Personal Finance

Traveling light? American Airlines is letting you board sooner

Light delight

If you’re traveling light, you can board earlier on American Airlines.

The airline said people carrying just a personal item that fits under the seat — no rolling suitcases — will be allowed to board before most other passengers.

American said the change would speed up boarding by several minutes and allow flights to take off sooner, helping the airline improve its on-time performance. The airline said it would let passengers check a carry-on bag at the gate for no charge.

Punctuality slips

Fewer flights arrived on time and more were canceled in March than a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Just under 80 percent of flights arrived within 14 minutes of schedule, down from about 82 percent in March 2012. Among the biggest carriers, Delta had the best performance.

App happy

Apple said its customers have downloaded more than 50 billion applications from its App Store since its launch in 2008.

Apple said the 50 billionth download was a game called “Say the Same Thing” by Space Inch.

The App Store had 500 apps when it opened. It now has more than 850,000 individual apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

SUV safety

Only two of 13 small SUVs are getting passing grades in front-end crash tests done by an insurance industry group.

Popular models such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Jeep Wrangler received “marginal” or “poor” ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Subaru’s 2014 Forester was the only vehicle rated “good.” The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport received an “acceptable” rating.

The test crashes covered only 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end. The group’s tests are more stringent than the U.S. government’s full-width front crash test.

Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates rose over the past week, pushing borrowing costs for a 30-year loan to the highest in six weeks.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage climbed to 3.51 percent in the week ending Thursday, up from 3.42 percent and the highest since early April, mortgage lender Freddie Mac said.

The average 15-year rate rose to 2.69 percent from 2.61 percent.

Farmland prices

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said prices for non-irrigated farmland in its region rose 3.4 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2012.

That was much slower than the 7.7 percent quarter-to-quarter increase recorded for the region a year ago.

The Fed’s region includes Kansas and the western part of Missouri.