Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of July 28, 2014

This week: Entertainingly awful passengers and entertainingly good video.

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Anne McDermott and Alex Williams are glad they’re not sitting next to these guys.

Strange, Weird, Unusual, Odd

New Caribbean destination for JetBlue: Starting Dec. 2, the popular airline begins flights to Curacao. You know, where the blue drink comes from.

Sometimes, you just have to grab what’s handy:  A Thompson Airways flight had to be diverted to London after a woman allegedly went nuts and began throwing food at the crew. Then she threw her artificial leg. No one’s sure what the problem was but the passenger was definitely peeved. “She was swearing blue murder,” said an airline spokesman.

Southwest and SeaWorld: According to a press release, the airline and the marine park have “mutually decided not to renew their partnership when the contract expires” later this year. Reasons given included “shifting priorities” for both. Southwest’s three SeaWorld planes – painted to resemble marine creatures including a killer whale – will return to the regular Southwest livery. In case you were wondering, there was no mention of Blackfish.

Mid-air molestation #1: A former pilot for a Delta contractor accused of fondling a 14-year-girl during a Delta flight last fall (he was off-duty) has now been sentenced to two years in prison.

Mid-air molestation #2: This one involved a 19-year-old female passenger who claimed a male seatmate fondled her on a flight to Amsterdam two years ago; for some reason it took a while for those wheels of justice to turn but media reports indicate the guy eventually confessed and has now been charged with the crime. However, his whereabouts at the moment are unknown.

Stowaway’s body found in wheel well: Kind of scary on multiple levels – the body of a boy was found in the wheel well of an U.S. military plane. Where did he come from and how did he get that close to the plane? Initial speculation is that the youngster got inside when the aircraft was on a “routine mission to Africa” as CBS reports, but what does this say about security?

Oddest item missing from an airport: How about copper? Airport electricians at Albuquerque’s airport reportedly took part in a scheme to sell copper wiring that used to be under a runway that’s no longer in use – about 9,000 pounds worth – which was sold for $16,000. That’s a lot of pennies. It’s also not clear if what they did was illegal but the cops have been called in.

Capt. Happy – not: Someone recorded/leaked this priceless and testy exchange between a Delta pilot and an air traffic controller in Atlanta. Apparently, the pilot was on the wrong taxi-way but did not like being called out on it. Which led to this (shortened to include only the good stuff):

  • Pilot: “Your attitude is really something, sir.”
  • ATC: “Settle down, Capt. Happy.”

Cue Pharrell Williams. In case you’re wondering, Delta told CNN that “passenger safety was never compromised” – unless they heard this and their ears were burning.

The child you don’t want to sit next to: A family aboard a Delta flight from Beijing to Detroit reportedly allowed their toddler to defecate on his seat, despite repeated pleas from  fellow passengers to take him to the bathroom. On the bright side, the family did spread a newspaper on the seat before the, uh, performance.

Best airline seats: If you live in the U.S., you probably aren’t sitting in one; these SkyTrax “best seats” awards were dominated by Asian and Middle Eastern carriers. Best of the best for first class: Emirates.

New airline name, maybe: Malaysia Airlines is considering rebranding in the wake of “back-to-back tragedies” as RT reports. Can’t blame them.

LAX is free and clear: The so called “Century Crunch” construction  outside Los Angles International which included taking a bridge down has been completed and did not make too many drivers crazy [well, yours truly was a little angsty]. See the time-lapse bridge demolition video #1 below.

Dogs want to be petted: Airport stress-relieving dogs wear vests that say ‘Pet Me’ as you can see in video #2 below. Tip: Security canines should not be petted.

VIDEO #1: If you’ve ever wanted to see a bridge come crashing down, don’t get too excited since this bridge sort of lumbers down – still cool, though. The real action starts around 1:10.

VIDEO #2: Watch a guy find the dog’s ‘secret spot’ at :25.

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Published: July 28, 2014