You can take away our in-flight meals, cram us into uncomfortable seats for hours at a time and charge a fortune for our checked bags, but don't mess with our pets.
That's the message United Airlines got recently from 46,000 petitioners who disagreed with the company's PetSafe pet transporting program. The policy did not allow for certain breeds of dogs to be transported in the company's planes.
"They used to "fly the friendly skies," but United's new policy of canine profiling is anything but friendly to families who travel with their dog, if their dog happens to look like a pit bull," wrote Best Friends Animal Society, one of several pro-animal groups.
United reversed the policy this week, but still requires the breeds to be transported in a specific kind of reinforced container.
APP Pharmaceuticals on Grand Island has received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration saying it has failed to address several serious violations the government agency found during a 2011 inspection. APP has said it will address the problems and that remedying the problems should not affect production or profits.
But the company takes the stations one step further than just plugging into the electrical grid--the stations are powered by wind and solar energy. Employees with electric cars can charge their cars for free during the workday.
A well-known property in Snyder is expected to be sold next month. Williamsville-based Iskalo Development is in the process of buying the Lord Amherst Hotel, which is currently owned by the Genrich family. Both the seller and buyer are remaining mum on the details, but family member Willa Long said the hotel is successful and not losing money. The 95-room hotel, located at 5000 Main St., was built in 1960. The property also includes the Sonoma Grill restaurant next door to the hotel.
- Southwest to acquire AirTran - Matt Glynn/The Buffalo News Southwest Airlines agreed Monday to buy AirTran in a $1.4 billion deal that would solidify the low-fare airline’s position as the largest passenger carrier at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Together, AirTran and Southwest, under their current schedules, would carry one of every three passengers flying out of Buffalo and offer more than one of every five flights. The combined airline would rank just behind US Airways in the number of flights. ... Both carriers offer non-stop flights between Buffalo and Orlando, Fla., but none of their other nonstop destinations overlap. C. Douglas Hartmayer, a spokesman for the NFTA, said it was too soon to say what the planned merger will mean for local fliers. “Hopefully it will be a good thing,” he said. “We would look forward to expanded service to new markets.” Related: - Southwest’s $1.4 billion AirTran deal pays for itself - Reuters - What Southwest-AirTran Combo Could Mean for You - CBS News - Southwest: there's nothing stopping them - Atlanta Journal-Constitution Its original route map, the story went, was drawn up on a cocktail napkin as the founders had a drink in a bar. Its funky and funny TV commercials and noteworthy style of service, including singing flight attendants and peanuts-only refreshments, have drawn attention whenever they air and wherever they take to the air. And its low fares have won the praise of the flying public. From the get-go, Southwest Airlines has stood apart in a tradition-bound industry, and its unique path has led it to operational and financial success while some old-line carriers have been bought, sold or folded. Now, the one-time upstart from Texas, the largest domestic carrier in the U.S., is spreading its wings to Atlanta. The first response? A welcome.
- Bank fees overdraw welcome - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News The days of paying a $35 overdraft fee on a $2 cup of coffee could be over. Under new federal rules, consumers who overdraw their accounts using debit cards at an ATM or merchant won't get socked with fees unless they have "opted in" for the overdraft coverage. But their transactions with insufficient funds will be rejected. ... About 82 percent of bank customers haven't overdrawn in the last 12 months, while the rest do it more frequently and account for most of the fees. "Those folks used that as a financial planning tool," said Jim Holding, marketing director for Northwest Bancshares, parent of Northwest Savings Bank. "They use that as part of their day-to-day financial working." [Appropriate pop culture reference below.]
- Phaseout is set for Colgan Air name - Phil Fairbanks/The Buffalo News The name Colgan Air, synonymous with the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, is going away. No one will comment on when the Colgan name will be phased out, but the airline’s parent, Pinnacle Airlines, confirmed that the name will eventually disappear. “Over time, our intent is to phase out the Colgan name as we reorganize into two operating airlines,” Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams said in a statement. Pinnacle’s confirmation that the Colgan name is being phased out came just days after it announced its $62 million purchase of Mesaba Airlines, a regional carrier owned by Delta Air Lines. Pinnacle did not offer a timetable on when the name change would occur. Colgan, which flies under the name Continental Connection, operated the plane that crashed in Clarence Center in February 2009, killing 50 people. Continental subcontracted the Newark-to-Buffalo route to Colgan.
- Baidu chief boosts China - John Boudreau/San Jose Mercury News/Buffalo News The head of China’s biggest online success story, who is a University at Buffalo graduate, has some advice for U.S. companies hoping to break into the world’s largest Internet market: You’d better hurry, and you’d better be willing to work with the government.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo took a break from his campaign for governor [or maybe not] by announcing another strike in his ongoing crack-down on unscrupulous debt collectors who seem to thrive in the Buffalo area. - State tries to close 2 local debt collectors - Dan Herbeck/The Buffalo News State attorneys filed lawsuits Tuesday against two Hamburg-based debt-collection companies whose employees allegedly used threats, obscenities and harsh intimidation tactics against consumers. The legal actions seek to permanently shut down two companies — Northern Asset Management and Eastern Asset Management — owned by Hamburg businessman Frank Santiago. There are clear laws that say how a debt-collection company can do business, and we allege that this debt collector and his companies broke those laws,” Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. "Threats, intimidation, obscene language and overt harassment are just some of the day-to-day business practices that were employed by this operation. Their actions must come to an end.” ... Santiago denied Cuomo’s allegations.
Meanwhile, also in Business Today: -Red Cross workers here to strike - Matt Glynn/The Buffalo News Unionized workers for the American Red Cross Blood Services Division in Buffalo are set to go on strike today. The walkout will involve about 100 area workers who collect, process and distribute blood, said James Wagner, president of Local 1122, Communications Workers of America. Another 60 tele-recruiters who recruit blood donors will not join the strike for fear their work would be moved immediately to Rochester, he said. Wagner had initially said that group would join the strike.... “It is to protest over the National Labor Relations Board complaints issued against the Red Cross in violation of labor law,” Wagner said. The CWA is launching the strike based on unfair-labor practices related to changes in the workers’ 401(k) retirement plan, pension, health benefits and the suspension of a chief steward, Wagner said. The union also has raised complaints about blood safety. Wagner said the criticisms are aimed at the American Red Cross, not its Buffalo chapter. Despite the strike, Red Cross operations in the Buffalo area will continue, said Marianne Schreyer, spokeswoman for American Red Cross Blood Services in the New York-Pennsylvania region.
- Falling gas prices good news for drivers - Mark Williams/AP/Buffalo News Gasoline prices dropped Tuesday for the 26th straight day as lower oil prices continue to work their way to the nation’s drivers. It looks like there is room for pump prices to move even lower. [They have today already.] After hitting a national average of $2.929 per gallon May 6, retail gasoline prices have fallen 20.2 cents, or nearly 7 percent, to $2.727 per gallon Tuesday. In the Buffalo Niagara region, a gallon of regular averaged $2.94 Tuesday, down 4 cents from a week ago, and down 6 cents from a month ago. Tom Kloza, of the Oil Price Information Service, said that while the daily streak of lower prices is likely to end before mid-June, prices still have another 10 or 12 cents to fall.