Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of Feb. 25

This week: An exciting movie, exciting landing and exciting video of a passenger unhinged!

Dancing in the plane: College kids go nuts on Frontier flight doing the Harlem Shake. Maybe Gene Kelly would be proud but the FAA isn’t happy (yes, there is video).

Human-powered flight: Clever U. of Md. student builds do-it-yourself helicopter with pilot pedals. If the airlines ever get ahold of this and adapt it to passenger power, you know they’ll call it a ‘fitness option’ and charge a fee.

Theft by cleaning crew? Woman’s valuables stolen from plane during layover at Philadelphia airport; cleaning crew accused of using her card at airport gift shop. Say, are those inflatable neck pillows allowed in jail?

Detour time: A Delta flight from Atlanta to Zurich took a side trip to Halifax, an emergency landing due to “oxygen maintenance issues”. No, we don’t know what that is either, but everyone’s fine and back on their way to yodel land.

Oh, those aching feet: American flight attendant Barbara Beckett retires after 52 years. What are her plans? To travel, of course. Bet when Beckett started out, she too had to wear the girdle.

No beer for you: New Jersey man filed a lawsuit against airlines because he didn’t have a credit card to buy a drink or entertainment and no carriers accept cash anymore. Judge said too bad, tossed the suit.

Puppies! Okay, it’s not much of a story – the TSA showed off its explosives-sniffing black labs for an Albany TV crew – but the mutts are cute and so is the anchorman’s constant use of the word, “doggies”.

Is your airport on the hit list? DC lawmakers are making life interesting again and your airport could get cut if they don’t get their act together. See if yours made the amazing government hit list.

Right bag, wrong bag: The Flight Jacket carry-on for MacBooks ($189) is said to be “the perfect bag” – but it’s so much more fun to read about bags that are very, very wrong.

Raging video: Man arrives at airport in China too late to board his plane. Man is unhappy. Man then trashes the gate area in a rage. He may have also played the “Do you know who I am?” card since he is a Chinese party official. See video below!

Argonauts: Why are we reporting on Ben Affleck’s Oscar win? Because of the movie’s exciting airplane scene. Look elsewhere, though, if you hope to see any snakes.

Mars flight: Millionaire wants to go to Mars and he thinks it’ll be possible in 5 years. Problem: the 36 million mile trip will take about a year-and-a-half. Hope he manages to get a nice comfy aisle seat – and not one of these monstrosities.

Modesty uproar: Proposed flight attendant uniforms for Turkish Airlines feature really long skirts for optimal cabin crew coverage, but some in Istanbul say, “Hot pants, please.”

Whee: United plane slides off icy runway in Cleveland giving passengers an exciting ending to their flight. No one was hurt (otherwise, we never would have said “whee” ).

Idea for first class rich guys: Columnist suggests first class should be moved to the rear of the plane so those of us in steerage won’t be oppressed by all the lavish luxuries.

Human-trafficking passport scam: Some Somalis pay a thousand bucks for a fake passport to go to Europe which is probably not what Turkish Airlines had in mind when it became the first airline to fly to Mogadishu in 20 years.

Raging video: Watch as the action really heats up at about 1:30.

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Published: February 25, 2013