Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of Aug. 4, 2014

This week: Wrong-way flights, angry tweets, ugly passengers. Now make it all better with amusing video.

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Alex Williams and Anne McDermott dish the details.

Strange, Weird, Unusual, Odd

Bad baggage handler: Or so says the Daily Mail about a bag wrangler at an airport in Russia but if you ask us, he doesn’t hold a candle to these guys.

Passport app: United is testing an app to scan your passport when you check in (like, from home). Saves you a trip to the airport counter, although you’ll still have to do that if you have visas to verify.

Round-the-world flights: The Wall Street Journal looks at how to find tickets to take you all around the world and prices start as low as $3,600. The key is international airline alliances.

Fun billboards: Southwest wants everyone in Dallas to know they’ll soon be flying to more cities non-stop thanks to the end of that bizarre piece of legislation known at the Wright Amendment so they’ve put up a bunch of amusing billboards with slogans like “LAXOXO” (Los Angeles), “SAN DIEGO-GO-GO-GO” and “FASTLANTA” (Atlanta).

Even big shots make mistakes: Like Southwest CEO Gary Kelly who once boarded a flight from San Francisco to Dallas only to learn an hour into the flight that the plane was not going to Dallas but to – New York! As USA Today reports, Mr. Airline Executive got on the wrong plane (and charmingly concedes it was his own fault).

Serial stowaway: A woman who reportedlysuffers “major mental illness” managed to sneak aboard a Southwest flight departing San Jose, Calif. and flew to Los Angeles (she’s tried to board numerous other flights in the past). She was arrested at LAX. So what does this say about the airport and airline security? UPDATE 8-8-14: Oh, dear, this poor woman just got arrested again. Apparently, cops were keeping an eye out for her figuring she’d make another attempt.

Pilot buzzes mall: This occurred back in 2012 but newly-released FAA documents indicate a US Airways pilot in a small aircraft buzzed a mall near Wicomico County, Maryland – flying a mere 500 feet above it. Apparently, he meant to do this over his home which was nearby. Was he trying to see if the kids were doing their homework? Who knows? In any event, the pilot no longer flies for US Airways.

Imposter inspector: The pilot of a small plane that crashed in San Diego last week was still recovering in the hospital (and mourning her 78 year old mother who was killed in the crash) when an FAA inspector stopped by to interview her. After he left, the real FAA guy showed up. No one knows who the imposter was or what he got out of this. In case you’re wondering, no celebrities were involved in this crash.

Worst airline tweets: Yahoo Travel has collected a bunch of them. Our favorite (and one of the few we can actually publish): “Hey @Delta can you at least buy me dinner? I usually like to get wined and dined after something like this”. P.S. We’re not sticking it to Delta, other airlines got much worse.

Another day, another disruptive passenger: The latest episode of When Passengers Misbehave took place aboard an American flight from Dallas to Boston when  a 55-year-old woman allegedly ran to the cockpit and attacked a flight attendant. She had to be restrained as the plane diverted to Nashville then compounded her problem – allegedly – by assaulting the officers who arrested her.

TSA/Emmy ad: If you haven’t caught this ad for the upcoming Emmy awards, take a look; host Seth Meyers has a tough time getting through security. Thanks, tastefullyoffensive!

VIDEO: See everything you should NOT bring through a security checkpoint.

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Published: August 4, 2014