Takeaways From Buffs At Air Force

BOULDER — After two games and two losses by an average of 28 points, Colorado Buffaloes coach Karl Dorrell didn’t mince words.

In his postgame press conference following Saturday’s 41-10 loss at Air Force, Dorrell said, “We have a tremendous amount of work to do … the coaches and myself, we all take responsibility for it.”

Saturday’s defeat at Falcon Stadium bore some similarity to Colorado’s season-opening 38-13 loss to TCU. Despite some early mistakes, the Buffs were in the game in the third quarter — and then they weren’t. CU failed to take advantage when opportunity knocked, and the Falcons were more than happy to slam the door.

Our takeaways from Week 2:

1. Inability to convert crucial short-yardage situations. Despite two early turnovers that put the Buffs in a 20-0 hole, Colorado had a chance to close the gap to 20-17 early in the third quarter and make it anyone’s ballgame.

But a first-and-goal at the Air Force 2-yard line produced a fumble on second down, an AFA recovery and an empty trip to the red zone. Colorado then failed to convert a fourth-and-2 in Air Force territory on its next possession — with the score still 20-10 — and later in the game came up short on fourth-and-3 when quarterback J.T. Shrout slid too early with the first down marker well within his reach.

Saturday was not a one-time aberration. The Buffs were 0-for-3 on fourth-down tries the previous week, including a try deep in TCU territory early in the game that would have given CU some terrific early momentum.

Granted, had the Buffs been able to convert at the goal line Saturday, there’s no guarantee the game would have turned out differently. But it no doubt would have been at least interesting to see how Colorado would have responded had the Buffs been able to narrow the deficit to three and apply a little more pressure to the Falcons.

2. Still no answer at quarterback. The Buffs went with Shrout the entire game Saturday, ending a streak of 13 consecutive starts for Brendon Lewis.

But the change didn’t inject much life into the CU offense. The Buffs had just one drive that went for longer than 26 yards, a 71-yard touchdown march in the second quarter when Colorado’s running game suddenly found life. After that, however, the Buffs never really established anything resembling a rhythm again.

By no means was the limited production all on the shoulders of Shrout. CU didn’t handle the wet conditions particularly well. Colorado receivers had their hands on a half-dozen passes that fell incomplete — with one tip leading to an interception. It also appeared that Shrout, who hadn’t had any extended playing time in roughly two years, is also still finding his touch in the short game.

“We’re going to have to find someone that can give us a spark,” Dorrell said. “We have to continue to develop that position. Maybe we need to look at some of these younger guys, too.”

That group included sophomore Drew Carter, who had a handful of snaps last year, true freshman Owen McCown and freshman transfer Maddox Kopp

(Historical side note here that means nothing more than the guy writing this is old: Thirty years ago — Sept. 19, 1992 —  the Buffs traveled to Minnesota and trailed 17-0 early in the third quarter. QB Kordell Stewart did not play because of an injury and backup Duke Tobin was struggling. CU completed just two passes in the first half and had minus-8 yards rushing. Buffs coach Bill McCartney then yanked the redshirt off true freshman Koy Detmer. The Texas prep product came in and rallied Colorado to a 21-20 victory, throwing a 49-yard touchdown pass to Michael Westbrook and a 24-yard TD pass to Charles E. Johnson for the game winner. Detmer finished 11-for-18 for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and was named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Week. One other note from the game: Colorado’s wide receivers coach that night was Karl Dorrell.)

3. CU’s defense gave the Buffs a chance. Yes, the Falcons scored 41 points and rang up 435 yards rushing. But Colorado also forced three AFA turnovers and with 10:40 left in the third quarter, the Buffs were 2 yards away from making it a 20-17 ballgame.

Colorado’s defense also had a solid first half against TCU, shutting the Horned Frogs offense out for the first two quarters and giving the Buffs a chance to be in that game.

Linebacker Quinn Perry is quickly becoming a force. He finished with 17 tackles against AFA, including one for loss. Fellow LB Josh Chandler-Semedo had 10 stops and it’s likely that safety Trevor Woods would have finished in double digits had he not been ejected early in the third quarter for targeting. He finished with eight tackles, including one for loss, and had a big hit that produced an AFA fumble and led to a Colorado field goal.

Also promising was the play of second-year freshman defensive lineman Tyas Martin. The 6-4, 340-pounder finished with four tackles and gave CU some needed depth in the trenches.

4. Air Force is very experienced and very good. That was a veteran bunch the Buffaloes faced Saturday, with seniors up and down the starting lineup. Nobody is going to be surprised if the Falcons run the table in the Mountain West and put themselves in position for at least a New Year’s Day bowl.

5. The Buffaloes are young. Dorrell bristles at the thought of using this as an excuse, but truth is, the Buffs are wet behind the ears in plenty of places. CU has 90 underclassmen on the roster (60 freshmen and 30 sophomores).

It’s not an alibi for Colorado’s performance thus far. You play the hand you are dealt. 

But for two straight weeks, the Buffs have been in the game in the second half, then watched it quickly get out of hand. Young players have to learn how to play through adversity — and right now, the vast majority of CU’s roster is undergoing a very painful learning curve.

6. The schedule doesn’t get any easier. Next weekend, the Buffs travel to Minnesota, who has been receiving Top 25 votes. After that, it’s a home game with UCLA, which is spending its non-conference time tuning up against Bowling Green, Alabama State and South Alabama.

Again, it’s the hand Dorrell’s team has been dealt. You won’t hear any excuses coming from the UCHealth Champions Center.

But the Buffs have to figure out a way to finish some of those critical early drives and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

“When we had a chance to capitalize, we didn’t follow through,” Dorrell said. “We didn’t finish. We have work to do.”


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Summer air travel picks up as revenge travelers ignore high prices


  • Airlines have been taking advantage of strong consumer demand to pass on some of the additional costs of oil and inflation with higher airfares.
  • Consumers have turned away from discretionary goods, but they’re not willing to give up travel even as airfares surge.
  • But if you’re a budget-conscious traveler, there are steps you can take to get you better prices.

Summer’s heating up and so is inflation. But even with airfares soaring, people are determined to take what they see as a much-needed vacation after two years of pandemic stress. 

Air travel bookings turned sharply higher in March after the omicron wave faded and many destinations eased entry requirements, especially if you were fully vaccinated. Consumers were so eager to travel again, they did so even after oil prices rose to their highest level in about 14 years and faced the highest overall inflation in 40 years.

Fuel is the second-largest expense for airlines at around 30% of operating costs and has doubled in price from a year ago, according to the Energy Information Administration. And airlines have been taking advantage of strong consumer demand to pass on some of those additional costs with higher airfares.

“My coach ticket from Chicago to Phoenix was $1,300, which is over three times the usual fare,” said Tom Blew, who took his trip last month to visit family and friends. “I guess pent-up demand isn’t price-sensitive, and there are very few options unless you want to fly in the middle of the night.”

Travel: No longer optional but a necessity 

Consumers have recently turned away from discretionary goods amid surging inflation to afford everyday necessities like groceries and rent, but there are no signs they’re willing to give up travel even as airfares surge. In April, airline tickets jumped by 8.6 %, the largest one-month increase since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking this in 1963.

In the first three months of this year, travel spending exceeded spending on general merchandise (think stuff you can buy on Amazon), which is tapering off. In March, consumers spent $1,290 on average for travel compared with $819 on general merchandise, data from wealth management firm Personal Capital showed. 

“In March, we saw what’s possible, with surging demand brought on by reduced infection rates, relaxed restrictions and tremendous pent-up demand for people to travel,” said Robert Isom, chief executive officer at American Airlines in its earnings conference call. “Demand is as strong as we’ve ever seen it.”  

Delta’s President Glen Hauenstein agreed, saying in an April earnings call profit margins are looking good “as fuel prices have continued to run up and demand continues to remain strong.”

That’s because people want to spend time with family and friends, a Deloitte survey of 4,233 Americans fielded March 23-30 showed. That desire is likely to boost travel above both 2021 and pre-pandemic levels, with six in 10 Americans planning trips, up from 50% last year, Deloitte said. Of those, half said they planned to fly and 28% expected to pay “significantly more” for their trips than they did in 2019 due partly to inflation and more savings.  

“After two years of the pandemic, we were long overdue to make up for lost time with family,” said Andres Olarte who recently returned with his family from a five-week trip to Costa Rica. It was his first trip back to his hometown since 2019 and the first time many of his family and friends got to meet his youngest son, born in 2021.

“We booked our flights months in advance but did splurge getting direct flights,” he said.

POST-PANDEMIC LIST: 100 things we can’t wait to do when the pandemic ends: Hug friends, go to concerts and more

BRIGHTER SUMMER: What will COVID-19 look like this summer? Health experts say the virus won’t be endemic, yet.

Price insensitivity 

Airfares are also likely to continue rising, boosted by ongoing strong demand and elevated oil prices. World benchmark Brent crude was last above $117 per barrel, and JPMorgan analysts see prices above $120 this year. 

But none of that has deterred consumers. 

“They’re planning and anticipating for it and paying the higher price,” said Matthew Howe, senior manager of travel intelligence at research firm Morning Consult. “Revenge travel is definitely a real thing. People have been waiting and are ready to get back out and experience the world.” 

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Although Ed Bastian, Delta chief executive officer, is optimistic air travel will stay strong into the fall, he warned on the earnings call he’s always on the lookout for consumer price resistance.

“When we start to see pricing, particularly with high input costs like fuel, starting to challenge our demand and supply assumptions, then we’ll take the next step up,” Bastian said.

To ensure operations go smoothly this summer, airlines have trimmed their flight schedules to give themselves some wiggle room if something goes awry. On Thursday, Delta joined American, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Air and JetBlue in cutting some flights to its summer schedule so it could “minimize disruptions and bounce back faster when challenges occur,” it said in a statement on its website.

While consumers may benefit from better service, fewer seats will likely mean more competition for existing seats and even higher prices.

Don’t want to pay up? Tips for finding lower airfares 

For those who want to fly but avoid chasing ever-increasing prices this summer, Expedia travel expert Christie Hudson offers some tips: 

► Timing travel

Of all the summer months, August is the cheapest. The “sweetest spot” is the last two weeks of the month as some schools go back in the south and it’s right at the end of summer before Labor Day, she said. 

Mid- to early-week travel days are the least expensive with Fridays the most expensive. 

Avoid traveling on summer holidays like the 4th of July, which tends to be the most expensive. 

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► When to book

Usually, booking airfare is the cheapest two weeks to a month in advance of your travel days. If you’re a planner and that seems too close for your comfort, Hudson suggests booking further out while using a price match guarantee service. 

► Package booking 

If you’ll also need a place to stay, Hudson recommends booking all your travel in one place to get a package rate. These are deals on airfare and lodging that are only available through packages, she said.

The bonus is that you can still get your airline miles and rewards. “So, you’re saving money and collecting rewards,” she said. 

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Three Packing Tips For Smooth Traveling On Your Next Vacation | On Air with Ryan Seacrest

Summer is around the corner which means summer vacation! But with vacation comes packing and we all know packing can be the worst.

Ryan Seacrest shared some tips on-air that could help your next trip go more smoothly.


Watch the above video for more! Will these tips be helpful for your next vacation?!

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Air France-KLM to raise €2.3bn to repay state aid

Air France-KLM is launching a €2.3 billion “rights” issue of 1.9 billion new shares to raise money to repay the state aid it received during the pandemic.

The airline group will use €1.7 billion of this money to repay some of the Covid-19 financial aid received during the height of the crisis. The rest of the funds will be utilised to reduce the company’s debts.

The French and Dutch governments, which are both shareholders in Air France-KLM, have said they will participate in the rights issue and will maintain their current shareholdings after buying their proportion of new shares. The French state currently owns 28.6 per cent of the group and the Netherlands has a 9.3 per cent shareholding.

The financial move will allow Air France-KLM to “free itself from the conditions” set by the European Commission on pandemic bailouts, which prevent it from buying 10 per cent of another company.

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, said the fundraising would “strengthen our financial autonomy and regain strategic and operational flexibility”. 

“As the recovery continues and our economic performance recovers – in particular, thanks to our ambitious transformation plan and the structural benefits it continues to deliver – we want to be in a position to seize any opportunity in a changing aviation sector and to be able to accelerate our environmental commitments,” added Smith.

Other investors including China Eastern Airlines and Delta will also take part in the rights issue. Air France-KLM said it planned to further repay French state aid over the coming quarters.

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April storms impact air travel in North Dakota | News, Sports, Jobs

April snowstorms led to fewer airline passenger boardings for the month due to larger than normal airline cancellations rates, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

Still, North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports posted 76,553 airline passenger boardings during April, a 23% increase from the 62,168 boardings the state experienced in April 2021. The number was about 17% below April 2019’s pre-pandemic passenger count of 92,063.

Of 190 scheduled departures from Minot International Airport in April, 36 were canceled, for an 18.9% cancellation rate, the highest rate in the state. The average statewide airline departure cancellation rate for the month was 9.6%. April has been historically in the 1-3% range for a statewide cancellation rate, the aeronautics commission reported.

“April was a challenging month for our airports and passengers particularly in central and western North Dakota, as they experienced an increased amount of delays and cancellations due to multiple major snowstorms.” said Kyle Wanner, executive director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. “Our airports did an incredible job in keeping up with snow removal operations to alleviate the impacts to the traveling public as best as possible. That being said, we look forward to improved weather conditions as we move into the summer months.”

Minot saw 10,149 passenger boardings in April, up 11.3% from a year ago but down 20.4% from 2019. Year-to-date boardings are up 37% in Minot and nearly 44% statewide from 2021.

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Air traffic control shuts down in Jamaica, stranding passengers

(CNN) — Air traffic control came to a stop for parts of Thursday morning and afternoon in Jamaica, forcing flight cancellations and leaving thousands of frustrated passengers stranded there or unable to reach the Caribbean island.

MBJ Airports Limited, the operator of Sangster International Airport near the popular resort destination of Montego Bay, confirmed in a news release to CNN that flights were canceled on Thursday morning “due to the suspension of air traffic services.”

The airport’s arrivals board started showing cancellations around 9:30 a.m. local time on May 12. The departures board also starting posting cancellations around 10:30 a.m.

American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United flights were canceled, among others.

It was a similar story at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, the capital city. Arrivals started being canceled around 11:30 a.m., and departures were canceled starting at 12:19 p.m.

Kurt Solomon, president of Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association, told CNN that flights were resuming as of 5 p.m. local time on May 12.

Robert Nesta Morgan, minister without portfolio with responsibility for information in the Office of the Prime Minister, posted a news release on his Twitter account confirming that flights were resuming.

“The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) wishes to advise the public that, as dialogue progresses between the Authority and its key stakeholders, particularly the Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association (JATCA), air traffic services are currently being restored,” the release said.

Since that time, Sangster showed one departure, Delta Flight DL1987 at 5:07 p.m. Manley showed one arrival, British Airways Flight BA2263 at 4:43 p.m.

Limited staffing

Sharon Hislop, manager of commercial development and marketing at Sangster, told CNN that the airport was notified Thursday morning that the air traffic control center in Kingston didn’t have enough support for air traffic because of “limited staffing.”

The JCAA then decided to suspend air traffic services and flights, Hislop said.

The air traffic control center in Kingston controls operations for all three international airports in Jamaica: Sangster, Manley and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios.

CNN Travel reached out to the JCAA for comment via email and phone on Thursday afternoon but had not received a reply as of 8 p.m. ET.

Passengers are shown stranded in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 12, 2022.

Passengers are shown stranded in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 12, 2022.


Hislop estimated there were about 100 passengers on each flight affected by the suspension of services.

Shops at the airport were set to remain open into the night as some passengers were expected stay at Sangster overnight, Hislop told CNN.

Local media referred to the situation as a strike, though no officials contacted by CNN confirmed that was the case.

“That’s what we’ve been hearing, but we can’t know for sure,” Hislop said when asked whether a strike by air traffic controllers led to the limited staffing that in turn led to suspension of flights.

Solomon said “a contingency team” that was working Thursday morning at the Kingston Air Traffic Control Center was unable to continue and that team stopped. Solomon was unable to say why they stopped working.

The contingency team is made up of management personnel for air traffic controllers.

Solomon also told CNN there have been persistent equipment issues at the Kingston Air Traffic Control Center, and they have been ongoing for several years.

Passenger frustrations

Justin Novak told CNN he was flying from Toronto to Montego Bay on Thursday when his flight was turned around 30 minutes before landing.

Novak says that the pilots didn’t say much except that they were forced to turn around.

“It was a tense return home. Mixed reactions but the majority visibly upset,” Novak said.

Novak was headed to Jamaica for an eight-day vacation with his wife. He’ll now lose two of the days because of the delays, he said.

“What I don’t understand Is apparently they knew this was happening but still let us board the plane.=,” Novak added. “We are rescheduled for 12 p.m. tomorrow [Friday, May 13], but who knows what will happen.”

Erin Fletcher Langen also hit problems on Thursday as she was flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Jamaica for work.

She was on a layover in Atlanta when the problems started. Her flight was delayed, then canceled and then there was hope when officials told them that Sangster (MBJ) reopened. Then it was officially canceled again.

“It was a roller coaster of emotions. When they said MBJ was opening, everyone cheered and clapped. When they said it was canceled (again), people weren’t necessarily mad, but sad. People were crying.” Fletcher Langen said.

She said people at the airport were saying how they haven’t traveled in a long time and a lot of people were traveling for weddings.

She said she hopes to fly out on a rescheduled flight on Friday.

Waivers offered

American Airlines, which had more flights affected at Sangster than any other airline, issued a waiver for change fees to affected passengers.

“Due to air traffic service disruptions impacting air travel in Jamaica, Delta has issued a travel waiver  for those whose travel may be impacted between May 12-13,” it said on its news website.

“This waiver allows the fare difference for customers to be waived when rebooked travel occurs on or before May 16, 2022 the same cabin of service as originally booked.”

You should check with your carrier if your flight was disrupted.

Top image: A general view of Norman Manley International Airport from 2016. (Henry Romero/Reuters)

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Air France to Introduce New Business-Class Cabin This Fall

Air France in September will launch a new 48-seat business-class cabin on 12 Boeing 777-300s, the company announced Wednesday. The first flight with the new cabin will depart from New York-JFK, with the remaining 11 planes progressively rolled out afterward.

The new seat design will convert into a flat bed almost two meters long (about 6.5 feet) and include a new sliding door for passengers to create a private space. All seats will have direct access to the aisle. Seats located in the center of the cabin will be equipped with a central panel that can be lowered for passengers traveling together. 

Seats also will feature a wide 17.3-inch 4K high-definition anti-glare screen with a noise-reducing headset, a new Bluetooth connection and several electric outlets, according to Air France. 

In addition, Air France will include 48 premium-economy seats in an updated cabin already available on its Airbus A350 aircraft. The seat offers 96 centimeters (nearly 38 inches) of legroom, and the seatback reclines to 124 degrees and has been widened. A new noise-reducing audio headset is integrated into the seat, which also features USB A and C ports. These seats also will have a wide 13.3-inch 4K high-definition screen with Bluetooth connection, according to the carrier.

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EU removes mask mandate advice for air travel

The EU is removing the recommendation that face masks should be mandatory at airports and onboard aircraft as the Covid-19 crisis continues to ease.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a joint statement on Wednesday (11 May) announcing the relaxation of the Aviation Health Safety Protocol on mask-wearing for air travel from 16 May.

However, the two agencies noted that wearing a mask is “still one of the best protections against the transmission of Covid-19”.

They have also relaxed some of the “more stringent” measures placed on airline operations, which the agencies said would “relieve the burden on the industry whilst still keeping appropriate measures in place”.

EASA executive director Patrick Ky added: “For many passengers and also aircrew members there is a strong desire for masks to no longer be a mandatory part of air travel. We are now at the start of that process. 

“Passengers should continue to comply with the requirements of their airline and, where preventive measures are optional, make responsible decisions and respect the choice of other passengers.”

ECDC director Andrea Ammon warned that risks “remain” for travellers despite the withdrawal of the recommendation on wearing masks.

“It is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, it [wearing masks] is one of the best methods of reducing transmission,” said Ammon. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

IATA’s director general Willie Walsh welcomed the move as “another important step along the road back to normality” for airline passengers.

“Travellers can look forward to freedom of choice on whether to wear a mask and they can travel with confidence knowing that many features of the aircraft cabin, such as high frequency air exchange and high efficiency filters, make it one of the safest indoor environments,” added Walsh.

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