On-time Arrivals In June

What's The Deal?


On-time performance. The Department of Transportation said earlier this month that airlines' on-time performance was better in June, its most recent report, than it was a year ago, mostly because there were fewer flights. Summertime delays are still common, but there's no excuse for what happened recently when 47 passengers on a Continental Express flight were delayed six hours and ended up spending the night on a small, cramped plane at a Minnesota airport. "Passenger rights" legislation - which has yet to make it through Congress - would require airlines to allow passengers to disembark if the plane is delayed more than three hours. In June, there were 278 tarmac delays of three hours or more - but still only .05 percent of the total number of scheduled flights that month.

Photo contest. Instead of letting your vacation photos become a virtual memory, why not download them into the 2009 National Geographic International Photography Contest. There are three categories - people, places and nature - and you can enter a total of six photographs. Images can be black and white or color, digital or shot with conventional film, but they must be submitted digitally to ngphotocontest.com by Oct. 31.The entry fee is $12 per photo for entries received by Oct. 15, and $22 per photo for entries received after that. Winners receive a digital camera and publication in the magazine.

Naked ambition. I don't know what's up with travelers who can't keep their clothes on. A couple of weeks ago a passenger on a Southwest flight from Oakland to St. Louis stripped naked and then became violent, punching a fellow traveler. Earlier this summer, another man unleashed his birthday suit on a US Airways flight to Los Angeles. Then just last week comes news of a nude display going on at The Standard, a Manhattan hotel. Apparently, guests are putting on a peep show in the hotel's floor-to-ceiling windows, providing easy viewing from the High Line park below - a park where children play. I know we want to relax on vacation, but this is taking it a little too far.

More fees, please. Following on the heels of American Airlines, US Airways has raised its checked bag fees by five bucks. If you check your bag online, the new fees are $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second. For those who check luggage at the airport, the fees are $25 and $30. Bring a second bag on your international flight and you'll pay $50. As usual, some frequent fliers will be exempt from the new fees, which go into effect Oct. 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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