Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week Ending Sept. 20

This week: Stranded celebs and regular passengers in ugly underwear. But we do have pretty video!

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Alex Williams and Anne McDermott dissect some of the odder items – and they sure are odd.

Strange, Weird, Unusual, Odd

Emergency landing with celebrity onboard: A JetBlue flight made an unscheduled landing in Long Beach after an engine when kaput and smoke filled the cabin. It was scary, said passenger Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale from Twilight, of course) but all got off the plane in one piece.

Blurred flights: Robin Thicke stars in our next celebrity plane caper. It seems he was stuck in Cabo when Hurricane Odile smashed into Mexico but eventually got out. Oh, Angie Everhart was there too but as TMZ carefully notes, they were not together so no point in alerting the tabloids.

Passenger shaming: Thank you, Yahoo, for showing us Facebook’s Passenger Shaming and many of these folks do indeed deserve the shame (we’re looking at you, shirtlessguy and blackbikiniunderpantsguy). Some of the photos will leave you speechless (and make the mutts on Dog Shaming look like geniuses in comparison).

Fall is fabulous: So don’t just sit there, go see some pretty leaves! Not sure where to go? Funny you should ask since we have some ideas.

Like a giant banana: Spirit is painting its planes a vivid, neon yellow (photo here!). We already know Southwest and Frontier are sprucing up their aircraft and travel analyst Rick Seaney says, “You know an airline is profitable when it has money to paint its planes.”

 Air Chihuahua: A program in partnership with United Airlines that finds new homes for tiny dogs just had its 500th passenger and yes, there is video. Note the look of suspicion on the face of Chewy the Chihuahua.

Air Cocaine: Some drug-related doings at Venezuela’s Maiquetia airport where a plane had to return after take-off because somebody jammed a suitcase full of cocaine into the wheel well so the landing gear couldn’t go back inside. Among those arrested was one of the guys responsible for airport security.

Big buyouts for flight attendants? That’s what everyone is saying about United’s offer of up to $100,000 if you leave your job (but note the words, “up to”). Don’t congratulate anyone just yet though. Say you’re in your 50’s and got a couple of kids about to go to college; how far will the buyout get you? OK, OK better than nothing, hey, that’s life, etc. etc.

Mind your manners! Prof. Seaney’s etiquette class for passengers and flight attendants is now in session. Lesson One: Do not draw blood.

Passing the odor test: Cabbies are crying foul over one of the criteria for drivers at San Diego’s airport which is body odor (a lack of it gives you a passing mark). Some guys are saying, hey, the stink might come from our cabs which from time to time may contain vomit. Oh, great.

And speaking of vomit: A story on airline biohazards talks about the experiences of three different passengers whose seats were covered in A.) vomit, B.) blood, and C.) urine (“I knew it was human urine because of the very distinctive odor.”) Are you sure you weren’t in a San Diego cab?

VIDEO: Ever wonder how good pilots are? Pretty darn good judging by this landing on a super short runway in Honduras.

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Published: September 15, 2014