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A year ago, we posted a list of the top travel events of the decade. Well, not everyone agrees on exactly when a decade ends: Some feel it was on December 31, 2009, while others think decades include the "zero" year, or 2010, in this case.

Here at SmarterTravel, we like to have it both ways, so I'm taking last year's list and amending it with two important travel events from 2010. The list is in chronological order, so the new additions appear at the end. Enjoy!...read more»

Photo: iStockphoto

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USA Today reports that thousands of passengers spent hours stuck on the tarmac at New York's JFK airport as a result of this past weekend's blizzard. "At least 31 international flights waited more than three hours Monday to Wednesday to get to an open gate," according to USA Today, notably a Cathay Pacific flight from Bangkok that got to a gate 12 hours after it landed.

International flights continued to arrive at JFK long after gates were full to capacity, leading many to wonder why the flights departed in the first place, since the situation at JFK was well known. It's not immediately clear who is to blame, but the finger-pointing has already begun. Cathay Pacific, for example, uses gates managed by British Airways, and BA is suggesting Cathay shouldn't have operated the flights that were eventually stranded. "Problems got compounded when Cathay sent those planes to us and there were just not gates available," British Airways spokesman John Lampl told USA Today. But Cathay Pacific spokesman Gus Whitcomb told the paper, "We wouldn't have dispatched them if we didn't believe there were gates."...read more»

Delta aircraft on the ground and taking off (Photo: Delta)

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Airlines have hiked fares for the second time this month. NPR reports that United, Continental, Delta and possibly American have raised prices by $10 each way, effective immediately. Southwest has not yet joined the hike.

The fare hike comes as many travelers remain stranded at airports across the northeast following this weekend's nor'easter....read more»

Airplane Being De-Iced (Photo: iStockphoto/Richard Goerg)

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Airlines are still rebooking frustrated passengers stranded by this weekend's nor'easter, but already estimates are rolling in about how much the storm will cost the industry: Up to $150 million, according to USA Today.

Upwards of 6,000 flights were cancelled altogether, with some estimates putting the total closer to 7,000, displacing not only passengers but aircraft and crew. "Repositioning and recovery from a major operational disruption is very expensive," airline analyst Bob Harrell told USA Today, "and it's very inefficient. It's like starting up an airline that got shut down by a strike. They're still cleaning up. They're trying to rebook people. They've got to get their pilots back in position."...read more»

American jet on runway (Photo: Kansas City Aviation Department)

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Expedia is now suppressing American Airlines' fares in its search results. American, which is currently in a dispute with Orbitz and has pulled its fares from that site, does not immediately show up when customers search for fares on Expedia. Users need to navigate through the display results to find American, and may even need to select individual American flights before seeing the airline's price.

I did a test search to see for myself, and it's true. Search for a flight, and American is not listed on the results landing page. Clicking through to a second page on the fare display matrix reveals American, but in my case, not American's price. I had to select a departure and return flight, and only then saw what American was charging. The real kicker? American's price was among the lowest....read more»

Air: Baggage: Racing through Airport (Photo: iStockphoto/Chad McDermott)

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As the effects of this weekend's storm linger, with cancellations and delays expected to last through the week, many airlines are still waiving change fees. Click on one of the links below to see what your airline is offering. Many of the change fee waivers cover flights through tomorrow or Thursday....read more»

Snow plow in the city (Photo: IndexOpen)

Carl is snowed in and without electricity at home today, so I thought it would be appropriate to cover weather-related travel delays caused by the big storms in the Northeast and Europe. Closed airports, flight and rail cancellations, and overbooked hotels are creating logistical nightmares for holiday travelers.

Here's a snapshot of the latest:

Among the largest currently closed airports in the Northeast, Newark and JFK are expected to reopen at 6 p.m., according to the latest FAA estimate, but there's still no expected reopening time for LaGuardia.

Amtrak service in the Northeast is spotty, with cancellations and delays between Boston and New York, and between New York and Washington, D.C. Check Amtrak's Service Alerts and Notices for the latest....read more»

Continental plane flying over mountains (Photo: Continental)

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Reuters reports that the FAA proposed hefty fines against Continental and American Eagle for a host of maintenance violations. Continental is ordered to pay $275,000 and American Eagle will be charged $330,000. Both airlines have 30 days to appeal the ruling.

According to Reuters, the FAA says Continental flew 73 flights with two Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with incorrect landing gear parts. American Eagle operated an Embraer regional jet on 12 flights with broken seats and armrests. American Eagle said it disagreed with the penalty, which stems from a 2008 inspection, and called it excessively harsh. Quite frankly, Continental's violation sounds more serious, and therefore deserving of a bigger fine....read more»

Delta aircraft tail (Photo: Delta)

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Tnooz' Dennis Schall reports American isn't the only major carrier dropping online travel agencies these days—Delta is in on the game, too. Schall writes, "Delta removed its flights Dec. 17 from second-tier—but still important—online travel agencies, CheapOair, BookIt.com and OneTravel."

But unlike the American-Orbitz dustup, in which American is trying to cut costs by using its own fare distribution system, Delta claims its motivations are more marketing-centric. Delta wants to take what it calls an "Apple store" approach to selling its fares, focusing on a unique delta.com experience while allowing a select few other retailers to offer its flights....read more»

Santa With Christmas Tree (Photo: iStockphoto/Quavondo)

NORAD is preparing for its annual Christmas duty: tracking Santa Claus as the big guy makes his way across the globe....read more»

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