Summer travel forecast: Better, but no blowout
NEW YORK (AP) — This summer, high rollers are flying to lavish hot spots for their vacations. The rest of us are driving to less luxurious places like nearby campgrounds.
The good news: At some U.S. campgrounds these days you get live bands, air guitar contests and chocolate pudding slip 'n slides.
Americans' plans for summer travel mirror the current state of the economy. Rising home prices and a soaring stock market are encouraging those at the top of the income ladder to take more extravagant trips. But large segments of the population are staying close to home because wages are stagnant, rents are high and the end of the payroll tax holiday has shrunken their take-home pay.
AAA, one of the nation's largest leisure travel agencies, isn't expecting a resounding start to vacation season this Memorial Day. Citing the "up and down economy," AAA expects 31.2 million Americans to hit the road this weekend, virtually the same number as last year. Throw in planes, trains and buses, and the number of travelers will drop about 1 percent, AAA says.
Delta ups the ante in battle for NY travel market
NEW YORK (AP) — Delta's formula for winning over New York travelers is simple: floor-to-ceiling windows, abundant power outlets and a burger joint with a cult-like following.
The airline opened a sprawling $1.4 billion terminal at Kennedy Airport Friday, a facility more suitable to the high-paying passengers it is trying to attract. The 346,000-square-foot concourse offers upscale food and shopping options, increased seating and sweeping views of the airport.
Netflix looks to hook subscribers with 'Arrested'
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is hoping this weekend's release of the resurrected TV series "Arrested Development" will draw more subscribers to its Internet video service.
The award-winning show about the dysfunctional Bluth family returns Sunday, seven years after Fox cancelled the series. The revival coincides with Netflix's own resounding comeback from a customer backlash over price increases and shareholders' worries about rising expenses. The adversity had raised doubts about the company's management and future.
Now, Netflix is winning back subscribers and investors with a bold attempt to establish its $8-per-month service as a home entertainment powerhouse that rivals the broadcast television networks and premium cable channels such as HBO.
Schumer urges look at security in Sprint deal
NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer urged regulators to "use extreme caution" when reviewing the proposed acquisition of No. 3 cell carrier Sprint Nextel by Japan's Softbank, saying the Japanese company's use of Chinese networking equipment could open up U.S. networks to snooping and hacking.
The New York Democrat sent letters Friday to the Treasury Department and Federal Communications Commission, both of which are reviewing Softbank Corp.'s offer to buy 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp. for $20.1 billion.
Satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network Corp. has a competing, $25.5 billion offer for all of Sprint, and has raised the security issue as one reason Sprint shareholders should prefer its bid.
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for aircraft and stronger business investment. The gains suggest economic growth may be holding steady this spring.
Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 3.3 percent last month from March, the Commerce Department said Friday. That followed a 5.9 decline in March.
A measure of business investment plans increased 1.2 percent. And the government revised the March figure to show a 0.9 percent gain, instead of a slight decrease.
China gives US regulators access to audit records
WASHINGTON (AP) — China has agreed to give U.S. regulators access to audit records for Chinese companies whose shares trade on U.S. stock exchanges, a step forward in a long-running dispute.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a watchdog agency for the accounting industry, announced the agreement with China on Friday.
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