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Leggings on a plane: Delta weighs in on United Airlines controversy

It was the leggings policy heard ’round the world.

After United Airlines declined to allow girls who were wearing leggings to board a flight on pass travel and another passenger tweeted about it, the question of airline dress policies went viral.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: United Airlines kicks two girls off flight for wearing leggings

But some have also pointed out that airlines often have more stringent policies for employees’ friends or family who are traveling on reduced-rate buddy passes. It’s a familiar issue in Atlanta, where Delta Air Lines is the largest employer and the metro area is home to tens of thousands of airline employees.

Actress Justine Bateman, best known from the 1980s TV show “Family Ties,” is among those who pointed out the distinction on Twitter over the weekend.

>> Read more trending news

“To be fair, these guidelines for ’employee passes’ have been in place for decades. All the traveling airline employees know about them,” Bateman tweeted on Sunday.

“I had to do the same when I flew on ‘passes’ as a kid, to be fair,” she tweeted.

Delta says it does not have an “item-specific” clothing policy for employees and pass travel.

“We ask our employees and their family and friends flying on pass privileges to use their best judgment when deciding what to wear on a flight,” Delta said in a written statement.

And Delta emphasized that in a tweet on Monday.

U.S. temporarily bans larger electronics from cabins of certain flights

A temporary ban on carry-on electronics is set to take effect Tuesday on certain flights into the U.S., according to reporting from The Hill and supported by tweets posted by Royal Jordanian Airlines.

Those tweets have since been deleted but read, “Following instructions from the concerned U.S. departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited,” according to The Hill.

>> Read more trending news 

The ban will be formally announced Tuesday but is said to affect 13 countries for the next 96 hours and is a response to a specific intelligence threat, The Hill reported, citing Fox News. The ban reportedly has nothing to do with President Donald Trump’s travel ban, two versions of which have now been struck down by courts across the country.

Affected countries, airlines and flights are in the process of being informed, CNN reported. The ban reportedly applies to all electronics except mobile phones and medical devices; items such as laptops, tablets and cameras may not be brought into the cabin but can fly in checked luggage.

Congressmen livestream 'bipartisan road trip' to D.C. amid snow, flight cancellations

Unable to get a flight back to snowed-in Washington, D.C., Texas Congressmen Will Hurd, a Republican from Helotes, and Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, who did a veterans’ event together in San Antonio on Monday, decided to drive together to D.C. – a trip about 1,500 miles and 24 hours long.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>BIPARTISAN ROAD TRIP: Because of the winter storm U.S. Representative Will Hurd and I are renting a car this morning and...Posted by Congressman Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hurd said it was O’Rourke’s idea.

They picked up a Dollar rental Chevy Impala in San Antonio predawn Tuesday.

They went for taquitos at Mi Tierra, where they also bought a piñata mascot — which they have named WillieBeto — to place on the dashboard, though it slipped off.

Starting the day off right at Mi Tierra Cafe before hitting the road for work. 24 hrs to DC. Co-pilot @HurdOnTheHill pic.twitter.com/wZHHF2KQXC— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2017

They then stopped at Tantra Coffeehouse in San Marcos, and then headed for Austin, where they pulled over by the University of Texas to do a live spot on MSNBC, where they were asked what would be the ideal pairing for a Texas-to-D.C. road trip like the one they were on.

They passed on the suggestion that came through on O’Rourke’s Facebook livestream — Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Houston.

>> Read more trending news

From there, they busted in on Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith and "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd just ahead of Smith’s interview of Todd for his KLRU show, "Overheard." 

Hurd was asked to offer an example of an issue on which he and O’Rourke agree.

“We both agree a border wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd said.

Cross country town hallPosted by Congressman Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Austin, the road trip headed toward Waco on the way to Texarkana and the Arkansas line.

They said they would be guided by "the people" in their choice of route, but O’Rourke said he’d like to go through Memphis – which they eventually did. 

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, old enough to be their father, phoned in to make sure there was no distracted driving going on.

Hurd assured him O’Rourke had a firm hand on the wheel.

>> 5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

But Cornyn’s connection wasn’t so good.

O’Rourke: “We lost Sen. Cornyn.”

They briefly stopped talking policy to listen to a little music.

First, Khalid from El Paso, and then, of course, Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again."

And then, off with the music for a phone interview with Bill Lambrecht of the San Antonio Express-News.

Lambrecht: “So whose wacky idea was this?”

And, “If you go to Memphis you might want to think about stopping by Graceland.” (They did, but it was closed.)

O’Rourke said that for both of them, “our party leadership is probably not really excited about us doing this” because they would each be seen as helping a member of the opposite party.

>> 7 tips to keep your pets safe during winter weather

“Screw that line of thinking,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke preferred to drive straight through to their destination. Hurd preferred to “stop and smell the roses.”

And use the facilities.

“Will has a small bladder,” O’Rourke said. “And we’ve been drinking a ton of coffee.”

At Hurd’s pace, O’Rourke said, “We’ll get to Washington by mid-summer.”

According to The Associated Press, they arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday "with minutes to spare before a 6:30 p.m. House vote."

Posted by U.S. Representative Will Hurd on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blind woman says she and service dog were booted from American Airlines flight

A blind woman claims she and her guide dog were asked to leave an American Airlines plane after an employee called her "a danger to the flight."

According to the Portland Press-Herald and WLBZ, Sue Martin, 61, of Franklin, Maine, was traveling to San Diego earlier this month when she tried to take a connecting flight with her husband and service dog from Washington, D.C., to Dallas.

After requesting a different seat, Sue Martin, who is blind, and her service dog were kicked off of an American https://t.co/ppgrmOzstc pic.twitter.com/kPJLvJra26— 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) March 15, 2017

Martin told the Press-Herald that the trouble began when she realized there was no room for her dog, a German shepherd named Quan, near her seat. She then asked a flight attendant and ticketing agent about switching seats or upgrading to first-class but was denied, the Press-Herald reported

>> Read more trending news

Martin thought the problem had been solved when a first-class passenger gave her his seat, but then an employee asked her to leave, she said.

"The man said, 'You have to leave the plane,'" Martin told WLBZ. "I asked him why and he said the crew had decided I was a danger to the flight. I've never had anything  happen like this before."

American Airlines said it is "thoroughly investigating these allegations" and takes "all disability complaints very seriously," WLBZ reported.

Read more here or here.

Video shows moment Harrison Ford flew over plane before landing on taxiway

New video released by a Southern California airport shows the moment that actor Harrison Ford flew his private plane over a jetliner and mistakenly landed on a taxiway.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Harrison Ford is under investigation after being involved in a passenger plane incident

The incident occurred about noon Feb. 13 at John Wayne Airport near Orange County.

>> Watch the video here

New footage shows Harrison Ford's recent near miss, flying over an airliner to land on a taxiway instead of a runway https://t.co/2CUiJLbMMs— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 22, 2017

Ford, 74, was supposed to land his Aviat Husky on the runway, but landed on the taxiway instead, E! News reported. He flew over an American Airlines Boeing 737 with 110 passengers and a six-person crew on board. The Dallas-bound aircraft was still able to take off minutes after the incident.

According to People, Ford asked air-traffic control, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?"

>> Read more trending news

Ford was not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. If Ford is found at fault, he could lose his pilot's license.

New airline regulations would require baggage fee refunds for delayed luggage

Airline passengers are about to get new consumer protections under measures being rolled out by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The new measures include efforts to institute a requirement for airlines to refund checked baggage fees when bags are substantially delayed. Congress passed a bill in July to require refunds for delayed bags.

The DOT will also consider a new rule to require airlines and ticket agents to list prices with fees for extra services alongside fares.

“Airline passengers deserve to have access to clear and complete information about the airlines they choose to fly and to expect fair and reasonable treatment when they fly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a written statement.

>> Read more trending stories

The moves by the DOT come after an executive order issued by President Barack Obama directing federal agencies to consider how to better inform consumers and relieve burdens on competition.

Another requirement will call for large U.S. airlines to report how often they mishandle wheelchairs.

And online travel sites will be prohibited from displaying flights with bias toward certain airlines without disclosing that bias.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said it has agreements with the most popular online travel agencies, but said some online travel agencies “have proven to have misleading, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices.

Under the new federal measures, airlines will also be required to provide a clearer window into their operations, including figures on the total number of mishandled bags and checked bags, rather than only reports of mishandled bags and total passengers. They will also be required to report data on flights reported by domestic code-share partners.

Delta said it welcomes “refreshed reporting around baggage handling,” and said it has invested in baggage handling reliability. The airline also said it welcomes the code-share partner reporting requirements and prohibition of fare bias, and said it continues “to advocate for full transparency of the price of the ticket.”

Airline industry group Airlines for America said portions of the administration’s proposal could drive up the cost of air travel.

“Dictating to the airline industry distribution and commercial practices would only benefit those third parties who distribute tickets, not the flying public,” Airlines for America president Nicholas Calio said in a written statement.

Feds will require airline baggage fee refunds when bags are delayed

A new measure signed into law will require airlines to refund baggage fees when bags are delayed.

With the new law, “passengers won’t have to spend a ton of time tracking down a refund when the airline doesn’t deliver,” according to U.S. Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, during remarks on the Senate floor last month.

>> Read more trending stories

The measure in a Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization extension bill signed into law in July directs the U.S. Transportation Secretary to issue regulations on the matter within a year.

The new regulations would require an airline to “promptly provide to a passenger an automated refund for any ancillary fees paid by the passenger for checked baggage” if the bag is not delivered within 12 hours of arrival of a domestic flight, or within 15 hours of arrival of an international flight. The passenger would need to notify the airline of the lost or delayed baggage to get the refund.

U.S. airlines collected more than $900 million in baggage fees in the first quarter of 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. American Airlines collected the most baggage fees among U.S. airlines, with $262.5 million in baggage fees in the quarter. Delta was in the No. 2 spot with $197.7 million in baggage fee revenue in the same period.

EgyptAir Flight MS804 crash: Here's what you need to know

An EgyptAir flight carrying 66 people vanished from radar and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, officials said early Thursday.

Here's what we know so far:

>>The latest coverage of EgyptAir MS804

1. The latest: More wreckage of the missing plane has been found, including body parts, passengers' belongings and passengers' seats, an EgyptAir official said around 4:50 p.m. local Cairo time Friday.

 Earlier in the day, an Egyptian military spokesman confirmed that officials found debris and luggage from the missing flight 180 miles north of the city of Alexandria. EgyptAir confirmed the news on social media.

The debris was found roughly five miles south of the area where the plane disappeared from radar around 2:45 a.m. local time Thursday.

One day earlier, Greek officials said they found two orange items believed to be from the missing plane. EgyptAir officials announced wreckage was found Thursday evening local time. Greek air safety officials later said the debris does not belong to a plane.

2. What happened? EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo went missing about 2:45 a.m. Thursday local time, The Associated Press reports. Greece's defense minister said the plane, which reportedly was flying at 37,000 feet, lost altitude and made abrupt turns before it disappeared from radar. It was 10 miles into Egyptian airspace and about 175 miles north of Alexandria. 

While EgyptAir said via social media that "the reason of disappearance hasn't been yet confirmed" an official later said "terror was a strong possibility" for the crash.  There was no distress call, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told Egypt's state news agency. French President Francois Hollande added that "no hypothesis can be ruled out.

>> PHOTOS: EgyptAir Flight MS804 disappears over Mediterranean

3. What type of aircraft was it? The plane was an Airbus A320 manufactured in 2003, EgyptAir saidAccording to CNN, planes in the A320 family can carry up to 180 passengers. While International Bureau of Aviation President Phil Seymour said the planes have  "a fantastic safety record," there have been over a dozen crashes involving the A320.  

>>History of crashes involving Airbus A320

>> Read more trending stories

4. Who was on board? According to EgyptAir, 56 passengers and 10 crew members were on the plane, including 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, and one each from Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said in a statement that two Canadians were on the flight.

 Among the passengers were one child and two babies, the AP reports.

One of the Canadians on the flight was identified by EgyptAir as Marwa Hamdy. No other details on Hamdy were provided.

The British passenger was identified by multiple outlets as 40-year-old Richard Osman, a Welsh-born geologist. 

In a statment, Kuwait's Foreign Ministry said Abdulmohsen al-Muteiri was on the flight. The Guardian reported al-Muteiri, a father of two, worked as a professor of economics and was headed to Cairo for a conference.

Family members told the newspaper Samar Ezzeldin, 27, was among the seven Egyption cabin crew members on the flight. She had recently gotten married.

French officials and Proctor & Gamble identified one of the passengers as Ahmed Helal, a plant manager at Procter & Gamble in Amiens, France.

According to CNN, others on the plane included Amgad Adib, a businessman in his late 40s, and Joao David e Silva, a 62-year-old father of four.

>> RELATED: The most famous, deadliest, oddest hijackings and how they ended

5. What do we know about the pilots? EgyptAir said the pilot had 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 in the Airbus 320, and the co-pilot had 2,766.

The pilot was identified as 36-year-old Mohamed Saeed Shaqeer, The New York Times reported. His co-pilot was identified as 24-year-old Mohamed Mamdouh.

"An Egyptian Interior Ministry official said the men had no known political affiliations, and had passed their periodic background security checks," according to the Times.

>> RELATED: Timeline: 12 aviation mysteries

6. The investigation: The investigation is ongoing and likely to focus on finding the plane's black box. Aviation experts claim that it is likely terrorism is involved, but all scenarios are being examined.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/report-573d2c3ed7a8a13e588331d8/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/report-573d2c3ed7a8a13e588331d8.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Reports: EgyptAir Flight 804 crash" on Storify]

Man with cerebral palsy crawls off United Airlines plane, says employees didn't help

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A man with cerebral palsy says he was left to crawl off a United Airlines plane without assistance last week.

According to WRC-TV, D'Arcee Neal had to use the restroom Tuesday night after his plane from San Francisco landed at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. But after the airline failed to provide him with an aisle chair or employee assistance, he ended up having to crawl to the door, he said.

>> Read more trending stories

"I was like, 'I don't have time for this,' and I decided to get out and crawl down the plane to my chair, got in it and then just went about my business and left the airport," said Neal, who reportedly gave a speech about accessible transportation while he was in San Francisco.

He added, "It's humiliating. No one should have to do what I did."

The airline told WRC it was sorry for the delay.

Disability-related complaints have risen 9 percent since last year, according to the National Disability Rights Network, WRC reports.

Read more here.

>> Click here to watch a video report

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