Gotta love the turn of events. Perhaps we didn’t envision it as dramatically as Steven Slater’s getaway down the emergency slide, but with all the abuse that flight attendants take from strung-out passengers, it was just a matter of time before one of them snapped. What better way to follow a dramatic reaction than with another overly dramatic reaction — arresting the Jet Blue employee and charging him with crimes that could amount to seven years in prison. This, naturally, kicked off a viral online reaction with a dedicated Facebook page and many calling for his release.
EDITORIAL: What’s Jet Blue to do? Stand by their man, naturally. Drop the charges, let Steven keep the beer, give him some time off with pay, blacklist that asshole passenger from flying Jet Blue again, and give everyone else on that flight a free round trip ticket or two for their troubles. The cost? If they play this right, it will easily be worth the positive PR>
Yahya Wehelie, a 26-year-old man from Virginia, was stuck in Egypt for more than two months when his name popped-up on a no-fly list. He spent the two months of delay living in a ramshackle Cairo hotel and subsisting on fast food coupons provided to him by the US embassy. He is now allowed to return to the US.
Why the delay? FBI agents questioned him about his time in Yemen, Wehelie said. He had gone to Yemen two years ago at his parents’ request so he could learn Arabic and find some guidance in his life. Wehelie is of Somali descent, but many Somalis live in Yemen, where educational opportunities are cheaper than in other parts of the Middle East. Wehelie was studying information technology at the Lebanese International University.
Wehelie has no ill will toward the US or the FBI. “I’m not angry at all. I know who I am and I knew eventually I would go home,” he said. “They’re trying to find the bad people, so more power to them.”
We are used to overstuffed luggage falling from overhead compartments, but maggots? They fell from the overhead bin due to a spoiled container of meat (left behind by a passenger on the previous flight, according to US Airways). As the plane was taxiing, passenger Donna Adamo told AP, “I heard the word ‘maggot’ and that kind of got everybody creeped out. All of a sudden, I felt somebody flick the back of my hair and on the front of me came a maggot, which I flicked off me.”
At the gate, the plane was cleaned and fumigated before the passengers were brought back on board.
Just when you thought airline ads couldn’t get much lower than Spirit Air’s “Check Out The Oil On Our Beaches,” comes this: the closest a commercial airplane comes to making a porn film. The Russian airline advert has flight attendants strip to bikinis and wash the plane with all the subtlety of a James Bond opening number or MTV rap video. Halfway through, the director seems to forget they were even washing a plane and just has the flight attendants wash themselves. Perhaps they were trying promote personal hygiene. Or maybe they ran out of time and had to return the aircraft.
Just when you thought the US Dept of Homeland Security’s “no fly” list could not get any less reliable, a six-year-old named Alyssa Thomas has been added. She was traveling with her parents from Cleveland to Minneapolis when a ticket agent informed her she was on the restricted security list.
Her father, Dr Santhosh Thomas, was puzzled. “She’s been flying since she was two months old,” he said, “so that has not been an issue. In fact, we had traveled to Mexico in February and there were no issues at that time.”
When the family contacted Homeland Security to resolve the issue, they received a letter notifying them that it could not be changed. Alyssa can still fly, but the check-in process will take much longer.
“The watch lists are an important layer of security to prevent individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism from flying,” said a TSA spokesman, thus removing important layer of credibility from the organization he represents.
Spirit Airlines has a new steamy ad featuring women in bikinis that has ruffled some feathers… or drenched them in oil.
It was the toxic combo of bikinis and the slogan: “Check Out The Oil On Our Beaches.”
They set out to mock BP’s PR disaster, but ended up wading knee deep into their own muck.
“It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today’s beach promotion,” the Spirit press statement said. “We are merely addressing the false perception that we have oil on our beaches, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spots.”
Englishman Sandy Russell was informed by a stewardess to get off his flight from London Gatwick to Toronto because he could not fit in his seat — his 203kg (448lb) frame was taking up a third of the woman’s seat beside him. If he wanted to fly, he was told he’d need to pay for an additional seat and get on the next flight. The problem was that he couldn’t afford the extra fare and then his aunt died two days after he was due to visit her.
The passenger was naturally devastated and said he didn’t know his size would be an issue before he boarded the plane. “I always ask, (at check-in) if it’s a big flight, if there are any more seats that are available and she said it’s a full flight,” he told BBC. “A lot of people are saying to me, well, you should have known before you went on, but I have never, ever had a problem with any airlines, until now.
The reason? It was a full flight.
Air Transat spokesman said Mr Russell’s 52-inch girth meant that the armrest could not be lowered for take-off, as demanded by regulations, and that the airline was not allowed to ask passengers their measurements before they booked a flight as it was “a breach of their human rights.” The airline offered to refund Mr Russell’s ticket.
Titanic Verdict Yes, there should be a weight/size warning when people book tickets explaining that extra-large passengers of certain dimensions will need to purchase two tickets to guarantee a spot on the plane if there are not two adjoining seats available. However, it shouldn’t have come as a shock to Mr Russell. If he flies enough to know that he needs an extra seat and makes a habit of requesting them while flying, he should realize it’s just a matter of time before he gets a full flight and that no passenger should have to fly with someone else’s lard in their lap. It was an unfortunate way for him to find out there was no additional seats on the plane and sad he missed his aunt, but this an increasing problem for airlines and large passengers. On one hand, airlines are restricting space for all, which is unpleasant. On the other, they can’t be expected to accommodate such extremely wide passengers — those who are not prepared to get help for an eating disorder will have to make other sacrifices or pay extra fees or fly on airlines that choose to be more accommodating in this regard.
Passengers and crew tried to break up a fight between a drunk passenger and his brother-in-law, but had minimal success. They argued much of the way between Honolulu and Salt Lake City and it eventually turn into a brawl.
When police boarded the plane after landing in Salt Lake City, the inebriated passenger punched one of the officers.
He was arrested for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and assault on an officer while resisting arrest. The brother-in-law was briefly held, then released.
Employees at Southwest Airlines in Little Rock, Arkansas found a haphazardly sealed batch of plastic containers with 60 human heads inside.
They were supposedly en route to Fort Worth, Texas, where they would be used by neurosurgeons to study ear, nose and throat procedures. And shipping body parts commercially for educational purposes is, it turns out, fairly common.
Let’s see if Southwest takes advantage of the media attention and turns this into some sort of marketing campaign (eg “Follow your head: Fly Southwest” or maybe “60 Out of 61 Heads Prefer to Fly Southwest”)
Irene Ferrari, a Russian model with hyper-augmented size “F” breasts, had one of them damaged when it hit the seat in front of her during strong turbulence on a Swiss International Airlines flight.
She is now suing the airline for €100,000 for discomfort and injury. She claims she was flying business class for their additional space, but this particular business class had seats barely discernible from coach.
Air travel has given Ms Ferrari’s breasts trouble before. She sued last year (and won a nice settlement) after one of her breast implants exploded during a rough landing.
The flight attendants and cleaning crew on a United Express flight that landed at Philadelphia’s airport just after midnight left the plane without making sure everyone was off of it. Ginger McGuire, a Detroit-based woman who works for a local radio and TV station, woke up four hours later on an empty plane. She slept through the landing, then kept right on sleeping. United is trying to figure out why no one bothered to wake her.
The Daily Beast took a page out of the Titanic Awards playbook and crunched the numbers from the National Transportation Safety Board. Their current findings list Continental as the winner. Here’s their full list >>
Thomas Salme, a Swedish pilot, was finally caught after 13 flying commercial airlines with a fake license. He has already racked up 10,000 hours in the air.
He was able to try SAS airline’s flight simulator while we was working as a maintenance engineer, then decided to make a fake license and apply as a co-pilot.
His fine, after he confessed, was 2000 Euros and a year banned from flying. Not such a harsh penalty. He’ll need the time off anyway, as he is now writing a book about his experience. Also his safety record was praised.
When the toilets stopped working on a British Airways flight from Heathrow to the Cayman Islands, the 169 passengers were told not to drink for two hours. Seems someone forgot to empty the tanks at Heathrow.