Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of March 24

This week: Crime capers from murder to theft. But that’s okay, we also have dancing flight attendant video.

LISTEN Grab a pack of peanuts, recline that ‘comfy’ coach seat and savor dazzling commentary from Alex Williams and Anne McDermott.

Oddest Stories of the Week

Oh, dear I: At least six have been arrested in what media reports call a “ring of baggage handlers” who allegedly looted jewelry and electronics from bags at LAX then sold the stuff on Craigslist. Most of the theft apparently took place at the international terminal, and Terminal 4 where American Airlines hangs its hat.

Oh, dear II: First, American Airlines lost a hearing-impaired couple’s luggage. When the bags were eventually delivered to their home, they were accompanied by paper work describing the couple as “deaf and dumb”. The latter is an archaic term referring to the inability to speak or as the couple might put it, a dumb thing to say.

Press release of the week: “Luxury properties in Scotland celebrate Whisky Month in May”. In unrelated news, airlines are adding tons of flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh (yes, we made that part up).

Murder mystery: The death of specialty fares – like bereavement discounts – was no accident, says ace investigator Rick Seaney who reveals the real killer. Spoiler alert!

Pop the champagne: 2013 was Virgin America’s first fully profitable year – all four quarters – since it began flying in 2007. The airline’s $10 million profit is even more impressive considering it lost $145 million the year before.

Flight attendant threatened: “Your days are numbered,” is what an official from  Trinidad & Tobago allegedly told a female flight attendant on a Caribbean Airlines flight this week and the man was promptly fired. The fellow had held the government post of Minister of the People.

Flight attendant makes joke: Upon landing, a JetBlue flight attendant told the passengers, “Welcome to Aruba.” Only problem is they landed in Buffalo, but people often mistake the two.

Hey, boomers: The AARP announces a new website for travelers who are getting up there or as the French put it, “of a certain age”. Mais oui. But maybe all you really needno matter how old you are is the Deals Blog.

Who needs Vegas: If you like slots you may someday be able to find them at Philadelphia Airport. What the heck? Yes, a city councilman wants gaming at PHL (to raise money for schools, of course) but cooler heads say the idea faces “long odds.”

Airline won’t charge for bathrooms: CBS reports on Spirit’s popularity which is soaring despite the fact that so many slam it but the good news is, the airline’s chief promises he’ll never charge for using the restrooms, as least “as long as I’m CEO.”  Tip: You get what you pay for.

Friendly/unfriendly cities: HuffPo has a list of the friendliest and not-so cheery cities which is interesting to say the least. Friendliest? Cancun. Least friendly? Moscow. Not a single U.S. city made either list.

Flight attendant dances: Our guess is that flight attendant Michael Tongko heard the Virgin America safety demo video one time too many and just went nuts – in a charming and helpful way. See him groove in the video below.

VIDEO: The man can dance.


Published: March 24, 2014