Ontheroad
Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a
non-commercial Web site for business travelers.

INTERNATIONAL AGENDA

As Alitalia fades, competitors move into Milan: Eternally troubled Alitalia has slashed service at its once-imposing
hub at Milan’s Malpensa Airport. That has opened a window for a
well-run private Italian airline, Air One, to bulk up there. Among Air
One’s first new routes: nonstop flights to Boston Logan and
Chicago O’Hare. The Boston flights launch June 14; Chicago service
begins a week later. Air One will use two-class Airbus A330s on the
routes, but other details haven’t been announced.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa
will open a small hub at Malpensa next year. Flights will be operated
on intra-Europe routes with regional jets owned by Lufthansa’s Air
Dolomiti subsidiary. … United Airlines continues to delay the launch of
its San Francisco-Guangzhou flights and now we know why. The Boeing 777
it was going to use on the China route is being diverted to launch
flights between its Washington Dulles hub and Dubai. The same day it
wants to begin flights between Dulles and Moscow. Aircraft for that
route will come from seasonal cuts on other routes.

Northwest
Airlines
says that it will begin daily flights between Seattle and
Beijing on March 1 using Airbus A330s. Hainan Airlines will launch on
that route next month.


NEW AND NOTABLE

A better way to do security checkpoints: The Transportation Security Administration has expanded its Self-Select
Lanes
to a dozen airports. The program allows travelers to chose the
"black diamond" expert line, a blue line for casual fliers who are less
experienced or a green line for families. The lanes recently began
operation in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. They also are functioning at
Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Spokane, Cincinnati, Raleigh,
Houston Hobby, Dallas Love Field and Oakland. The program was launched
earlier this year in Denver and Salt Lake City.

Add Japan Airlines to
the list of carriers rolling out a "fourth" class — the so-called
premium economy sections located between coach and business class.
Seats are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration and are 19 inches wide with
38 inches of legroom. The cabin, first installed last December on
Tokyo-London flights, began popping up on Paris flights last month. JAL
will add the cabin on flights to New York Kennedy beginning August 1
and on flights to San Francisco on September 1.


NEED TO KNOW

On-the-road intelligence to help you travel smarter: Bankrupt and reorganizing Frontier Airlines will face even more
pressure from Southwest Airlines at its home base of Denver. Beginning
August 4, Southwest will launch two daily flights to Sacramento and a
daily nonstop to Fort Lauderdale. Southwest will also add a flight to
New Orleans.

The Federal Aviation Administration has failed to
perform more than 100 safety reviews at eight airlines in recent years.
According to information provided to a Senate committee by the FAA, 30
five-year reviews were skipped at US Airways and 26 at American
Airlines. The reviews were also skipped at United (15); Alaska (13);
Southwest (9); Delta (6); Continental (2); and Northwest (2).

Headed
to the Olympics this summer? Planning a business trip to China soon?
You’ve got troubles. After months of denials, Chinese officials admit
they have tightened visa rules in the run-up to the Olympic Games. It
has also sharply reduced the number of multiple-entry visas it will
issue and virtually ended the practice of allowing overseas visitors to
apply for Chinese entry visas in Hong Kong.

Virgin Atlantic no longer
offers massages and in-flight beauty treatments to its business-class
travelers.

Read more "On the Road with Joe Brancatelli" at
roadwarrior.orbitz.com.

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Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

Tagged: Road trip!, Travel news

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