Not Your Average Air Travel Stories: Week of Sept. 3

Bomb hoax: Chris Shell was upset when his Dallas-bound US Airways flight returned to Philly, but that was nothing compared to his reaction when a SWAT team stormed the plane and cuffed him. Shell’s ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend allegedly called the cops claiming Shell was carrying explosives. Did we mention it was his birthday? Or that Shell was arrested once he finally reached Dallas on an old warrant? Lessons to be learned all around.

It’s war: A fight over a carry-on bag aboard a Chinese airline left a flight attendant with scratches and ripped clothes. The passenger accused of inflicting the damage: a Chinese military officer.

Passenger brawl: They were rolling in the aisles on a recent Swiss Air flight but no one was laughing. It seems Combatant A dared recline his seat while Combatant B (behind him) was trying to eat. B then hits A, and it was on. So much for that vaunted Swiss neutrality.

Down syndrome kid not allowed to board: American Airlines refused to fly a 16-year-old boy with Down syndrome because he was “agitated” but the family’s video shows no such behavior. His mother believes AA simply didn’t want a Down syndrome person in first class.

Old stew update: Remember Ron Akana, the 83-year-old flight attendant we told you about last spring? He just quit. Apparently 63 years with United was enough. Slacker.

His name is mud: Actually Wes Scantlin’s band is called Puddle of Mudd but he’s been charged with mucking about on a JetBlue flight – a performance allegedly involving alcohol. The flight was diverted and the frontman arrested. Passengers will receive $50 for the inconvenience. Oh, those naughty celebs on planes. UPDATE: Charges against the singer are dismissed for lack of evidence.

Achtung, voters: The plane Mitt Romney is flying around on while campaigning used to be U2’s tour plane.

Shark ban: Cathay Pacific says no to shark fins in cargo despite China’s rising appetite for the delicacy. Score one for Jaws.

For the flyer who has everything: Virgin Atlantic is giving away 5 Swarovski crystal-covered eye masks to publicize new amenity kits. Value of each mask: $4,000.

Bling it on: Chinese tourist allegedly swipes $13K diamond at Sri Lanka gem show. Since the suspect swallowed the sparkler, authorities are now simply awaiting  further developments.

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Published: September 7, 2012