Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of Aug. 6

Don’t blame TSA for this one: Man leaps past Rome airport counter to lie down on baggage belt for a nap, takes pleasant trip through X-ray machine. It’s been suggested our adventurous traveler may have been drinking.

Free money: While Qantas passengers sat in the airport for an hour, awaiting a new pilot (the old one was removed for allegedly overindulging in alcohol), the airline gave everyone $30 in spending money. Let’s see, which airline could learn from this?

Bikini bust: Authorities take dim view of Vietnamese airline’s mid-air bikini show. While the country has loosened up in recent years, its airlines are probably better off not emulating those scamps at Air New Zealand.

No problem, they’re on it: An alert passenger spotted the following note on what looked like a damaged area of an Alaska aircraft: “We know about this.” In other words, just chill, OK?

Southwest apology: No, this isn’t about the airline saying sorry for that deals debacle – this involves a teen who sneaked aboard early, got caught and had to apologize over the plane’s intercom – to the delighted chortles of fellow passengers.

Cheap, cheap, cheap: El Al computer glitch results in tickets to Israel for just $300 – normal price, $1,600. Airline first says, we’ll honor them. Now says – uh, not so fast.

Ash grounds planes: New Zealand’s long dormant Mt. Tongariro came back to life Monday, spewing ash and disrupting flights out of Auckland. You may have glimpsed this volcano in the Lord of the Rings films.

Naked picture: No, this isn’t about the TSA either – it’s about a Picasso nude at Edinburgh Airport that drew complaints because it was – nude. First, officials covered it up – then they uncovered it. Somewhere, Pablo is rolling his eyes.

Yuck dining: Tourists say Brits have the worst local food. Maybe 30 years ago, but now? Perhaps these visitors are chowing down exclusively at UK McDonald’s.

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Published: August 10, 2012