Airplane taking off into the sunset (Photo: iStockPhoto/Linda & Colin McKie)

Want to receive deals like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter today!

The Associated Press reports that a passenger flying from the United Kingdom to the U.S. this weekend may have exposed travelers to  measles. "Authorities said Saturday that a New Mexico woman later confirmed to have measles arrived [from London] at Washington Dulles International Airport late in the afternoon of Feb. 20. Two days later, the measles-infected traveler departed from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport near Baltimore on an evening flight to Denver, Colorado, and then on to Albuquerque, New Mexico." 

Most Americans are immunized against measles, but health officials worry that unimmunized individuals may have been exposed. Travelers with weakened immune systems are also at risk. Travelers who may have been exposed should contact their health care provider immediately....read more»

Woman shopping online (Photo: Image DJ/Index Open)

Want to receive deals like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter today!

While much attention has been focused on Google's possible entry into the online fare search marketplace, it's easy to forget that another major search engine—Bing—has access to proprietary fare search technology as well. Bing's creator, Microsoft, purchased fare-predicting site Farecast back in 2008, then rebranded it under the Bing name as Bing Travel.

Now, Bing has begun incorporating fare predictions into its general search results. Users go to Bing.com, type in a city and the word "flights" (or some other iteration, such as "fly to Miami"), and the search engine automatically loads the cheapest fare available to that destination within the next 90 days. The results come with Bing Travel's trademark Price Predictor, an indicator that predicts whether the price is expected to drop, increase, or hold steady. If interested, users click on the fare, then do a traditional search using the suggested dates. These dates are based purely on price, of course, so you may end up with a different itinerary and fare than the one recommended....read more»

American Airlines aircraft front (Photo: American Airlines)

Want to receive deals like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter today!

The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a $90,000 fine against American Airlines for violating mandated bumping policies.

In a statement, the DOT said it "assessed a civil penalty ... against American Airlines for failing to disclose that vouchers given to passengers for voluntarily giving up their seat on oversold flights could be redeemed only after paying as much as a $30 ticketing fee....read more»

The Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

With the government heading perilously close to a budget impasse, and whispers of a government shutdown growing louder, travelers may be wondering what, impact if any, such a shutdown would have on travel. With a little more than a week to go before a potential shutdown on March 5, it's worth taking a look at the ways in which travel could be affected....read more»

<strong>Money</strong>

Imagine you innocently go to reach for the <em>Sky Mall Magazine</em>, but instead are rewarded with a wad of cash or a $500 check, as one reader discovered. Finding money can be about as exciting as hitting the jackpot in Vegas, especially when it's in an unexpected place like an airplane, and many of our readers are big winners. Not to mention, you can now afford to buy something from the in-flight magazine, like that <a href="http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=102517807" target="_blank">Big Foot Garden Yeti Sculpture</a> you've been eyeing.

<strong>What about you?</strong>

What other weird, gross, or just plain crazy items have you found in a seatback pocket while flying? Leave a comment below, or to submit your photos, <a href="mailto:kate.hamman@smartertravelmedia.com?subject=Photo submission for SmarterTravel">send us an email</a> with no more than three images attached. 
<h2>All photos must be:</h2>

<ul><li>In .gif or .jpg format</li>
<li> No larger than 2MB</li>
<li> Family friendly</li>
<li> Original, non-copyrighted images</li>
<li> Virus-free</li></ul>

See our <a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/us/terms.html">Terms and Conditions</a> for complete details on our submission criteria.

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

Airlines are in a fare-hiking frenzy, this time targeting business travelers and well-heeled vacationers. USA Today reports that American, Continental, Delta, United, and US Airways have raised business- and first-class fares and last-minute fares by $20 to $60 round-trip.

According to USA Today, "It's the third time this month that the industry has tried to charge business fliers more, and the fourth time this year that leisure travelers saw a jump in prices." Delta tried a similar hike last week, but other airlines chose not to match....read more»

(Photo: Southwest)

 

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

Southwest and its pilots have agreed to a transition plan for incorporating AirTran pilots into the fold. In a statement, Southwest said, "With this initial transition agreement, Southwest and the Southwest Pilots Association (SWAPA) establish a framework to begin an orderly transition from operating Southwest and AirTran as separate carriers, to a single carrier under one Single Operating Certificate."

The agreement would take effect after the merger is closed, which Southwest says should happen in the second quarter of 2011....read more»

Roman Forum (Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Hedda Gjerpen)

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

Want to visit the Old Country this summer? So do millions of other Americans. Though we've seen fares inch up since last week, the good news is that 71 percent of the tracked routes have dropped in price since this time last year.

By investing a little time to track fares, you’re more likely to nail down the best bargain possible. Just like last year, we’re benchmarking popular European routes weekly in order to pin down the best possible time to pounce on an affordable airfare....read more»

Air: Security - Hand Putting Keys in Bin (Photo: Thinkstock/&copy; Getty Images)

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

An undercover TSA agent was allegedly able to pass through security at Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport several times with a gun concealed in her underpants, reports NBC Dallas Fort-Worth.

An anonymous TSA source told NBCDFW, "the undercover agent carried a pistol in her undergarments when she put the body scanners to the test. The officer successfully made it through the airport's body scanners every time she tried." The source added that "none of the TSA agents who failed to spot the gun were disciplined, and that they continue to work the body scanners today."...read more»

Airplane in blue sky (Photo: iStockPhoto/Stephen Strathdee)

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

We already know air travel in the U.S. is safe—three of the past four years, including 2010—saw zero airline-related fatalities—but that success rate isn't limited just to the States. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 2010 was the safest year ever for western-built aircraft.

"The 2010 global accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft) was 0.61," the IATA said in a statement. "That is equal to one accident for every 1.6 million flights. This is a significant improvement of the 0.71 rate recorded in 2009 (one accident for 1.4 million flights)....read more»

Delta aircraft tail (Photo: Delta)

Want to receive stories like this every day? Subscribe to our free Deal Alert newsletter!

Delta has been slammed with a $2 million fine for improper treatment of disabled travelers, reports USA Today's Ben Mutzabaugh. Delta has to pay $750,000 of the fine up front, and may allocate the remaining $1.25 million to improving its disabled traveler services above what the law requires.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) says this is the largest non-safety-related civil penalty ever assessed against an airline. In a statement, the agency said, "An investigation ... revealed many violations of the requirement to provide assistance getting on and off the airplane. The carrier’s complaint files also showed that it frequently did not provide an adequate written response to disability complaints from passengers. The Aviation Enforcement Office further found that Delta also failed to properly report each disability complaint in reports filed with the Department."...read more»

Please enable JavaScript to properly view and use this web site.