Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of April 1

This week, we “weigh in” on airline pricing policies – and it’s no April Fools’ joke. Plus the coolest pilot ever.

Pilot of the year: American Airlines captain risks delaying a flight to rescue sobbing little girl’s teddy bear left at security. “Can we do this?” he’s asked. “They can’t leave without me.”

Hawaiian hothead: Woman described as “violent” attacks TSA officer at Honolulu airport, is tackled and cuffed by vacationing cop.

Airline loses: Sorry, Spirit, but you were beaten by Carnival Cruises in Consumerist’s ongoing NCAA-style Worst Company in America contest (and Carnival just lost out to Ticketmaster). Better luck next year.

Thinking about losing a few pounds? This might be the time – yes, we already have one item about Samoa Air’s new pay-by-the-pound airfare (below) but it’s getting so much buzz we did a little investigating and – it ain’t pretty.

Survey says: Airlines pay attention to questionnaires they bombard us with which has led to solutions to gripes involving cheese omelets and bad sound systems. Meh – what single problem would you most like them to fix?

Security rubbed wrong way: Woman is stopped at TSA checkpoint because explosives are detected. Wait – apparently her body lotion set off alarms. Tip: For a smoother trip, fly rough and scaly.

Tweet time: Buzzfeed lists 15 most “important” tweets from airports. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Time to shop: It’s Tuesday, the best day to shop for airfare and boy oh boy do we have some cheap flights for summer.

Monkey business: Yeah, yeah, we know we’re late on the Justin Bieber monkey story (he brought his pet to Germany without proper paperwork) but did you know this little episode could cost him a $17,000 fine? Chump change, says Bieber (or so I imagine).

PR release of the week: “Moscow is a must-go.” Well, maybe. In any event, we found a cheap flight there.

All animals, all the time: Got a pet goat or racoon? How about an alligator? No problem on Canada’s WestJet – they can all fly in the cabin and they don’t need to be in a kennel!* (see video below)

Pay by the pound: Too fat to fly? Not on Samoa Air – you just pay more. The guy who runs the airline says “it has raised the awareness of weight.” We don’t doubt that for a second.

Freakjet photo of the week: Businessman is ready to paaarty. And where else but in the world’s busiest airport.

Not so classy: American Airlines strands a class of eight graders at LAX because it overbooked their flight – then asks for the class to pay for all new tickets. Ouch.

*OK, OK, it’s an April Fool’s joke, but a good one – take a look:

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Published: April 1, 2013