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DALLAS — Think flying is getting worse? A pair of university researchers who track the airline business say it’s a fact.

More flights are late, more bags are getting lost, and customers are lodging more complaints about U.S. airlines, government data shows. Dean Headley, a marketing professor at Wichita State and one of the co-authors of an annual report — now in its 25th year — being released Monday, said passengers already know that air travel is getting worse. “We just got the numbers to prove it.”

For the third straight year, Virgin America led the rankings. The niche airline with a limited route network was followed by Hawaiian Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Among other findings in the report:

LATENESS: The percentage of flights that arrived on time fell to 76.2 percent last year from 78.4 percent in 2013. Best: Hawaiian Airlines. Worst: Envoy Air, which operates most American Eagle flights.

FORT WORTH — American Airlines is marking a merger milestone and US Airways is one step closer toward extinction. The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday granted the two airlines the authority to operate as a single carrier.

The FAA decision means that American Airlines Group Inc. can combine work forces, websites and reservations systems starting this fall, but passengers won’t notice much difference right away.

Sourced from www.halliburton.com

HOUSTON — Oil and gas drilling services company Halliburton plans to sell several businesses in order to complete its $34.6 billion acquisition of competitor Baker Hughes.

Houston-based Halliburton said Tuesday that it will sell its directional drilling and logging- and measurement-while-drilling businesses and part of its drill bits division. Halliburton will market the businesses separately.

The sales will not close until regulators approve Halliburton’s planned purchase of Baker Hughes.

Eileen Pace

The construction industry took a hit in March, posting a decrease of 1,000 jobs nationwide. The decline followed a steady increase in construction jobs over the last 14 months.  

But the national news is not true for Texas, where construction jobs are increasing and 48 percent of firms are still having a hard time filling positions.

Doug McMurry of the Associated General Contractors, San Antonio chapter, said now that oil companies were reducing operations, he was hoping that workers who had left to work in the Eagle Ford Shale would come back to construction.

The U.S. Labor Department reports that the latest national unemployment rate is 5-point-5 percent. That’s good news for the economy overall and the sluggish recovery. But if you are still one of those without a job then the unemployment rate is 100%. But for minority communities the recovery has yet to arrive.  A coalition of community and labor groups in Texas is calling for the Federal Reserve to focus on full employment and higher wages for blacks, Latinos, native peoples and others in poor neighborhoods who have been left out of the recovery.

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