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Air travel

Satisfaction with airlines improves slightly

Fliers are slightly more satisfied with the service offered by U.S. airlines than they were last year.

But with the airline industry ranked below the U.S. Postal Service for customer satisfaction, it still has a way to go.

The findings come from an annual survey of about 70,000 Americans and show that the airline industry ranks higher than only subscription TV and Internet service companies.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, an independent benchmarking business developed at the University of Michigan, concluded that the industry improved 3 percent in 2013 to a rating of 69 on a 100-point scale. Not surprisingly, airline travelers are most turned off by crowded seating, extra fees and poor customer service, according to the report.

Low-cost carriers JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines led the industry with scores of 83 and 81, respectively; network airlines Delta, United, American and US Airways rated no better than 68, the survey found.

Electronics rules in flight may ease

The U.S. government is moving toward easing restrictions on airline passengers using electronic devices to listen to music, play games, read books, watch movies and work during taxiing, takeoffs and landings.

An industry-labor advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing the restrictions. But the agency has extended the deadline to September because committee members asked for extra time to finish assessing whether it is safe to lift restrictions.

The agency is under public and political pressure to ease the restrictions as more people use e-book readers, music and video players, smartphones and laptops. Use of electronic devices is prohibited when aircraft are below 10,000 feet because of concern they could create electromagnetic interference with critical aircraft systems. But evidence of the potential interference is murky.

More air service

to Dusseldorf

Starting Nov. 1, German airline airberlin will add one flight a week from Miami to Dusseldorf. For the first time, airberlin will offer daily flights between the two cities year-round.

Atlantic City

Can ‘Miss America’ lure more tourists?

With the Miss America pageant returning this September, Atlantic City is trying to make it a year-round draw rather than a two-week attraction at the end of the summer.

The Miss America Organization and Atlantic City tourism officials on Friday unveiled pageant-themed attractions designed to draw visitors all year.

They include a walking tour and window-front exhibits of pageant history, replicas of Miss America memorabilia such as crowns, gowns, sashes and scepters, a video booth to record pageant memories and places to pose for Miss America-related photos.

Still to come is a Miss America attraction on the Boardwalk.

Miami Herald

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