Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of June 2, 2014

This week: A treasure trove of travel tidbits on bad dogs, bad passengers and bad selfies. But our video’s good!

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Alexandria Williams and Anne McDermott have all the messy details.  

Strange, Weird or Just Plain Odd

Record number of guns at airport: A Charlotte TV station reports 18 guns were found in carry-on luggage in a single day, a record. The latest figures from the TSA (May 30) show 46 guns were confiscated that week: 41 were loaded and 17 had rounds chambered. Know what almost everyone says? “I forgot it was there.”

Topless selfies: According to CNN, taking pictures of yourself sans blouse or other covering is the new cool thing. Fine, said the old grump, but what does your Mother think?

See-through airplane cabins: That’s one of the “visions of the future” says CNN (you again?) – a transparent airplane cabin so you can enjoy the view. Or, squeeze yourself into a terror-stricken fetal position/ball of woe if you happen to suffer from fear-of-flying.

SOS – pilot down! In December (and this is only now being reported), a United flight ran into a big problem when the captain suffered a heart attack. Well, not that big, perhaps, since the capable co-pilot was still on the job (and the pilot ultimately recovered) but they still made that blood-curdling announcement: “Can anyone on board fly a plane?”  Someone could, an Air Force bomber pilot who stepped forward but said he didn’t have to do much. We’ll bet the passengers were glad he was there, though.

Hey, kids – be uber-careful out there: A driver for the ride-sharing service Uber is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman in the Los Angeles  area. She told police she’d been bar-hopping, but that’s why you call Uber in the first place, right?

Bam! goes the wing: A water salute at Tampa’s airport to honor the arrival of a Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner “went awry” as they say, meaning one of the plane’s wings smacked into one of the fire trucks providing the salute. Damage was said to be minor but on a plane that costs about $300 million, no repairs are cheap.

More bad passengers: The International Air Transport Association says, whoa, there are more bad passengers than ever. According to their figures, there were 500 incidents in 2007 (involving such things as alcohol, sexual harassment, and on and on) but last year there were 8000 incidents.

Dog poops on plane: A service dog had to do what dogs do – repeatedly – which resulted in a bad smell so the US Airways LA-Philly flight was diverted to Kansas City. Some questions: Articles say the crew “ran out of paper towels” so they couldn’t clean it up, but – there was nothing else?! Diverting the flight was the only option?! Yours truly wasn’t there and hesitates to make judgments [yeah, right] but passengers couldn’t suck it up and finish the flight?!

Designer for flight attendants: Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has new uniforms for its flight attendants by “New York fashion designer Prabal Gurung, whose clothing has been worn by Michelle Obama, the duchess of Cambridge, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lawrence.” If you like a gray blazer with a vivid blue stripe down each arm, you’re gonna love this.

Will play for flight: Two musicians were told by US Airways they couldn’t bring their musical instruments on board a commuter jet so one of the guys – Zach De Pue – whipped out his violin and began to play (see video below) in a vain effort to change the captain’s mind. “Bach would be very upset,” said the talented De Pue.

VIDEO: Man fiddles while his colleague burns (which means there’s a bad word in this video, so you’ve been warned).


Published: June 2, 2014