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Man clinging to airplane seat (Photo: Index Open)

The FCC has made it clear that it favors removing most restrictions on the use of cellphones in flight. From the Commission's standpoint, it's a technological issue. And since the technological barriers to inflight calls no longer exist, the restrictions should be lifted.

Accordingly, the FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that "would give airline carriers the ability to allow passengers to use their mobile wireless devices, such as cellphones, to access data, texting, and/or voice services while flying above 10,000 feet."

The next step in lifting the restrictions would be to publish the Notice in the Federal Register, after which there will be a 30-day period for comments from interested parties....read more»

Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

Consumers to FCC: No In-Flight Cellphone Calls!

Although the ultimate decision isn't the FCC's, it has received hundreds of comments from travelers begging the Commission not to lift the current restrictions on inflight calls. ...read more»

(Photo: Flight Attendant via Shutterstock)

United has advised the Association of Flight Attendants that around 685 flight attendants will be furloughed involuntarily, raising the specter of disgruntled cabin crews....read more»

Photo: iStockphoto

Although I can't prove it, I've always believed that there's a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and customer-service levels, especially in service-intensive industries. Happy workers deliver better service. And conversely, an unhappy, unmotivated workforce provides dependably sub-par service.

That's the theory, anyway. And I'm always on the lookout for studies of worker satisfaction to reality check the notion....read more»

Welcome to Upright Position, SmarterTravel's regular series in which Features Editor Caroline Costello discusses emotional and controversial travel topics. Join the debate by leaving a comment below!

"Don't talk to me."

That is what I say to seatmates on planes and trains. I don't use my voice, though. I express a preference for solitude by hiding my face in a book or wearing earbuds. A bitchy resting face also helps me communicate—without ever having to talk—that I don't want to say anything to you, stranger. Pretend I'm not here. But the person in the adjacent seat doesn't always receive the message.

Social cues that speak so loudly to some simply fly over the heads of others. And so it's inevitable that, as a person who travels, you will encounter a frightening "new friend" who comes on too strong when you're desperate to stare out the window during your flight and quietly contemplate dinner options....read more»

TSA Agent Searching Bag (Photo: Carolina K. Smith, M.D. /Shutterstock.com)

Tired of TSA workers barking orders at you without even saying "please", and patting you down without even buying you dinner first? Well, one Representative agrees—and he wants to at least bring manners back to the security screening process.

According to the NY Daily News, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told TSA official Kelly Hoggan at a recent hearing hearing that he wanted TSA workers be more polite, or that he would attempt to make a law that required it. ...read more»

Volcano in Nicaragua (Photo: Dick Washburne)

I'm talking to my daughter.

Even better, she doesn't have that annoyed don't-nag-me-mom tone in her voice. It's one of those vacation afternoons I wish would last forever—sunny skies, no place to be, no arguing, and best of all, my youngest daughter all to myself. That hasn't happened in the months since Melanie graduated from college. In fact, this is the first talk (beyond Skype) we've had since she came to Nicaragua for an internship—building an organic garden at Morgan's Rock, the eco resort that launched this country as an eco destination a decade ago. ...read more»

Restaurant Table - Up close of silverware (Photo: iStockphoto/mbbirdy)

If the way to a traveler's heart is through his stomach, Delta may be getting a leg up on American and United in the highly competitive transcon market.

On its flights between New York and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, Delta is now serving meals from Luvo, "all made with natural ingredients, no added trans-fats, and hormone and antibiotic-free proteins." Each flight features a choice of two of the following Luvo wraps:

  • Luvo Quinoa Crunch Wrap (360 calories) - Fresh crunchy vegetables, quinoa, avocado, edamame hummus, black rice and bean salad in an olive oil-whole wheat tortilla with a side of seedless grapes and a multi-seed coconut chocolate chip cookie
  • Luvo Grilled Chicken Wrap (400 calories) - Spiced grilled chicken, crisp romaine lettuce, avocado, cherry tomato, vegan herb aioli, in an olive oil-whole wheat tortilla with a side of seedless grapes and a multi-seed coconut chocolate chip cookie
  • Luvo Roast Turkey & Havarti Wrap (440 calories) - Sliced roast turkey breast, havarti cheese, black rice and bean salad, arugula, edamame hummus in an olive oil-whole wheat tortilla with a side of seedless grapes and a multi-seed coconut chocolate chip cookie...read more»
American Eagle plane with pilot (Photo: IndexOpen)

It has long been assumed that American Eagle Airlines would be renamed following American's merger with US Airways.

American Eagle is a wholly owned subsidiary of American, but confusingly the name does double duty. It refers both to the regional airline that operates smaller aircraft on thinner routes on behalf of American, and that increasingly performs ground services as well. And it refers to the group of airlines that provide regional service under the "American Eagle" banner....read more»

Southwest 737 jet approaching runway (Photo: iStockPhoto/Lowell Sannes)

A Southwest Airlines flight landed at the wrong airport on Sunday night, and although it was only seven miles away from the correct destination, it caused huge problems. According to CNN, the flight was supposed to land at the Branson Airport, but it landed instead at a much smaller airport, M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport in Taney County, Missouri. That airport is not equipped to handle planes as big as the Boeing 737—the runway that the Southwest flight landed on was only 3,738 feet long (about half the length of the 7,140 feet Branson Airport runway that the plane was scheduled to arrive on.)...read more»

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