Air Travel

Airplane Safety : Instant Guide
An American Airlines pilot talks on his cellphone at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

The FCC: Lift the ban on using gadgets during takeoff (and landing)

The Federal Communications Commission is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to enable "greater use" of tablets and e-readers during flights

Airplane Safety : Instant Guide
Researchers in Japan have developed a prototype for a boarding gate with built-in explosives-detecting equipment that sniffs you as you scan your boarding pass. 

The airport boarding gate that instantly detects explosives

Flying could become a little safer if Japan's new bomb-sniffing technology takes off

Airplane Safety : Burning Question
An American Airlines passenger on a recent flight mishap: "The seats flipped backwards... People were essentially on the laps of the people behind them with their legs up in the air."

Why are seats coming loose on American Airlines' planes?

It's almost unheard of for a row of seats to come unbolted on a passenger jet. And yet, American has suffered three such incidents in three days

Air Rage : Fact Sheet
Imagine a cushion of quiet, seven rows deep — that's what AirAsia plans on doing with its "quiet zone" where only passengers 12 and older can sit.

Coming soon: Adults-only sections on airplanes

An Asian airline will create a zone free of tiny tots. Will this give grown-up travelers some much-appreciated peace and quiet, or just make parents mad?

Air Rage : Analysis
United's Economy-Plus seats: Instead of bulky foam cushioning, the airline's slim new coach seats will be padded with polyester.

Smaller seats, more passengers: Inside United Airline's painful new plan

The carrier says it's installing slimmer seats to offset climbing fuel costs. Will that make economy class feel even more like a cattle car?

Air Rage : Instant Guide
A child sits alone in an airplane terminal: Qantas Airline has a newly controversial policy that ensures male adults aren't seated next to unaccompanied minors.

Pedophilia panic: Barring single men from sitting next to kids on planes

Two Australian men complain after flight attendants make them move away from unaccompanied children. Is this airline policy discriminatory?

Airplane Safety : Fact Sheet
The remnants of an untampered-with Delta snack: The airline is in the midst of an investigation after passengers found sewing-type needles in their turkey sandwiches.

How did sewing needles end up in Delta's food?

Passengers on four Delta flights from Amsterdam to the U.S. find an unwelcome garnish on their turkey sandwiches, provoking an FBI investigation

Airplane Safety : Controversy
If the TSA's full body scanners already make you nervous, you may want to cancel your travel plans: A new kind of body scanner, which could be in airports within a year or two, uses a laser to gain nitty gritty details about passengers.

The airport security scanner that knows what you ate for breakfast

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly developing a new scanner that can detect everything from traces of gun powder to adrenaline levels

Air Rage : The List
Before you board that Southwest flight, it might be wise to check the depth of of your cleavage, the length of your skirt, and the context of your T-shirt.

8 passengers dubiously booted off Southwest flights

The budget airline has kicked off passengers for wearing saggy pants and crying, developing a reputation as the airline industry's version of the Soup Nazi

Air Rage : Burning Question
Budget airline Spirit already charges passengers $45 for carrying on too-large bags, and other airlines may soon follow suit.

Should airlines charge a fee for oversized carry-ons?

The battle for overhead bins gets more intense with every flight, but passengers may not take kindly to yet another extra charge

Air Rage : Controversy
Spirit Airlines charges passengers extra to reserve any seat in advance, not just window or aisle seats.

The latest outrage-inducing airline fee: $25 for a window seat?

Want to make sure your family sits together on your summer vacation? Be prepared to open your wallet

Airplane Safety : Analysis
The average American male weighs 194 pounds, but the typical airplane seat is only required to accommodate a 170-pounder, as per safety standards developed 60 years ago.

Are airplane seats dangerously small for fat Americans?

Researchers worry that antiquated seating standards no longer match up with our expanding waistlines

Air Rage : The List
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has some pretty kooky, and sometimes offensive, money-saving ideas.

Ryanair's 7 most ridiculous cost-saving ventures

The cheapo Irish airline is famous for its outlandish proposals to save money. Are any of them so crazy they might just work?

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
Soon there may be no need to power down your iPad during takeoff and landing, as the government is considering a reversal on its widely-loathed rule.

Will airlines finally stop forcing fliers to turn off their iPads?

Travelers rejoice as the government reconsiders much-hated rules requiring passengers to turn off their gadgets during taxi, takeoff, and landing

Air Rage : Petty Controversy
Alec Baldwin really, really loves the smartphone game Words With Friends.

Petty controversy: Alec Baldwin vs. American Airlines

The 30 Rock star gets kicked off a flight after refusing to stop playing Words with Friends on his smartphone

Airplane Safety : Instant Guide
Vanessa Gibbs displays a favorite purse embellished with a western-style gun design: Overzealous TSA officials flagged the purse as a security risk.

The girl barred from flying because her purse was considered a lethal weapon

A pregnant 17-year-old is grounded because of a decorative pistol design on her handbag. Another epic TSA misfire?

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