Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of Aug. 13

Say what?: An American Airlines flight attendant asked a 17-year-old nonverbal autistic girl who uses her iPad an a means of communication to turn off said iPad before take off. Needless to say, this hasn’t gone over too well.

Really?: Man calls out Virgin Australia on policy about men not being allowed to sit next to children who fly alone, saying it makes all males feel like pedophiles. [Editor’s note: This is a really good read.] Follow up: Jezebel has a great op-ed piece about this.

Sit back, relax and enjoy my spiritual rant: An American Airlines flight attendant took to the public address system to have a “heart to heart” with passengers. Also, did the passengers clap when the plane landed? Because it’s suppose to land, so no need to clap.

What a way to start a trip: A Delta flight that blew out its front tire after take off from Boston made an emergency landing at JFK.

Plane lands at wrong airport: Don’t we have computers and communication devices that prevent this?

Kick in for gas, will ya?: Passengers on an Air France flight from Paris to Beirut were asked if they could pay for fuel when the plane had to make an emergency layover in Syria due to clashes at the Beirut Airport. In the end, passengers put their wallets away – Air France found some fuel funds.

You give the TSA a bad name: The Department of Homeland Security is investigating TSA officers for racial profiling during chat-downs at Logan Airport in Boston.

I didn’t even know they made these: FAA to large passengers: Leave your seat belt extenders at home and use ours instead.

Maybe just text someone next time?: Alaska Airlines agrees that circling an area of a clipped  airplane wing with a marker and writing “we know about this” is “not the best approach” to the issue.

By the numbers: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spends about 1,800 hours traveling – that’s 76 days a year just in the air.

And the medal goes to …: Even though the Olympics are over, that won’t stop NBC’s Overhead Bin from rewarding passengers medals for some truly great dumb things to do in an airport.

Love/hate thing: Recent poll shows 54 percent of Americans think the TSA is doing a good or excellent job. The approval rate for Congress, however, is an abysmal 16 percent. We can think of one elected official who’s not going to be happy.

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Published: August 17, 2012