March 6th, 2013
02:50 AM ET

Big snow disappoints with minor moisture

Six inches of snow in Chicago. A foot or so plastering the Upper Midwest. And up 20 inches expected just west of Washington D.C.

Surely, there's a silver lining to these snow clouds though, right? Don't they bring much-neeed moisture to parched states?

Not quite.

Snow is very fluffy, and it takes up to a foot of it to squeeze out an inch of rain, meteorologists say.

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Filed under: Air travel • District of Columbia • Missouri • Nebraska • North Dakota • Oklahoma • Pennsylvania • South Dakota • Travel • Virginia • West Virginia • Wisconsin
Knives allowed by TSA
March 5th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

TSA to allow small knives on flights

Beginning April 25, the Transportation Security Administration will allow knives with blades that are 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or shorter and less than 1/2 inch in width on U.S. airline flights. Two golf clubs, toy bats or other sports sticks will also be allowed in carry-on luggage.

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Plane safely makes emergency landing
This plane landed safely in St. Louis, Missouri, Monday after developing problems with its landing gear after taking off from Wooster, Ohio.
March 4th, 2013
02:52 PM ET

Plane safely makes emergency landing

[Update 2:48 p.m. ET] A light aircraft with landing gear problems landed intact Monday afternoon at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.

CNN affiliate KTVI said eight people were aboard the Learjet.

Officials earlier said that they expected the plane to touch down at St. Louis Downtown Airport, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis in Cahokia, Illinois.

The plane landed "without incident" at 1:32 p.m. CT (2:32 p.m. ET), the Federal Aviation Administration said. It had departed Wooster, Ohio, en route to St. Louis Downtown Airport earlier in the day.

[First report 1:53 p.m. ET] A light aircraft reporting landing gear problems is preparing to make an emergency landing at St. Louis Downtown Airport - also known as Parks Airport - in Cahokia, Illinois, according to CNN affiliate KTVI.

Just before noon, the plane reported a problem with its landing gear, KTVI reported.

This is a developing story.  We'll bring you more details as we get them.


Filed under: Illinois • Missouri • Ohio • Plane emergency landing • Travel • U.S.
February 22nd, 2013
11:47 AM ET

Report: Plane skids off Cleveland runway

A plane landing at Cleveland's international airport skidded off the runway on Friday, CNN affiliate WJW reported.

This comes as snow and rain have slammed the East and Midwest.

No injuries were reported.

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Filed under: Air travel • Cleveland • Ohio • Travel • Weather • Winter weather
Man accused of slapping crying boy on flight loses his job
February 18th, 2013
01:19 AM ET

Man accused of slapping crying boy on flight loses his job

An Idaho man accused of uttering a racial slur and slapping a crying 2-year-old boy on a Delta Air Lines flight is now out of a job.

Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, was charged with assaulting a minor for the February 8 incident. His company, which initially suspended him, said Sunday that Hundley had been let go.

"Reports of the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel are offensive and disturbing," said a statementfrom AGC Aerospace & Defense. "We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon.

"As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company."

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel • U.S.
February 13th, 2013
01:50 PM ET

Report: At least 4 killed in Ukraine plane crash

At least four people were dead after a plane made an emergency crash-landing and caught fire in Ukraine's Donetsk region on Wednesday, Russian state-run media outlet RIA Novosti reported.

The charter flight from Odessa to Donetsk was carrying 45 people, 39 of whom were evacuated before the plane caught fire after the crash-landing, Ria Novosti reported, citing a representative of Ukraine's emergencies service. At least two people were unaccounted for.

“The plane missed the landing strip, turned upside down and broke into pieces,” the spokesman said, according to Ria Novosti.

The Donetsk-bound charter flight was carrying soccer fans from Odessa. They were heading to a UEFA Champions League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund, the Ukrainskaya Pravda website reported.

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Filed under: Air travel • Ukraine
FAA allows Dreamliner test flights
Battery problems have grounded Boeing's 787 Dreamliner fleet.
February 7th, 2013
08:07 PM ET

FAA allows Dreamliner test flights

After three weeks on the ground, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner soon will return to the skies - but only so engineers can test the plane's troubled electrical and battery systems, the Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday.

The FAA approved test flights for the Boeing planes with strict conditions to assure safety: Only essential personnel will be on board, crews must continuously monitor the plane for battery-related problems and tests will be conducted over unpopulated areas.

"These flights will be an important part of our efforts to ensure the safety of passengers and return these aircraft to service," the agency said.
Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said in a statement that the company is "confident" the tests could be conducted safely, and said one Boeing aircraft has been designated for the test.

The Dreamliner is the first commercial aircraft to make extensive use of lithium-ion batteries, which can hold more electrical power in a smaller, lighter space. However, dangerous problems with batteries overheating have caused the 787 fleet to be grounded.

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Filed under: Air travel • Aviation • FAA • Travel • U.S.
Plane crash in Antarctica likely left no one alive
January 26th, 2013
04:57 AM ET

Plane crash in Antarctica likely left no one alive

Authorities found the wreckage of a plane that crashed days ago in Antarctica in a condition that suggested no one survived.

Searchers found the damaged plane, a Twin Otter aircraft carrying three people, close to the summit in Queen Alexandra Range, in Antarctica.

The plane "appears to have made a direct impact that was not survivable," Maritime New Zealand said Saturday.

The condition of the three Canadian crew members aboard the aircraft had been unknown since the the flight went missing Wednesday.

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Filed under: Air travel • Antarctica • Aviation • Uncategorized
Nothing ruled out as NTSB studies Dreamliner battery
The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all U.S. Dreamliners this month, and other nations followed suit.
January 24th, 2013
07:21 PM ET

Nothing ruled out as NTSB studies Dreamliner battery

As Boeing and airline officials sought to assure travelers of the overall safety of the world's newest jetliner, federal safety officials Thursday painted a graphic picture of a disaster averted, displaying the charred remnants of a battery that "spewed molten electrolytes" from its container shortly after landing in Boston earlier this month.

"This is an unprecedented event," National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said of back-to-back battery incidents aboard Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the United States and Japan.

"We do not expect to see fire events on board aircrafts. This is a very serious safety concern," she said.

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Filed under: Air travel • FAA • Travel
January 16th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

FAA grounds U.S.-registered Dreamliners over fire risk

U.S. regulators have ordered airlines to ground all U.S.-registered Boeing 787 Dreamliners until a fire risk linked to batteries aboard the jetliners is fixed.

The move comes on the day that two Japanese airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, grounded their fleets of the 787 Dreamliner. That move came after an ANA 787 made an emergency landing in Japan after a battery alarm signal activated on the plane.

United Airlines is the only U.S. carrier flying Dreamliners. They have six.

"Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that the batteries are safe and in compliance," the FAA said Wednesday evening.

The Dreamliner has been beset by a string of mechanical and other problems for months, including reports of an oil leak, a fuel leak, engine cracks and a damaged cockpit window. Also, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a January 7 battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston.


Dreamliner battery problems worry experts most

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Filed under: Air travel • FAA • Travel
Dreamliner safe to fly, officials say
January 11th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

Dreamliner safe to fly, officials say

[Updated at 11:13 a.m. ET] The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is safe to fly, according to U.S. aviation, transportation and industry officials. "We are confident about the safety of this aircraft, but we're concerned about these incidents," said Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator at a news conference this morning in Washington. He said a probe would focus on the aircraft's electrical components and how the electrical system interacts with mechanical components.

[Initial post at 8:05 a.m. ET] Federal regulators will announce Friday that they plan to carry out a "comprehensive review of Boeing 787 critical systems, including the design, manufacture and assembly."

The announcement follows a week of problems for the state-of-the-art airliner and is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET at a news conference with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Ray Conner.

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Filed under: Air travel • FAA • Travel
Small plane crashes into Florida house
This image from CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13 shows the house into which the plane crashed Friday.
January 4th, 2013
03:40 PM ET

Small plane crashes into Florida house

A small plane carrying at least three people crashed into a home in eastern Florida on Friday after reporting a mechanical problem, officials said.

The Beechcraft BE35 aircraft was en route to Knoxville Downtown Island Airport in Tennessee, said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta.

The plane was diverting to Flagler County Airport, near the coast about 30 miles north of Daytona Beach, when it crashed a mile east of the airport and into a house, Bergen said. There was no immediate information on injuries.

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Filed under: Air travel • FAA • Florida
November 14th, 2012
06:50 AM ET

Helicopter crash kills 10 in Iran

An Iranian air force helicopter crashed Wednesday, killing all 10 people on board, according to the semiofficial Fars News Agency.

"The helicopter was carrying five people who had been injured earlier in a road accident, as well as four crew members and one medic," a medical official was quoted as saying.

The five passengers worked for the Ministry of Education, another official said.

The crash took place near a hospital in the holy city of Mashad.

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Filed under: Air travel • Iran • Transportation • World
November 10th, 2012
10:35 PM ET

Southwest plane skids off Denver taxiway

A Southwest Airlines plane that had just landed in Denver slid off the taxiway while heading to the terminal, the airline said Saturday.

CNN affiliates KMGH and KUSA said the incident occurred at 5 p.m. during a light snowfall and freezing temperatures.

The nose wheel of Flight 1905 from Oakland, California, went off the taxiway, said Southwest spokeswoman Katie McDonald.

The 125 passengers and five crew members were not injured. The airline was working to accommodate the passengers on other flights.

Passenger Brad Harris told KMGH  the jet hit a patch of ice.

Passengers were taken on buses to the terminal at Denver International Airport.

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Filed under: Air travel • Colorado • Travel • Uncategorized
October 30th, 2012
02:41 AM ET

Flights canceled at Japanese airport after unexploded shell discovered

Dozens of flights were canceled in and out of a northeastern Japanese city on Tuesday after construction workers came across an unexploded shell believed to be from World War II buried near a taxiway.

Airport authorities in Sendai said they had canceled all 92 flights, national and international, scheduled to use the airport Tuesday after the discovery of the shell late Monday under an unpaved area beside the taxiway.

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Filed under: Air travel • Aviation • Japan • Travel • World
October 24th, 2012
01:19 AM ET

Home-made small plane crashes in California and kills 2

Smoldering wreckage was all that was left of a small home-built plane that crashed Tuesday, killing at least two, in a wide open, plowed field near Byron, California.

The single-engine Glasair III went down “under unknown circumstances” just under five miles from the next airport, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

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Filed under: Air travel • California • Transportation • U.S. • Uncategorized
Southwest Airlines promo glitch charges customers for flights aplenty
August 4th, 2012
03:13 PM ET

Southwest Airlines promo glitch charges customers for flights aplenty

[Update: 4:40 p.m. ET] Southwest Airlines has updated their Facebook page with information for customers affected by a computer glitch that has caused excessive credit card charges for countless people taking part in a 24-hour deal on Friday, and according to our readers writing in, during normal transactions as well .

"Information and update for Customers who recently experienced multiple bookings in error:

The overwhelming response from Customers who took advantage of our August 3 limited time offer launched to celebrate three million Fans on Facebook, created website performance issues at various times during the day. We realize that some Customers were charged more than once for the same reservation and we want to ensure you that we have all hands on deck, actively working to process refunds for any duplicate charges incurred.

Here is a status of those efforts:

First, we want you to know that we are working to identify duplicate bookings and charges and are proactively cancelling those additional reservations, actively processing refunds to the Customer. In order to process the refunds as quickly as possible, we have called in additional staff to support these efforts.

For those Customers who used debit cards and have received overdraft fees as a result of the additional charges, we will process a reimbursement for all overdraft fees that were caused by duplicate charges from Southwest for a single purchase. If you incurred overdraft fees, please fax documentation of those fees via a letter from your bank or a copy of your account showing the fees to 877-506-0154.

Southwest Airlines is committed to providing Customers with exceptional service both online and onboard. It is our goal to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and minimize any inconvenience to you, our valued Customers."

When Southwest Airlines offered a limited-time promotion on Friday to celebrate reaching three million fans on Facebook, it seems they accidentally racked up duplicate charges on the credit cards of their loyal customers.

The LUZ2LIKE promo code was meant to offer customers 50% off when booking a round-trip with their "Wanna Get Away" fares during seven specific travel dates in the fall. The promo, which arrived by e-mail to customers, only lasted until midnight on Friday.

On Saturday, their Facebook page was flooded with differing stories describing the trials, unresolved issues and even a few happy endings for customers trying to shake off the excess charges. Some lucky folks even posted that they sailed on through the process without a glitch.

When Southwest became aware of the problem, they offered a statement on Twitter, and a similar, expanded version on their Facebook page.

"Thank you for your excitement in taking advantage of the limited-time offer we shared today in celebration of reaching three million Fans on Facebook. Due to the overwhelming response, we experienced some site performance issues at various times throughout the day. We apologize to our Customers for any inconvenience and are proactively cancelling any duplicate itineraries that may have occurred."

Bobi Fox, a customer who wanted to take advantage of the promo code, shared her experience with CNN. She purchased directly off of Southwest's website.

"Customers who purchased tonight got no tickets, no confirmation, and many, like me, were charged on their credit cards repeatedly until credit card companies stopped the purchase process – some customers say they have been called by their credit card companies questioning fraud purchases," she said. " My credit card might be typical, my purchase was repeated 9 times (cost in excess of $2300 for a one pair of round trip tickets from STL to SLC).  This is not unlike what everyone else is experiencing.  Current wait time hold with Southwest customer service:  More than two hours."

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
August 2nd, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Checkpoints at O'Hare terminal reopens after brief disruption

[Updated at 6:04 p.m. ET] Authorities have re-opened security checkpoints and upper-level doors at a O'Hare International Airport terminal in Chicago after a brief disruption due to unspecified "possible suspicious item," the Chicago Department of Aviation said.

The item in Terminal 2 "was cleared and determined to be no threat," the department said, adding that there was "minimal disruption to flight operations."

The checkpoints and doors were re-opened shortly after 4 p.m. CT, or 5 p.m. ET.

[Initial post, 5:03 p.m. ET] "Suspicious activity" at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has prompted authorities to close security checkpoints at the airport's Terminal 2, Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham said Thursday afternoon.

Upper-level doors at the terminal also have been "temporarily secured," but the terminal hasn't been evacuated, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said no details of the suspicious activity are available.

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Filed under: Air travel • Illinois • Travel
Dutch, U.S. authorities investigating needles in airline sandwiches
Delta Air Lines says needles were found in sandwiches on four flights out of Amsterdam.
July 17th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Dutch, U.S. authorities investigating needles in airline sandwiches

Dutch authorities have joined the FBI in conducting criminal investigations into the discovery of needles in six sandwiches aboard four Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States, a military police spokesman in the Netherlands said Tuesday.

One person was injured when he bit into a sandwich containing a needle, Delta and Dutch officials said.

That passenger, James Tonjes, said he thought the object was a toothpick at first.

"When I pulled it out, then I found out it was a needle," he said Tuesday.

Tonjes said he has been placed on medication to prevent HIV.

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Filed under: Air travel • Minnesota • The Netherlands • U.S.
July 13th, 2012
11:35 AM ET

3 Americans die in private-jet crash in France

Three Americans died when a private jet crashed at a small airport in the south of France, a local official said Friday.

Two men, aged 24 and 51, and a 30-year-old woman were on board the plane when it crashed at Castellet airport, said Didier Couve, spokesman for the Prefecture of the Var department.

The three were the only people on the plane, Couve said.

A spokeswoman for the airport said emergency services are on site.

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