May 21, 2013
By Mark Tyler and Thomas Higgins As an airport-lease agreement that will bind US Airways, the airport's major carrier, to a long-term contract is considered, Mayor Nutter and City Council should insist that Philadelphia's living-wage ordinance applies to the deal. By linking the ordinance and the agreement, which was introduced in Council last week and is expected to be heard before the Transportation and Utilities Committee Wednesday, the city would ensure that employers of city-contracted businesses are paid a family-sustaining minimum wage of at least 150 percent of the state's minimum wage - $10.88 an hour, plus benefits.
May 18, 2013 |
Community activists and an interfaith group want Philadelphia City Council to amend a lease agreement between the city and US Airways Group to boost the salary of 1,500 low-wage airport workers and require future hiring for ground-service jobs to come from neighborhoods around Philadelphia International Airport. Several dozen clergy and members of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER) held a prayer vigil Thursday outside Mayor Nutter's office demanding that the interests of Philadelphia's dominant airline not be put above the needs of skycaps, aircraft cabin cleaners, and wheelchair attendants, who earn poverty wages from subcontractors with low-bid airline contracts.
May 17, 2013 |
Travel and entertainment become priorities as summer approaches. So here are smartphone applications that smooth the way through an unfamiliar airport, or that find your favorite band performing at a nearby venue. Get around unfamiliar airports with Gate Guru by Mobility Apps L.L.C. The free app for Android and Apple devices has terminal maps and a list of eateries, shops, ATMs, and other amenities, including reviews of the food, that you can filter by terminal within an airport.
May 11, 2013
The 149 small airport traffic-control towers slated for reduced hours or closure June 15, including Trenton-Mercer Airport, will stay open, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration will transfer sufficient funds to end employee furloughs and keep the 149 towers open for the remainder of the fiscal year through Sept. 30. The FAA will also put $10 million towards reducing cuts and delays in "core NextGen programs and will allocate about $11 million to partially restore the support of infrastructure in the national airspace system," LaHood said.
May 8, 2013 |
THE FEDERAL Occupational Health & Safety Administration has launched an inspection into working conditions at Philadelphia International Airport in response to a series of complaints filed last week on behalf of subcontracted baggage handlers and wheelchair attendants. The inspection, which can take up to six months, is a standard response to work-condition complaints, OSHA spokeswoman Leni Fortson said. The complaints allege that some airport workers employed by the subcontractor PrimeFlight Aviation Services, which does business in Philly with US Airways, United and Southwest, do not receive training on how to help handicapped passengers, are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids without protection and are forced to use faulty equipment.
May 3, 2013 |
HOUSTON - A man who had fired a gun inside a ticketing area at Houston's largest airport was killed after being confronted by a law enforcement official during an incident that sent people in the terminal scrambling and screaming, police said Thursday. It's unclear whether the man fatally shot himself or was killed by a Homeland Security agent who had confronted him, said Houston police spokesman Kese Smith. The man's name was not released by police, but they said he was about 30 years old. Police say the man walked into the ticketing area in Terminal B at Bush Intercontinental Airport around 1:35 p.m. and fired at least one shot into the air. The agent, who was in his office, came out and confronted the man, telling him to drop his weapon, but the man refused, police said.
May 2, 2013 |
Air-traffic controller furloughs ended over the weekend. Snarled operations that caused delays for travelers, especially in the New York City area, are back to normal. But no one knows for sure what the legislation untangling the situation, passed by Congress and signed by the president, will mean for 149 small airport traffic-control towers slated for reduced hours or closure June 15 because of the federal spending cuts. Airfields affected by the closures - including Trenton-Mercer Airport, where Frontier Airlines now flies to 10 cities, and the Harrisburg, Latrobe, and Lancaster airports in Pennsylvania - are hopeful the transfer of up to $253 million from an airport-improvement program to prevent reduced operations and staffing through Sept.
April 29, 2013 |
Airlines survived $147-a-barrel oil, a financial collapse on Wall Street, and a recession in 2008 by doing two things: slashing capacity - fewer flights, different-size aircrafts, recalibrated routes - and charging annoying fees for everything from baggage to "choice" seats. Nationwide, there are 8 percent fewer airplane seats with passengers in them than five years ago, according to airline analyst Daniel McKenzie, of Buckingham Research Group in New York. He recently analyzed which cities got hardest hit with seat cuts and which had the most growth.
April 24, 2013 |
Gridlock hit commercial flights at some East Coast airports Monday, as 1,500 air traffic controllers were forced to take a mandatory furlough day due to federal budget cuts. Flights into New York and Newark, N.J., were delayed an hour and 23 minutes in Newark; 2 hours and 43 minutes at John F. Kennedy airport; and one hour and 43 minutes at LaGuardia airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website. Philadelphia International Airport experienced delays of 15 minutes or less, which is considered normal, according to the FAA website.
April 22, 2013 |
You may have heard about the airline that charges passengers according to how much they weigh, which I think is a great idea. Because airline travel isn't humiliating enough. Never mind that when you stand in the security line, you have to undress in front of perfect strangers. First you take off your shoes, so you can stand there awkwardly in your bare feet. You lose three inches, but you gain ringworm. Next you have to take off your belt. It is not embarrassing at all to have to lift up your shirt and unfasten your belt, especially if you have to suck in your belly.