Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of April 8

This week: quirky pilot, quirky passengers, quirky celebrities and quirky new security rules!

$20 million: Judge rules the proposed $20M payment to American’s outgoing CEO is too high. Ever-helpful Buzzfeed provides Top 10 list of things you can do with $20 million including, 4.) Bling out your cat and 9.) Hire favorite ’80s hair metal band as your musical entourage (hello, Whitesnake!).

Headline of the day: From CNN.com – “Zombies blamed for freeway collisions”. Perhaps they came from a dead zone.

Uh-oh: Pilot-turned-security-expert says it’s possible to ‘hack a plane’ and a bad guy could make it do what he wants. Makes those complaints about mean flight attendants seem like small potatoes, no?

Bumpy ride: Fasten your seatbelts – scientists say our old enemy turbulence will get more severe (and frequent) in the coming years. Blame it on carbon dioxide emissions. So going green means not going green around the gills?

Inappropriate touching: Once again a Texas lawmaker wants to ban TSA pat-downs. Best commentary, courtesy Jaunted: “Rep. Simpson seems to believe that travel politics bloggers don’t have enough easy content, and he’s eager to help. God bless Rep. Simpson.” To which we can only add, amen.

Worst pick-up line: 24 year old passenger to Spirit flight attendant: “I can show you a better time than work”. Authorities weren’t impressed either and the guy was arrested. Maybe he should have tried the line another flight attendant once received: “Can I lick you?”

Drunk pilot? American Eagle pilot is charged with counts relating to attempting to operate an aircraft under the influence of alcohol. The January incident began when Minneapolis airport police “smelled alcohol as they walked past a group of four pilots”. Question: Did the other pilots notice the smell and if so, did they speak up? There’s no mention of them doing so.

Return of Dreamliner: United bets it’ll happen by the end of May so they’re penciling in the plane for flights then. We shall see. The aircraft’s been grounded how long? Oh, yeah – three months and counting.

Best airline: Once again, Virgin America lands on top of the heap for best overall quality. But shockingly, flyers also have a lot of gripes.

Bizarre news of the day: Press release credits “knife lobbyists” with TSA’s change of heart. A knife lobby – wow. And no, the release wasn’t dated April first.

My pilot, right or wrong: Is the captain of your plane always right? Even when he dumps some passengers under seemingly very odd circumstances? You be the judge.

Celebrity airlines: What if Kardashian, Oprah, Fallon and Leno ran their own airlines – what kind of excellent perks could you expect? Find out.

Bad memories: Man boards plane with box cutters in bag – twice – and we all know who used those. But maybe it’s no big deal since the TSA will allow some knives though security later this month.

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Published: April 8, 2013