04 September 2006

US airline industry bounces back at a cost

The Associated Press in a new article claims that the US airline inustry is recovering after the loss of 150,000 positions, the bankrupcy of 10 companies and total losses of up to $40 billion after the September 11 attacks.

But according to the AP reporter this was a much needed disaster for the troubled industry.
He claims that as airlines jam-pack their planes (due to fleet reductions) and do not give out any free food, blankets or pillows as they are heading back to profitability.

The same source quotes "Carriers also used force majeure clauses and the threat of bankruptcy as powerful tools to lay off workers, rewrite labor contracts, cancel aircraft orders and outsource maintenance, catering and other services".

Strangely all this seems like a backward trend and not forward step for the aviation industry.

Safe business travel

Any business traveler who has logged on to a wireless network at the airport, printed a document at a hotel business center or checked e-mail messages at a public terminal has probably wondered, at least fleetingly, "Is this safe?"

Although obsessing about computer security is a bit like worrying about a toddler - hazards lurk everywhere and you can drive yourself crazy trying to avoid them - the fact is, business travelers take certain risks with the things they do on most trips.

"If you go into the average hotel and sit down in the business center and have a look at their computer, I'm sure you'll find some interesting things that people shouldn't have left behind," said Paul Stamp, a security analyst with Forrester Research.

"The first step companies need to take is to educate people about how valuable the data is and also how small the circles are in which they travel," he said, noting how loudly many people discuss business on cell phones without a thought for who may be nearby.

So next time you are at an airport and think about revealing sensitive business information to an unprotected wireless LAN set-up...think again.