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nov 16 2007

Will an express lane ease Thanksgiving travel?

President Bush announced on Thursday that the Pentagon will open unused military airspace along the East Coast to commercial planes from November 21 through November 25, in the hope of reducing delays during the notoriously busy Thanksgiving travel period. (The plan is to bring back the express lane at Christmas.)

The Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile, has put a holiday moratorium on nonessential maintenance projects. Its website, fly.faa.gov, will be providing real-time updates on airport delays that can be sent to your mobile phone. Orbitz and some airlines, including Continental and United, also allow travelers to sign up for flight and news alerts—we recommend doing so!

While we welcome any steps, however overdue, that might improve the flying experience, it's tough not to be skeptical about the impact of a holiday express lane. (One blogger, The Cranky Flier, is so unimpressed that he's bestowed the Cranky Jackass Award on the Department of Transportation.)

We want to hear from you: What's your reaction to the temporary express lane? And how do you think the government should reform the airline industry?

RELATED: Better care for bumped passengers and Sign up for those flight alerts.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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