Flying Hotel, New Record for Air Travel, Gas Stations Put $175 Hold on Cards and More

news roundup

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News Roundup

This is a roundup of news and other interesting pieces that I’ve come across over the last few days. Read about stores letting you keep your returns, a flying hotel with 5,000 guests, new record for air travel, one more thing to worry when you fill up your car, and 700+ flights canceled on Sunday nationwide.

Stores weigh paying you not to bring back unwanted items

In recent weeks, some of the biggest store chains, including Target, Walmart, Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and others have reported in their latest earnings calls that they have too much inventory of stuff ranging from workout clothes, spring-time jackets and hoodies to garden furniture and bulky kids’ toys. It’s costing them tons of money to store it.

So instead of piling returned merchandise onto this growing inventory heap, stores are considering just handing customers their money back and letting them hang onto the stuff they don’t want.

Luxurious flying hotel that ‘never lands’ with 5,000 guests

A wildly ambitious design for a “flying hotel” that could carry 5,000 passengers in unparalleled luxury has been featured in a new video. The AI-piloted Sky Cruise – which has 20 engines powered by nuclear fusion – is designed never to land. Instead, conventional airliners would ferry passengers to and from the Sky Cruise and even all running repairs would be carried out in-flight.

TSA screens 2.45M passengers, highest daily total since February 2020

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration on Friday screened 2.45 million air passengers, the highest daily total since February 2020, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said Saturday. “Get to the airport early, it’s busy!” Farbstein said. It was the most daily passenger screenings since 2.51 million were counted more than two years ago, she said.

Gas Stations Now Hold Up to $175 of Your Money When You Swipe

Pain at the gas pump goes beyond the high prices. Gas stations are also putting bigger holds of up to $175 on customers’ cards when they swipe.

When drivers insert a credit or debit card at the pump, the gas station doesn’t know how much fuel they will buy and it places a hold on the account for an amount set by the gas station. Merchants authorize the payment networks to lift the hold once the final total of the payment is determined, though the holds can take hours and sometimes longer to settle—raising risks of overdraft penalties for debit-card users and eating into credit limits during the holds.

More than 700 flights canceled Sunday

At least 730 flights were canceled across the United States on Sunday evening, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. Delta Air Lines alone canceled at least 224 flights on Sunday. United Airlines canceled 71 flights and American Airlines canceled 66 flights.

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