Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week Ending Oct. 4

This week: Poor robots. They can’t enjoy delicious sausage snacks. But maybe they’ll like our video.

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Alex Williams and Anne McDermott on the wurst case scenario.

Strange, Weird, Unusual, Odd Stories

Hello.Human. Someone had a complaint about United, so they sent an email and got one in return that began, “Dear Mr. Human”. Darn those robots, they’re taking over everything.

Free food! Fly Airberlin on Oct. 3 – German Unity Day – and you will get complimentary currywurst. We checked with ever-vigilant Wikipedia which describes this snack as “steamed then fried pork sausage seasoned with curry ketchup.”  If they’re trying to curry favor with passengers, it’s not the wurst idea (though perhaps that sentence was).

Ryanair’s half-price bags! Well, golf bags, anyway – they’ll be half-price for just a week (Oct. 2-13). It’s in honor of Europe retaining the Ryder Cup. Knowing how fee-crazy Ryanair is, that musta hurt and had the U.S. won, would fees be doubled? Questions, questions.

The old cocaine-in-the-shoes trick: A woman from Jamaica got off a JetBlue flight at JFK and was stopped by customs officials who allegedly found $64,000 worth of cocaine inside two pairs of platform sandals and a Chanel purse.

Quit your job and travel: A BBC report explains how one couple is doing this: They sold their house  then started traveling the world (and may be in the process of spending all their money, though that’s not clear). Hope they know about FareCompare.

Ebola patient’s flight: According to the New York Times, the first individual to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. flew to Dallas in September to visit family. He was not showing any symptoms at the time and medical authorities say there is “zero chance” he could have infected anyone on the flight which may be why the airline is not being named.

Worst person in the world: That’s what Ryan Case, editor and sometime director of ABC’s Modern Family tweeted the other day while seated near a drunken young woman with entitlement issues (“my first time not in first class”). The allegedly bad passenger got worse and worse, getting angry, slinging the F-word around, etc. Best from Ms. Case: “I’m tweeting this so one of you will fund my defense team at my eventual murder trial.” My hero.

How long does it take to fly 8,500 miles? 15 hours and 30 minutes on an Airbus 380 and we know this because Qantas began flying this aircraft from Sydney to Dallas this week. For those keeping score, that’s the world’s longest scheduled commercial flight.

New United ad: This latest TV ad has some interesting camera angles (see it below). All we can say is, bottoms up!

Nasty tweets about Chicago fire/delays: Actually, many weren’t too bad! But words like “mayhem” and “chaotic day from hell” cropped up with understandable frequency. Yet one tweeter paused the vitriol long enough to give American Airlines props because the airline gave all those poor stranded souls standing in never-ending lines free bottles of water. [Still stranded? We have airline contact info here]

PEOPLExpress suspends service: The airline that tried to bring back the magic of its ’80s-era namesake with cheap flights to fun cities has suspended service. It’s supposed to be temporary (they hope to resume flights in mid-Oct.). We hope so.

Hello? You there? The FCC is open to allowing cell phone calls – actual conversations! – to take place on airplanes. However, in a letter to the agency from 75+ members of Congress, it is pointed out that if a plane can be diverted by a fight about reclining seats, what could happen during phone fights? P.S. Nice to see you representatives agreeing on something.

VIDEO: United’s latest ad. Watch for the crowd-surfing action at the end.

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Updated: November 7, 2014