Airport Check-in: Lufthansa has e-boarding plan; L.A., flowers

Airport Check-in: Lufthansa has e-boarding plan; L.A., flowers

By Roger Yu

USA Today


•Electronic boarding passes, which let travelers use a barcode sent to their smartphones to clear security and board, have previously been limited to domestic and regional fliers. Lufthansa says it became the first airline to introduce the service on intercontinental flights, when it used the technology this month for its Frankfurt-Vancouver, British Columbia, route. The German carrier plans to extend its use to more long-haul routes over the next few weeks.

Since Lufthansa introduced the service last summer, the number of passengers opting to have their mobile boarding pass sent to them by text messaging or e-mail has grown to about 75,000 passengers a month, it says.

•Air traffic continues to decrease in Europe, with 13.6% fewer passengers traveling through European airports in February than a year earlier, according to Airports Council International-Europe. "The double whammy of falling aviation and commercial revenues is hitting Europe's airports more and more severely with each passing month," says Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI-Europe.

Among the airports hardest hit: Milan Malpensa (-33%), Moscow Domodedovo (-26%), Barcelona (-22%), Madrid Barajas (-17%), Copenhagen (-19%) and Brussels (-19%).

USA Today

Photo By Glenn Marzano, Mercury Air Group
Flower Power: Fresh flowers from Colombia and Ecuador sit in Mercury Air Cargo's new 12,700-square-foot refrigeration unit at Los Angeles International.

•To boost the region's flower business, Los Angeles International has opened a 12,700-square-foot refrigeration facility, the largest of its kind at any West Coast airport. The $1.1 million facility, built by Mercury Air Cargo, will accommodate up to 8,500 tons of flowers flown in from Latin America by LAN Cargo, a subsidiary of Chile's LAN Airlines.

Previously, flowers were flown from Bogota, Colombia, to Miami International and trucked to the West Coast. The whole trip could take as long as 60 hours. Flying them directly to LAX takes about 15 hours.

The airport says retail flower prices will drop in the region as a result.

The new facility will "establish LAX as a new West Coast hub for the flower trade," the airport says in a statement.

• Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Airport will close for several days next month to repair its sole runway. Work will start at 5 p.m. on May 25, and airport officials believe the work will be completed in about four days, allowing them to reopen for flights between May 30 and June 2.

About 450 passengers who will be affected by the closure will have to rebook to nearby airports, such as Idaho Falls, Idaho, or Salt Lake City. Airlines have agreed to waive change fees for the affected customers.

Every Monday, we report on the latest news in airports across the USA. See something noteworthy in your travels? E-mail your suggestions to

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