Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of April 15

What started out as just another quirky week suddenly turned dark. A terror attack in Boston.

Boston families: JetBlue will match up to $100,000 in donations to “help those families most affected by the tragic events” in Boston. Donations earn you extra points, too.

When is a bomb not a bomb: When it’s a giant sandwich from Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli in Astoria called, “The Bomb”. Sadly, when a fellow at JFK referred to his delicious hero from the aforementioned sandwich emporium by name, the TSA swung into action. Guy missed his flight but had plenty of time to eat the 12 inch sub.

But is it as good as a cocktail: Los Angeles airport unleashes therapy dog program to ‘de-stress’ travelers. We are told the pups roaming LAX will help travelers “relax by decreasing blood pressure and heart rate”. Just don’t fly with them.

Suspicions, delays: United flight at Logan delayed as two passengers are removed for questioning, then released. US Airways plane delayed in Philly over suspicious bag (turned out to be harmless). LaGuardia terminal evacuated due to suspicious package. The new norm after Boston – at least in the short term – may well be to expect delays.

Not terror-related: But creepy, nonetheless – American’s computer system goes down – with flights idled across the U.S. When it finally came back, AA said “sorry” and offered refunds.

No change fees: Almost all of the airlines are waiving change fees for travel in/out of Boston. See the list of airlines with links on how to make changes here.

Boston Strong”: You can see this phrase on the homepage of JetBlue’s website. The airline, which has a big presence in Boston, had crew members* running in the bombed marathon. The carrier’s message went on to say, “Our hearts are with the entire Boston community.” Ours, too.

*JetBlue told us this morning all its employees are safe.

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Earlier:

Nightmare flight: Lion Air plane overshoots runway in Bali, lands in ocean. All are rescued but dozens are injured and the plane broke in half. Odd fact: Lion Air’s motto is, “We make people fly.” See the video below.

Naked picture machines: TSA body scanners help uncover a Roman fresco under another work of art at the Louvre. And you thought they were only good for baring all your secrets.

Extreme VIP service: News flash – airlines cater to celebrities. Yes, the rich and famous get all kinds of odd perks: “We even do things like reserve overhead bin space for them,” said a Delta executive, who probably wishes he hadn’t allowed AP to use his name.

Weird seats: New design features an aisle seat that slides over a middle seat to make more room during boarding. Sounds fun but it’ll never beat the sardine seat.

Video of Bali crash aftermath – source: ITN, via YouTube.

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Published: April 15, 2013