Some Shake up Travel News Does not Bode Well for Budget Travelers

The Wall Street Journal says the merger of Spanish budget airlines Vueling and Clickair might signal Europe’s budget airline sector is headed for a shakeout.
Analysts say more consolidation — or even closures — may lie on the horizon as the finances of many budget airlines worsen, rattling investors.
In a report published in June, Citigroup said it expects “several budget airlines to fail this winter.”
Global airlines have warned investment in new and more fuel-efficient aircraft could be pruned back after European lawmakers gave the go-ahead to a deal forcing the industry to start paying for greenhouse gas emissions in four years’ time.
All flights to, from and within the European Union will be affected, regardless of the airline’s nationality.
Under the deal, airline emissions will be capped at 97 per cent of their average 2004-06 levels in the first year, falling to 95 per cent from 2013.
Carriers will receive 85 per cent of these emission allowances free in 2012, but have to buy permits for anything above that through the emissions trading scheme. Yesterday, airlines described the arrangements as “unacceptable” and some US carriers said a court case was likely.
While the idea of weighing airline passengers is strong on the ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’ (FUD) factor and light on fact, the US Charleston Post and Courier reports an Indian court has ruled that Air India can ground overweight cabin crew members.
The Center for American Progress web site ( &> ) says while the primary vulnerabilities that enabled the New York, US September 11 hijackings to occur have been addressed, terrorists have gone ‘back to the future’ and are once again trying to smuggle bombs on board aircraft.
Calling for better freight screening, the site says only a modest percentage of (US) air cargo shipments are subject to targeted or random inspections despite the Transportation Security Administration’s own assessment that a bomb smuggling attempt is very likely.
It also says while the rule that limits liquids that can be placed in carry-on luggage is a reasonable interim response to the 2006 British liquid bomb plot, checkpoint personnel cannot pull shampoo, toothpaste, and baby food from bags forever. -Jack Handley