Review Category : Business

Record number of passengers will fly this spring, industry group says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Approximately 145 million passengers will take to the skies this summer, setting a new record for spring air travel, according to industry trade group Airlines for America.

An average of nearly 2.4 million people per day will fly on U.S. airlines between March 1 and April 30 — surpassing last year’s average by 4 percent, A4A said.

“There has never been a better time to fly,” A4A vice president John Heimlich said in a statement, noting that “historically low fares, reliable operations” as well as “a boost in U.S. employment and personal incomes” are fueling the demand.

A4A’s forecast comes on the heels of the Department of Transportation’s announcement that U.S. airlines carried a record 823 million passengers in 2016.

Last year also saw a record rate of properly handled bags, and the best on-time arrival rates since 2012, A4A pointed out.

With new innovations in TSA lanes and a continuous push to enroll passengers in trusted traveler programs like PreCheck and Clear, the government and airlines are aiming to avoid the crush of security lines that overwhelmed TSA checkpoints last spring.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

San Diego brewery makes beer from drain to tap using recycled water

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — The runoff from your shower might just become part of your next beer.

The Times of San Diego reports that the city’s largest brewery introduced a craft beer made with 100 percent recycled water.

The Stone Brewery in Liberty Station, the nation’s ninth largest brewer, produced five barrels of the beer using water from the city’s Pure Water demonstration plant in Miramar.

Chief Operating Officer Pat Tiernan said, “Stone has a long history of sustainability,”

The demo was part of the city’s ambitious, $3 billion project to get a third of its water from advanced recycling.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer tried the beer and said, “It is fantastic. There’s no better way to highlight the purity of this water.”

Stone’s senior manager of brewing and innovation, Steve Gonzalez, said the recycled water only needed some salts to be added to be perfect for brewing.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

McDonald’s tests mobile ordering app

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With a decline in recent sales, McDonald’s is hoping mobile technology will help get it back on track. This all part of a $1.7 billon plan to revive it’s declining customer base (down 500 million visits since 2012).

The company is testing a new mobile ordering app at 29 restaurants in California, and is planning to expand to 59 locations in Spokane, Washington by the end of the month. McDonald’s app competes with mobile ordering from other fast food restaurants such as Taco Bell, Domino’s and Starbucks, which have all been successful with their customer app usage.

McDonald’s has used apps to entice customers before, like back in 2015 when their Loyalty App for McCafe beverages gave customers a free drink after five purchases.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

‘Beauty and the Beast’ sets March box office weekend record

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was a good weekend for “Beauty and the Beast.” Disney’s, which is the parent company of ABC, live-action remake of the animated movie led the weekend box office and set a record for a March opening.

The 1991 Oscar-winning remake opened with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales, which also sets the record for the year’s top opening. “Beauty and the Beast” follows other successful live-action Disney film remakes such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Maleficent,” and “The Jungle Book,” which made its debut last year.

The company has already announced more remakes to come for classic animated films “Dumbo,” “Mulan,” and “The Lion King.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

McDonald’s tests moblie ordering app

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With a decline in recent sales, McDonald’s is hoping mobile technology will help get it back on track. This all part of a $1.7 billon plan to revive it’s declining customer base (down 500 million visits since 2012).

The company is testing a new mobile ordering app at 29 restaurants in California, and is planning to expand to 59 locations in Spokane, Washington by the end of the month. McDonald’s app competes with mobile ordering from other fast food restaurants such as Taco Bell, Domino’s and Starbucks, which have all been successful with their customer app usage.

McDonald’s has used apps to entice customers before, like back in 2015 when their Loyalty App for McCafe beverages gave customers a free drink after five purchases.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Walmart buys online seller ModCloth

Getty/Scott Olson(NEW YORK) – In an effort to keep up Amazon.com, Walmart has bought online clothing seller ModCloth on Friday. The deal is believed to be in the $51 to $71 million range.

Founded in 2002, ModCloth has developed a loyal customer base who enjoy the vintage style patterned dresses and inclusive sizing. Walmart is hoping this move will bring these young shoppers to the brand.

In a blog post, ModCloth co-founder Susan Gregg Koger said that the move “will give us the necessary resources and support that we need as a business to grow. Growth allows us to reach more women, grow our community, and amplify our message. Our mission to help our customers feel like the best version of themselves continues. And our commitment to inclusivity continues. Our amazing team continues. And we can open more stores — in your hometown! I hope you will continue to join us as well on this next phase of our journey together.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Congressman’s comments hurting Iowa tourism

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – After US Rep. Steve King made controversial remarks in regards to Muslim children, the Iowa Tourism Office has seen a decline in people planning vacations to the Hawkeye State and an increase in complaints.

USA Today is reporting that the tourism office has received around 60 tweets a day, in addition to emails, Facebook posts, and calls from potential tourists. This is a stark difference from the average of two complaints a month.

Tourism contributes to $8 billion in economic activity in the state, according to Iowa Economic Development Authority board member David Bernstein.

Speaking with USA Today, Iowa Tourism Office manager Shawna Lode said that “we’re in a politically charged environment. People have strong opinions about lots of things. They are free to share their thoughts with us, and we’ll continue to say that Iowa is a welcoming place and we welcome all people.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Dozens of Brazilian government officials suspended for exporting rotten meat products

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Authorities have suspended 33 government officials amid allegations that some of the country’s largest meat processing companies have sold rotten beef and poultry for years according to a BBC News report.

Three processing plants have been closed in the country that is recognized as the world’s largest red meat exporter.

According to BBC News, federal police raided 194 locations across six Brazlian states as a part of Operation Weak Flesh.

BBC News reports Brazilian federal police claim to have evidence of unhygienic practices of more than 30 companies, among them, JBS and BRF. JBS is the world’s largest beef exporter, and BRF produces the most poultry in the world.

JBS says it follows sanitary regulations and has high standards for its products, while BRF has denied breaching regulations.

Investigators are alleging health inspectors and politicians were bribed by some managers to get their products government certifications.

Following the announcement, shares of JBS and BRF fell 10% and 8 % respectively according to BBC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Tiffany & Co. making “patchy” progress as its sales see some global increase

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – BBC News reports one retail expert calls Tiffany & Co.’s growth “patchy” after analyzing its reported earnings between November and January of this past year.

The high-end jewelry firm saw its sales increase by 1.3% in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to increased sales in Japan and China. However, its net sales declined 3% over the past four quarters compared to the previous year’s (net earnings were $446 million in 2016 and $464 in 2015).

The company called its performance “soft across all jewelry categories.”

Sales at its flagship store in New York, which BBC News reports can sometimes count up to as much as 10% of its group sales, could increase now that President Donald Trump has moved to Washington. With extra security at the Trump Towers, which the flagship store sits closely to, access has been disrupted. First Lady Melania and son Barron still live in Trump Towers in New York.

According to BBC News, Neil Saunders, managing director at Managing Director of GlobalData Retail, says American consumers continue to overlook Tiffany & Co. and recognize its products as “old-world luxury.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Are biometric scans the checkpoint of the future?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Could the frustration of waiting in line at airport security become a thing of the past?

One company is already using biometrics to identify registered travelers and significantly cut wait times.

Clear, a company based in New York City, has kiosks in more than 20 participating airports around the United States. When a passenger arrives at an airport security checkpoint, Clear uses biometrics to identify the passenger before allowing him or her to proceed directly to the screening area. A computer scans the traveler’s irises and fingerprints in addition to asking for some personal information.

All this means no more waiting in line to check IDs.

David Cohen, chief administrative officer of Clear, told ABC News the company’s goal is for a registered traveler to keep moving from the moment he or she enters the fast-access lane to the moment of TSA screening.

“Next year we may be using passive iris scanning, which allows you to be identified as you are coming into the lane,” said Cohen.

The former head of TSA told ABC News that biometrics could one day make a plane ticket obsolete.

“Your iris could be your boarding pass; facial recognition could be your boarding pass,” said Adm. Peter Neffenger.

The fee for a five-year membership to TSA PreCheck is $85. An annual membership in Clear is $179.

The TSA and Department of Homeland Security have authorized Clear to operate, but the company also partners with various airport authorities.

The Clear program has expanded to sports as well. Major League Baseball stadiums in New York, Denver, Miami and San Fransisco all are using Clear to expedite registered visitors into their ballparks.

The scanning of bags may also undergo a significant development. The TSA and private companies are testing a new system that will create a 360 degree image of the items in passengers’ luggage that will be examined in a monitor by a remote human employee.

Some of it may look like a science-fiction movie set, but the day where your eyes and hands are your ID has arrived.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →