On-time flights, and draft a nun

U.S.-based airlines are delivering travelers on time — and with their bags — more often than ever, according to a new government report.

Almost 84 percent of flights in the U.S. this year arrived within 15 minutes of their schedule. Baggage losses, damage and delays fell to a record low of three per 1,000.

Great news, but tempered by the fact that North American air traffic is declining. There will be about a million fewer seats available this month versus a year ago, according to airline data company OAG. And baggage fees are leading to fewer checked bags for airlines to handle.

Check the data at http://1.usa.gov/aFON6k

Free advice

You’d think crossing streets is a skill mastered in grade school. Buy a ticket to somewhere and find out you were wrong.

Instead of “look both ways,” safety truly lies in “do what the locals do.”

In Berlin, crowds of people stand dutifully on the curb — staring at entirely deserted traffic lanes — waiting for the little green “walk” man to flash. False starts are met with steely glances.

Londoners check for traffic and cross, much like here (but remember to check the “other” way — oncoming traffic comes from the right there).

In the complete free-for-all that is Rome traffic, we adopted the local habit of spotting a nun going our direction and drafting her as she crossed a busy street — because, obviously, everyone slows down for a nun (and the crowd trailing behind her).

I am not kidding — we did this. When in Rome …

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Lisa Schwarz

About Lisa Schwarz

By day, I'm a St. Cloud Times editor guiding coverage of politics, government, public safety and business beats. By night, I'm leading the cubicle jailbreak as the Times Traveler. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LisaSSchwarz and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sctimeslisa
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