Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of May 6

This week: Missing bodies, red lipstick makes a comeback – and so does the naked protestor!

Oh, dear: Delta goofs, sends wrong bodies to two different funeral homes [Question: uh, how was this mistake discovered?]. One family is taking it in strike though, as USA Today reports: “I’m sure he’s laughing about it,” said a woman of her misplaced uncle. “I know he is. He went with the flow.”

Red lipstick – UPDATE: Turkish Airlines has reversed its earlier ban on brightly colored lipstick amid accusations it was trying to – as news reports put it – “Islamize” the company. Guess what turned it around? Social media strikes again.

Naked American Hero: At least that’s what some are calling Oregon’s John Brennan who took off all his clothes at a TSA checkpoint in Portland last year. He was acquitted of indecent exposure and is now battling a fine for ‘interference with screening.’ And no, Mr. Brennan is not the TSA’s only naked protestor.

Attn. social media stars: Do you wear your Twitter/Facebook popularity like a badge of honor? American Airlines wants you – in its VIP lounge – if you win their contest, that is. Hey, we can help! Follow @Farecompare and go ahead and like us (heck, you can even love us).

Them’s fighting words: Southwest CEO says rival Frontier is “nickel and diming” its customers. Sure looks that way with the new $2 Dr. Pepper fee.

This takes the cake: Ever-frugal Spirit Airlines drops its toll-free customer service number in favor of regular area code number. In Spiritland, every penny counts.

TSA wasting money? Say it ain’t so: TSA spends $800K a year on storage space the size of a football field that is “unneeded”. They did put some screening machines there but maybe forgot about them because the equipment became obsolete before it was ever used.

Packing app: Before you start stuffing the old Samsonite, might want to check out new app featuring “list filtering by both person and bag, filter-related enhancements to its Expert list making tool, an option to email-export a partial, filtered portion of a list to an individual family member”. I guess back in the olden days we just shoved those socks and undies in – you know, we packed.

Attention luxury-lovers: A recent press release from the Privileged World Travel Club extols the virtues of pampering (I’m with ya, pal) but the best part is the names of the membership levels, which include Prestigious, Regal, Majestic, Royal and our favorite, “Imperatorial”.

Surf’s up, China: Los Angeles has just opened a new tourism office in Shanghai and LA’s mayor heads to China to tout Southern California’s charms later this month. Good thing he’s going now since he leaves office in June, right?

Baggage theft in Italy: Police arrest 86 Alitalia employees – mostly baggage handlers – for stealing valuables from luggage. One guy is seen on video “attempting to break into a suitcase by stabbing it several times.” Quanto terribile!*

*How awful!

In vino veritas: Did you know United uncorked 7 million bottles of wine last year? Did you know a half-bottle on Frontier can cost you 15 bucks? [Kenwood Russian River Pinot Noir, for those keeping score]

The doctor is in, for a fee: Lots of buzz over Frontier’s new soft drink charge. Starting July 1, pay $2 for that delightfully refreshing Dr. Pepper (ditto coffee and water).

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Published: May 6, 2013