Travel briefs: Air travel gets safer
2012 was safest year for air travel since 1945, says aviation-research group.
2012 safest year for flying in 67 years
Airfares grew and airline seats shrank, but much more important was the good news about flying in 2012: It was the safest year for air travel since 1945.
The world’s airlines reported only 23 accidents — including passenger and cargo flights — resulting in 475 fatalities last year, compared with the 10-year average of 34 accidents and 773 fatalities a year, according to Aviation Safety Network, a Netherlands research group.
Fewer accidents are the result of several efforts by international-aviation groups to require audits of airlines around the world to comply with safety standards, said Harro Ranter, president of the network.
The worst accident of the year: when an MD-83 jetliner flown by Nigeria-based Dana Air crashed on approach to Lagos, killing 163. In fact, 22 percent of fatal airline accidents last year occurred in Africa, even though it generates only about 3 percent of the world’s airline departures, according to Aviation Safety Network.
NRA foes target hotels
National Rifle Association opponents are criticizing two of the world’s biggest hotel companies because they give discounts to NRA members.
Global advocacy site Avaaz.org has urged its followers to go on Facebook and sound off against Best Western International and Wyndham Hotel Group for affiliating with the NRA.
Wyndham operates the Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, TraveLodge and Howard Johnson hotels, among others.
Best Western is one of the world’s largest hotel chains, with more than 4,000 hotels in about 100 countries.
TSA defends airport screeners
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says airport screeners are not sitting around giggling at naked images of travelers.
Such unprofessional behavior by officers who look at images made by full-body scanners is unlikely because screeners sit alone in private rooms, trying to spot weapons hidden beneath clothes of screened passengers, the TSA said.
“The resolution room is used only for the viewing of the images and is not a gathering place or break room for other officers as the officer viewing the images has to be focused in order to prevent any dangerous items from entering the airport,” the TSA said in a recent online post.
The TSA made the statement in response to a post supposedly written by a former TSA screener on the blog Taking Sense Away.
The author of the blog said he had witnessed “a whole lot of officers laughing and clowning in regard to some of your nude images, dear passenger.”
— Los Angeles Times