By The Associated Press
Speed through the airport like a celebrity
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Cutting lines at airports used to be only for the rich, the famous or very frequent fliers. But then airlines started granting fast-track access to anybody with the right credit card or who was willing to shell out a few extra dollars.
Now, with the masses clogging up special security and boarding lanes, true VIPs are saying: Get me away from this chaos. And the airlines are listening.
Just as they've made first class swankier with new seats, gourmet meals and bigger TVs, airlines are focusing on easing the misery of airports for their highest-paying customers and giving them a truly elite experience.
At a growing number of airports, special agents will meet celebrities, high-powered executives and wealthy vacationers at the curb and privately escort them from check-in to security to boarding.
Japanese, other automakers hit with air bag recall
DETROIT (AP) â¿¿ Six automakers, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan, are recalling nearly 3.4 million older-model vehicles worldwide because of defective air bags that can send shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment.
The recall mainly affects cars sold by Japanese automakers in North America, Europe and Japan. A small number of cars made by Germany's BMW AG and General Motors Co. are also involved.
The front passenger air bags all were made by the same parts supplier, Japan's Takata Corp. They have faulty inflator mechanisms that don't route gas into the air bags. Instead the high-pressure gas can launch plastic and metal parts from the air bags into the cars' passenger areas. Takata says no one has been hurt, but there have been six incidents of air bags deploying improperly on roadways.
Bitcoin bursts: Hacker currency gets wild ride
LONDON (AP) â¿¿ It's a promising form of electronic cash that's free from central bankers and beloved by hackers. Bitcoin may also be in trouble, registering catastrophic losses that have sent speculators scrambling.