Airlines better in 2010, but complaints rose

Low-cost carrier AirTran had the best overall performance of the 16 largest U.S. carriers last year in an annual study of airline quality released Monday, knocking the previous leader — Hawaiian Airlines — into second place. Regional air carrier American Eagle ranked last in the study, which is based on Department of Transportation data.

Overall, airlines improved their performance last year. They lost fewer bags, bumpings due to overbooking were down and on-time arrivals were up. But travelers were still dissatisfied — complaints to the Transportation Department about airline performance went up a whopping 28 percent in 2010, the study said.

GM executives rewarded with stock

General Motors Co. is rewarding its top executive with shares currently worth more than $1.3 million. In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said it gave Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson 42,360 stock units on March 31 as part of his compensation package. Akerson will be paid in three installments starting next March. The stock units are currently worth $1.37 million, but Akerson will receive whatever they’re actually worth on the day they’re paid out. Akerson, a former telecommunications executive, became GM’s CEO last fall and led the company through an initial public offering in November. He is expected to receive a pay package totaling $9 million for 2010. GM’s shares fell 2 cents to close at $32.39.

Email address thefts mean more spam

With the possible theft of millions of email addresses from an advertising company, several large companies have started warning customers to expect fraudulent emails that try to coax account login information from them. Companies behind such brands as Chase, Citi and Best Buy said over the weekend that hackers may have learned their email addresses because of a security breach at a Dallas-based company called Epsilon that manages email communications. The email addresses could be used to target spam or to encourage visits to dummy web sites.

T-bill rates fall in Monday auction

The Treasury Department auctioned three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.05 percent, down from 0.1 percent last week. Six-month bills were sold at a discount rate of 0.13 percent, down from 0.17 percent last week. The discount rate reflects that the Treasury bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.74 while a six-month bill sold for $9,993.43. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.051 percent for the three-month bills and 0.132 percent for the six-month bills. Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable rate mortgages, edged up slightly to 0.3 percent last week from 0.26 percent the previous week.

From Herald news services

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