This week: New York’s questionable fame, Yoga at SFO and more

Well, well, finger-point, finger-point… yes, okay we admit it, we’re about 24 hours late with our weekly news round-up. But hey, better late than never or isn’t that what they say? Whatever; let’s not get into excuses but rather focus on the task at hand.

The most exciting news this week is probably that the voting process for the airport story of the year has come to and end today. Why is that exciting? Well, of course because we now know which story won the award! You have to stay tuned for a tiny bit longer though as sift through the votes and make sure everything is correct! One thing is for sure, it looks like it was a photo finish between two stories…

Let’s move on now to our news round-up: Surely you agree that flight delays are are the core of what LateDeparture is all about and this week two flight delay headlines stood out: The first one came from The New York Times reporting that New York airports account for half of all U.S. flight delays. According to the news in the first half of 2011, the region’s airspace — defined as the big three airports (JFK, LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR)), plus Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, which caters to corporate jets, and Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL) — handled 12 percent of all domestic flights but accounted for nearly half of all delays in the nation. In the same period in 2005, they represented just a third of all delays, according to a report by the cited Government Accountability Office.

The second headline was about delays too, but it put a positive spin on it and called it on-time performance. We’re of course talking about FlightStats’ 2011 Airport On-time Performance Awards (OPS). A number of U.S. and International airports received the prestigious award – see our cover story from earlier in the week with all the details.

San Francisco’s SFO airport probably acknowledges that some flight delays are unavoidable and came up with its own solution: a Yoga room. According to PassengerTerminalToday the airport has opened a yoga room in its newly refurbished Terminal 2, providing passengers with a place for contemplation and self-reflection. The news stated that the room, which is located just past the security checkpoint, was designed by Terminal 2’s architect Gensler and features a floating wall and low lighting levels.

And finally we have a news item from Spain for you: There – as we heard through CNN– the Spanish airline Spanair went bust early Saturday, and forced many passengers to find seats on flights with other airlines at short notice. The news stated that according to a spokeswoman at Madrid’s Barajas Airport (IATA: MAD) said there were not large numbers of stranded passengers there, and that other airlines have been able to get passengers on to other flights. A spokesman for Barcelona’s El Prat airport (IATA: BCN) said about 20 Spanair planes were sitting on the tarmac at the old terminal.

With that we wish you all a great new week; delay-free of course!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by Augusto Mia Battaglia photography]