Airlines have continually raised fares since the start of the year, and industry experts expect airfares this summer will soar 15% above those of a year earlier. Airline representatives explain that fare increases are needed to adjust to the spike in jet-fuel prices. But the higher fares may cause casual travelers, who base their plans on price, to stay at home.
Transportation Security Administration agents will finish voting this week on whether to unionize. Some observers expect the workers to vote to join a union, which will bargain on their behalf for work rules. Others note that unionization may help improve morale at the agency. "It's a tough place to work, and I've seen a lot of people leave because of the stress," said Marie LeClair, who has worked as a screener for eight years at Boston's Logan International Airport. "We're the black sheep of the federal government. There are no work floor regulations for us, so when there's an issue, management's attitude is: 'It's our way or the highway.' "
New Jersey officials said authorities have arrested 18 individuals who were connected with an international drug smuggling ring. They said that the suspects smuggled liquid cocaine through airport security checkpoints in lotion bottles. "It's a scientific process, obviously, that is not familiar to us," Hudson County Prosecutor Edward De Fazio said. "It is a very unique situation."
Travelers who complain loudly about airport screening are more likely to attract the attention of Transportation Security Administration agents than individuals who pass quietly through security lines. Arrogant complaining is one of about 70 types of behavior that could trigger additional scrutiny. However, the TSA said no single indicator by itself can be used to identify an individual as a high-risk traveler.
A $1.5 billion modernization of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport is starting to take shape. The Bradley West project, which is expected to be completed in 2012, will double the amount of space and includes new concourses, 18 new gates, more dining and shops and a utility plant. "You see more digging, more tunnels and lots of expansion every day, so everyone expects it to be done on time," said Qantas Airlines' Wally Mariani.