Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of July 7, 2014

This week: Stranded veterans, tons of pizza, not enough Beatles. Plus two charming videos.

LISTEN: Alex Williams and Anne McDermott provide context, color, confusion.

Strange, Weird, Unusual and Odd

Nice one, Southwest: A group of elderly veterans were supposed to board a Southwest flight home to St. Louis after visiting the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. when bad weather and ‘other issues’ canceled their flight. But as the group’s leader began the slog of trying to find new flights for everyone, Southwest sent a plane and new crew just for them. Very, very nice. But had it not worked out this way, these guys would have endured it. They spent years of their lives in a brutal, exhausting fight to save the world. And they did save the world. I’m sure there’s nothing they can’t do.

Pizza pilot: The Frontier flight to Denver had to divert to Cheyenne, Wyoming because of storms. It  was late, the passengers were tired and hungry. Who ya gonna call? Dominos! At least that’s what the anonymous pilot did, ordering up 35 pizzas that were delivered to passengers. We like your style, Captain. UPDATE: We erred. Turns out it was 50 pizzas. And yes, Capt. Gerhard Bradner paid for them out of his own pocket.

Fab Four+Southwest: We do not mean to suggest the Beatles are endorsing the Texas-based airline, only that Southwest is using John, Paul, George and Ringo’s song “All You Need is Love” in new ads. Southwest gets an A for  using the Beatles hymn, but an F for replacing the lads with a cover band (as you will hear in video #1 below).

Glenn Miller plane crash:  The famous bandleader from the 1930s and 1940s who gave us “In the Mood” joined the army during WWII  then disappeared forever when his plane went down somewhere over the English Channel. Now a TV show, PBS’s History Detectives will explore the mystery which can be summed up in two words: What happened?

5 worst U.S. airlines of all time: We won’t keep you in suspense; The Street says they are Air South, Braniff 3, Independence Air, Skybus, ValuJet. Gee, I kind of liked Skybus.

Record-setting passenger: Charlie Furusho has set a world record for flying the most airlines – 156 of them, all over the globe. So what does Mr. Furusho do for a living? He is an aviation photographer.

TSA hound goes AWOL: If you’ve seen TSA K-9 dog BiBi, she escaped her owner’s home. Maybe she was just sick and tired of sniffing your luggage. UPDATE: BiBi has been found, safe and sound.

Planes fall in Montana river: When we say “planes” we mean Boeing 737 fuselages; three of them fell into western Montana’s Clark Fork River following a train derailment. According to KWCH TV, Boeing said, “We have deployed experts to the scene to begin a thorough assessment of the situation.” We can start you off: Planes are wet.

Video of OMG near-collision: Yikes! That’s probably what a couple of pilots were saying when they nearly collided at Barcelona’s airport (see video #2 below). According to Jalopnik, an Aerolineas Argentineas plane was crossing a runway just as a Utair plane was coming in for a landing. Not good!

VIDEO #1: A Beatles song graces a Southwest ad.


VIDEO #2: Thank goodness someone was thinking fast. Nice work, Mr. Pilot!


Published: July 7, 2014