Canceled flights at an all-time low, feds say

If you booked a flight in September that was canceled, your experience was one of a dwindling number, according to a new report from the federal government.

Among reporting air carriers, just .3 percent of scheduled domestic flights were canceled in September — the lowest for the past 261 months with similar records since January 1995, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

September’s canceled flights also were down from the same month last year, when .4 percent of flights were canceled, and from August of this year, when 1.4 percent of flights were canceled.

POLL: Should you clap when your plane lands?

A few other notes from the DOT’s September air traffic report:

How many flights were on time? In September, 85.5 percent of flights were on-time. That’s down from 86.5 percent in September 2015 and up from 77.6 percent in August this year.

How many airlines reported extended delays? No carriers reported tarmac delays of more than three hours for domestic flights or more than four hours on international flights.

Why were flights delayed? The most common causes of flight delays were aviation system issues, late-arriving aircraft, extreme weather, security reasons, and maintenance or crew problems.

How many bags were mishandled? The mishandled baggage rate for September was 2.23 reports per 1,000 passengers, down from 2.41 in September 2015 and 3.15 in August of this year.

 

 

 

Should you clap when your plane lands? | Poll

It might be the top thing that divides frequent fliers. The one thing that separates those who travel via air often, from those who don’t.

Yes, we’re going to talk about whether or not you should clap when your flight lands.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

After reading a post from a friend on Facebook this past weekend where she vehemently defended her right to clap, I decided to ask my Facebook friends: Do you clap when your flight lands? When and why? The answers were … kind of all over the place.

Amanda Parmelee, a former Delray Beach resident who now works as an outreach coordinator for a North Carolina nonprofit, said she tends to clap at the end of rough flights. In one instance, she said, “The applause was actually shared by everyone. There was a bit of skidding, and I think everyone was just happy to have touched down without incident.”

A friend from college, Cheyanne Lent, said she claps at the end of every flight.

Vincent Tran, a former coworker, quipped that he doesn’t clap when his flight lands — but he does clap when his Uber driver gets him safely to his destination.

Travel writers seem to be torn when it comes to this issue. An ABC News travel writer said, basically, “What’s the harm?”

“I can think of plenty of worse things people could do on a plane than clap when it lands,” Lesley Carlin wrote for the site.

Earlier this year, a flight attendant wrote a list for The Huffington Post of the 12 things passengers need to stop doing. And yes, clapping when the plane lands is on the list.

USA Today’s popular Ask the Captain column took on the question in 2013. John Cox, who writes the column and flew for U.S. Airways for 25 years, said often the pilots don’t hear the applause. It’s OK to clap, he said, but he doesn’t: “I don’t clap … because I recognize the professionalism of the pilots and know that they are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.”

So it based on experience? Some articles indicate it could be first-time travelers who are more inclined to applaud. A Travel and Leisure article theorized that it could be that, or it could be the destination: People might just be really excited to get where they’re going.

Where do you stand? Vote in our poll below, then comment to explain your position.

 

Lyft offering discount on rides for election day in Palm Beach County

Ride-sharing app Lyft is offering an election day discount to help people get to the polls.

Lyft users can get 45 percent off one ride with a maximum discount of $10 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. The offer is open to customers in 20 markets, including the Miami market, which spans from south of Homestead to Palm Beach County’s northern border.

Why 45 percent? Voters on Tuesday are poised to elect the country’s 45th president.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

To get the promotion, existing Lyft users should go to the “Deal of the Week” email sent from Lyft on Sunday night.

Lyft also has a deal for new users: Enter the code NOVEMBER8TH to get $5 off your first 10 rides.

Here are the other locations where Lyft users can get 45 percent off a ride on Nov. 8:

Atlanta, Ga.
Baltimore, Md.
Boston, Mass.
Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.
Chicago, Ill.
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colo.
Detroit, Mich.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
Nashville, Tenn.
New Orleans, La.
New York City and New Jersey
Orange County and San Diego, Calif.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Phoenix, Ariz.
Portland, Oregon
Washington, D.C.

The cars with the pink mustaches aren’t the only ones helping voters get to the polls: Zipcar is offering free rides between 6 and 10 p.m. on election night, and Uber is offering new users $20 off their first ride using the code VOTETODAY.

Read more about the Zipcar offer.

 

 

Get a free ride election night with Zipcar in West Palm Beach

Zipcar, a car-sharing app that recently expanded in Palm Beach County, is offering free rides in some of its cars from 6 to 10 p.m. on election night, Nov. 8.

The offering is part of Zipcar’s #DRIVEtheVOTE campaign, and cars will be available nationally to help last-minute voters get to the polls, the company said in a news release.

Monica Waller, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University, gets ready to take a Zipcar to work. Zipcar, a car-sharing company, is offering free rides to its users from 6 to 10 p.m. on election night, Nov. 8. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Monica Waller, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University, gets ready to take a Zipcar to work. Zipcar, a car-sharing company, is offering free rides to its users from 6 to 10 p.m. on election night, Nov. 8. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

Most of the cars in the West Palm Beach area will be available for free during this time. Here’s the full list of eligible models:

• Ford: Focus Sedan, Focus Hatchback, Fiesta, Fiesta Hatchback, C-Max
• Honda: Civic, Fit
• Hyundai: Elantra, Elantra GT
• Jeep: Renegade
• Kia: Soul, Forte
• Mazda: 3
• Mitsubishi: Lancer
• Nissan: Sentra, Versa, Versa Hatchback
• Subaru: Impreza
• Toyota: Prius, Corolla
• Volkswagen: Golf, Jetta

To see which cars in West Palm Beach are eligible and to find a Zipcar location, click here.

To sign up for Zipcar, go to www.zipcar.com or download the Zipcar app.

» READ MORE: See where Zipcar just added another location in Palm Beach County

Cruise passengers can now ditch long customs lines using an app at this South Florida port

A mobile app designed to speed travelers’ entry into the U.S. can now be used at Port Everglades — making the Fort Lauderdale seaport the first in the nation to offer the service.

The app, Mobile Passport Control, is available for iPhone and Android devices, and is in use at airports throughout the U.S., including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport. Cruise passengers at Port Everglades can use it beginning today, the port said in a news release.

Busy Port Everglades has a new way to help travelers sail through customs lines. (Provided)
Busy Port Everglades has a new way to help travelers sail through customs lines. (Provided)

The app’s availability for travelers comes on the eve of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, taking up residence at Port Everglades.

Here’s how the app works, according to its website:

• Travelers download the app and complete a profile for themselves. They also can add profiles for family members. That information is encrypted and shared only with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

• Before leaving the cruise ship, the user enters the information they would have written on a customs form into the app by answering a few questions.

• The app generates a barcode, which the user can take to a specific Mobile Passport Control office after leaving the ship. A customs officer will scan the barcode, and the traveler will be able to head on their way.

In addition to the app, Port Everglades also recently finished testing Automated Passport Control kiosks in its cruise terminals. Similar to the way the app works, travelers can use the kiosks to fill out their biographical information and customs declarations before heading to a customs line.

“Through our partnership with Port Everglades, we have worked together to bring new technology and procedures to the cruise ship processing environment,” Jorge Roig, Customs port director at Port Everglades, said in a news release. “The addition of the Mobile Passport App and Automated Passport Control Kiosk to the cruise ship environment will bring added benefits to all those that utilize the program and will assist CBP in the completion of its mission of keeping maritime travel safe.”

 

 

 

 

 

PBIA has the same system that kept Mike Pence’s plane from sliding further

Were it not for the crushable concrete system in place at LaGuardia Airport, the charter plane carrying Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence to New York on Thursday night could have skidded through a fence, across a feeder road and onto a busy highway.

But because the pad — technically known as the Engineered Material Arresting System, or colloquially known as an arrestor bed — was in place, the plane was brought to an abrupt stop.

The campaign plane of Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sits off a runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, after it slid off a runway during a rainstorm during landing. Pence told reporters that no one had been injured. (Ines DeLaCuetara/ABC News via AP)
The campaign plane of Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sits off a runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, after it slid off a runway during a rainstorm during landing. Pence told reporters that no one had been injured. (Ines DeLaCuetara/ABC News via AP)

Palm Beach International Airport has had arrestor beds in place since 2011, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport has had them since 2004, and the Boca Raton Airport is installing them this year.

More than 60 airports in the U.S. have arrestor beds installed, the FAA reports.

The arrestor beds are made of crushable, lightweight concrete, which collapses as a plane moves across it, causing the aircraft’s wheels to sink.

The system is designed to stop a plane going up to 80 mph. Pence’s plane had a rough landing on the rain-slicked runway, with the pilot slamming on the brakes and passengers smelling rubber once the aircraft came to a stop, The Associated Press reports.

The FAA also credits an arrestor bed with helping halt a Cessna 680 Citation that overran the runway at PBIA in October 2013.

There were no injuries in Thursday evening’s incident, the AP reports. The plane was removed from the runway about 4 a.m. Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday night it would investigate the incident.

All Florida tolls reinstated after Hurricane Matthew

The entrance to the Florida Turnpike at Okeechobee Boulevard Tuesday, June 30, 2015. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
The entrance to the Florida Turnpike at Okeechobee Boulevard Tuesday, June 30, 2015. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Floridians: It’s time to pay for your trip on Florida’s Turnpike again.

As Florida continues to clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Monday that all tolls throughout the state have been reinstated.

Scott suspended tolls for the storm beginning Wednesday, as evacuation orders were issued from Palm Beach County north along Florida’s east coast.

» Photos: Hurricane Matthew’s effects on Florida

The issue first was given Wednesday to suspend tolls on State Road 528, the Beachline, to assist with Brevard County’s mandatory evacuation. That highway saw delays Wednesday and Thursday as thousands of people left their homes and headed inland.

Later Wednesday, Scott expanded his order to included all toll roads in Florida. Tolls continued to be free until Sunday night.

» Hurricane Matthew: Full coverage

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Matthew: Amtrak to suspend service in Southeast

(Provided by Amtrak)
(Provided by Amtrak)

Amtrak said Wednesday it is temporarily suspending its train service in the Southeast as the region is expected to begin feeling the effects of Hurricane Matthew.

» COMPLETE LIST OF SHELTERS, EMERGENCY RESOURCES

According to a news release, the following routes are canceled for Thursday and Friday, with no alternate transportation provided:

• Silver Star 91 and 92 from New York City to Miami
• Silver Meteor 97 and 98 from Miami to New York City
• Auto Train 52 and 53 between Lorton, Va., and Sanford

In addition, the Palmetto 89 and 90 from New York City to Savannah, Ga., will instead run to Washington, D.C.

To check your train’s status, change your plans or check refund information, go to www.amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL.

» The latest on how Matthew is affecting flights in South Florida

» How Matthew is muddying cruise lines’ plans

» How FEC, All Aboard and CSX are preparing for Matthew

More coverage of Hurricane Matthew:

The latest from The Post’s weather reporter, Kim Miller

Make sure you have your hurricane supplies

Which Palm Beach County gas stations can pump without power?

Hurricane Matthew muddies plans for some cruise lines

The Grand Celebration cruise ship sails through the Palm Beach Inlet toward its home at the Port of Palm Beach after a trip to the Bahamas, July 23, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)
The Grand Celebration cruise ship sails through the Palm Beach Inlet toward its home at the Port of Palm Beach after a trip to the Bahamas, July 23, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

Port restrictions in effect because of Hurricane Matthew have prompted itinerary adjustments for several cruise lines, AAA said Wednesday in a news release.

The Coast Guard has set port condition “Yankee” for all ports from Miami north to Jacksonville. Condition Yankee means no vessels may enter or remain in the port without the Coast Guard’s approval.

» COMPLETE LIST OF SHELTERS, EMERGENCY RESOURCES

The Grand Celebration cruise ship, which sails out of the Port of Palm Beach, had to receive Coast Guard approval to drop off its load of passengers Wednesday morning after the Coast Guard set the Palm Beach port’s condition to Yankee at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Port of Palm Beach spokeswoman Tara Monks said there were about 500 passengers on board the ship.

» The latest on how Matthew is affecting flights in South Florida

“If (the ship) had happened to ask to stay, it would be up to the Coast Guard,” Monks said.

Cruise ships along Florida’s east coast are facing the same dilemma, AAA said, of whether to head out to calm seas or find a different port.

“Cruise line officials have already adjusted itineraries to avoid island-destinations impacted by the hurricane, but these port closures makes returning home very tricky,” AAA director of field travel support Vicky Evans said in a news release.

Cruise lines affected by Matthew include Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, MSC, Norwegian and Princess, AAA said.

Three ships scheduled to return to port Thursday now will return Friday: the Empress of the Seas and Carnival Sensation, out of Port Miami; and the Carnival Victory out of Port Canaveral.

Evans advises travelers to reach out to their cruise lines to see if their trips will be affected by the storm.

More coverage of Hurricane Matthew:

The latest from The Post’s weather reporter, Kim Miller

Make sure you have your hurricane supplies

Which Palm Beach County gas stations can pump without power?

How FEC, All Aboard Florida and CSX are preparing for Hurricane Matthew

An FEC train travels along the tracks just south of Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach Thursday, April 23, 2015. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)
An FEC train travels along the tracks just south of Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach Thursday, April 23, 2015. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Rail lines in Florida are preparing for possible effects as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state.

Florida East Coast Railway is shutting down its train service tonight, said Robert Ledoux, FEC senior vice president and general counsel.

COMPLETE LIST OF SHELTERS, EMERGENCY RESOURCES

Crews on those trains will swap about halfway through their trip so they can be back in their homes tonight, Ledoux said.

Click here for the latest on Tri-Rail service

FEC service will be closed tomorrow and could reopen either late Friday or Saturday, but much of that depends upon the extent of damage along FEC’s line.

Ledoux said about 100 FEC employees are staged to mobilize once the storm has passed. They’ll work in smaller crews, covering about 60 miles of track each to find and fix any damage.

The first service once the FEC line reopens will be northbound out of Miami, as Matthew is expected to move north along Florida’s coastline.

FEC also is watching storm forecasts closely to determine if and when signal arms may need to be removed. The arms will be removed once forecasts indicate an area is supposed to receive 80 mph sustained winds, Ledoux said.

CSX leaders have been monitoring Matthew and have activated the company’s Hurricane Operations Plan, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

The freight company has suspended its operations along its main line between Savannah, Ga., and Pembroke, N.C., starting today, the spokesperson said. CSX service in South Florida was suspended this morning until further notice.

The company is working with its customers to reroute freight traffic or make other arrangements as necessary as delays are expected in the Southeast, the spokesperson added.

 

Work has been underway to secure construction sites for All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger rail service stations.

“Safety is Brightline’s number one priority,” Brightline said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the hurricane and have implemented the necessary safety precautions required for all active construction sites.”

More coverage of Hurricane Matthew:

Dozens of flights cancelled and delayed in South Florida

The latest from The Post’s weather reporter, Kim Miller

When will Florida’s Turnpike tolls be suspended for Hurricane Matthew?

Which Palm Beach County gas stations can pump without power?