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


Small-town airports take a hit as Air Midwest folds: Air Midwest, one of the commuter carriers controlled by Mesa Air, is throwing in the towel. That means 16 small airports will be losing flights and service operated by three Big Six airlinesUS Airways, Delta and  United — will be disrupted. On May 23, Air Midwest ended its flights to Lewisburg, West Virginia; DuBois and Franklin, Pennsylvania; and Athens, Georgia. On June 1, it will end flights to Ely, Nevada; Merced and Visalia, California; Prescott and Kingman, Arizona; and Farmington, New Mexico. A month later, Air Midwest gives up the ghost completely and abandons six Midwest airports: Columbia, Kirklandand Joplin, Missouri; Grand Island and McCook, Nebraska; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Check your scheduled carrier carefully if you use any of these airports. … British Airways’ Terminal Five at London’s Heathrow Airport has settled down. So the airline has now decided to move another tranche of flights into T5 beginning on June 5. Included are the airline’s flights to and from New York and Phoenix. Flights to and from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Vancouver are already using Terminal 5. The timeline for the switch of other U.S. and Canadian flights as well as the rest of BA service into T5 will stretch into next year.


Easier entry? Maybe: The Department of Homeland Security has finally begun testing Global Entry, a program designed to offer returning U.S. citizens speedy, automated clearance through Customs and Immigration Enforcement formalities. Now up and running at New York/Kennedy, Washington Dulles, and Houston Bush, Global Entry is meant for what DHS calls "pre-approved, low-risk travelers." They will be permitted to use special automated kiosks to bypass ICE inspection. Travelers must pay a $100 fee and submit to a background check and pre-interview before acceptance. And in typical governmental fashion, even pre-screened and accepted Global Entry members may nevertheless be subject to secondary checks after using the bypass kiosks. For more information, consult the Global Entry Web pages. … Atlanta has chosen Clear to test a registered traveler program at Hartsfield Airport. But when or if there will ever be a test remains to be seen. Atlanta is building four new general-use security checkpoints this summer and there is no timeline for starting the Clear program. … The Transportation Security Administration’s self-select lanes have opened in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Travelers can choose from black "expert" lanes, as well as lines for casual fliers and families. … A new terminal has opened at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. The facility, designated Terminal 5, is for supposedlyhigh-risk flights that require extra security. That means flights operated by U.S. airlinesAmerican, Continental, Delta, United and US Airways — and ElAl of Israel. Flights arriving from the U.S. and Israel use Rome’s existing international terminal, but the departures are now from T5.


Business-travel intelligence: United Airlines is ending the 500-mile minimum mileage accrual for the Mileage Plus program. Effective July 1, all flights will earn actual miles flown. US Airways has also dumped the minimum-mile feature. … Speaking of United, it has been without a code-share partner in Hawaii since Aloha Airlines stopping flying last month. But it says it will begin code-sharing with Hawaiian Airlines sometime during the summer. … Northwest
will resume flights between its Tokyo hub and Taipei, Taiwan, on September 1. … A branch of D’Arcy McGee’s, a local favorite, has opened at Ottawa Airport. … San Francisco travelers take note: The city’s 7th annual Dine About Town is June 1-June 15. Dozens of restaurants offer 3-course lunches for $21.95 and/or dinner for $31.95.

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

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