “demand destruction” and has no plans to cut capacity at this point. Get the full story »

Six Flags to hire 3,200 seasonal workers

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee said it is planning to hire 3,200 seasonal workers this year for positions that can last up to six months. Get the full story »

United to expand Economy Plus

The new United Airlines is keeping Economy Plus seating, one of the most popular features developed by the Chicago-based carrier prior to its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines.

United said Thursday that starting in 2012, it plans to retrofit Continental’s mainline aircraft and larger regional jets with the roomier economy seating.

In all, more than 700 mainline jets will be outfitted with the product, which features about five extra inches of legroom in the forward reaches of the economy cabin in United’s aircraft. Get the full story »

Delta fined $2M for violating disability rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Delta Air Lines Inc. $2 million for violating federal rules on passengers with disabilities, the agency said Thursday.

The fine is the largest imposed against an airline in a case not related to safety. Get the full story »

Hyatt swings to profit

Hyatt Hotels Corp. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the recovering economy boosted demand at its international and mid-market properties. The hotel owner and operator on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $6 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $12 million, or 7 cents per share. 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 »

Orbitz losses widen in 4Q

Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide Inc.’s fourth-quarter loss widened as revenue increased but the company booked $79.5 million of impairments.

The company also forecast current-quarter revenue of $177 million to $184 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect $194 million. Get the full story »

Online travel agencies score big with shoppers

Online travel agencies remain a big hit with shoppers, new survey data show, but the sites’ popularity could fade if contract battles with airlines leave them with fewer airfares to lure bargain-chasing consumers, researchers warned.

With airfares soaring and the economy stuck in the doldrums, consumers continue to flock to travel sites to plot dream vacations and research deals and steals, a market that’s expected to total $104.6 billion in 2011, according to market research firm PhoCusWright Inc. Get the full story »