Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of March 31

This week: Lots of crazy stuff like Wi-Fi for cats plus one to remember – a hero saves a life – see the video.

LISTEN Alex Williams and Anne McDermott dish the details; don’t miss their wildly different takes on ‘true romance’.

Odd, Unusual and Just Plain Strange

Hero – and we don’t use the term lightly: After a woman fell on the tracks of a Chicago Blue Line train Wednesday, she was saved by off-duty TSA officer Eddie Palacios who jumped into the path of the oncoming train hoping to stop it before it hit them both. It worked (video from DNAinfo Chicago below). Palacios doesn’t call himself a hero but we do: A hero does something scary, dangerous, difficult and not their job, but does it because it’s right. Said the 50 year old O’Hare screener, “We’re good in America, but we still need each other. I hope one day if I need something, my kids need something, somebody else needs something, somebody will be there. That’s what I hope and pray for.”

Supremes say OK to dump griping frequent flyer: You might think the U.S. Supreme Court has weightier matters to rule on but they made time for the case of a man who was kicked out of Northwest’s frequent flyer program (now Delta) for “complaining too often about getting bumped from flights and repeatedly seeking compensation the airline considered unfair.” The judges said airlines can do this.

Cleveland hit again: United has made more cuts at its one-time Ohio hub, dropping flights to Baltimore and Albany as of early June. The airline blames “regional-carrier pilot shortages.”

Is Southwest growing old? Well, welcome to the club, Southwest, but a new Wall Street Journal article on the 43 year old carrier offers lots of detail on how the little upstart is turning into a legacy carrier, complete with big-time ticket prices (up 21 percent since 2008, according to the WSJ).

Travel with kids: It’s never easy to fly with children – well, until they turn 30 or so – but we have some great tips that’ll help (like stocking up on candy and old toys). Check out, “Pack This, Not That.”

SpiceJet deals: If you’re in India, hurry to take advantage of one rupee deals, yep, just one. If you’re not in India, at least you get to see a cool airline name like SpiceJet but Rick Seaney has written about even cooler ones.

April Fools pictures and video: Did you see our story on the various, amusing airline stunts? It’s worth a look if only to see the Wi-Fi cat.

Smoke in the cabin: A JetBlue flight heading from Ft. Lauderdale to Kingston, Jamaica had to return to Florida after a report of a “smoke odor”. All landed safely except six people were injured somehow as they exited the plane (you have to be careful sliding down those chutes).

We missed this one about 500 pound man: Before you get too excited, this 22 year old fellow has a rare hormonal disorder that affects body growth. The real story goes back to November when British Airways flew him to the U.S. so he could be treated at the Mayo Clinic but would not fly him home. Enter BA’s arch-rival Virgin Atlantic who did fly him home and reaped the ensuing publicity.

Alleged creep: A 67 year old man on a Delta flight from LA to Salt Lake starts chatting with the 15 year old girl next to him then starts touching her and yes, ‘inappropriately’ is the word. Upon landing, she complained to a TSA officer, and the guy was quickly arrested.

$38 club sandwich: Sure, they’re tasty but 38 bucks? That’s what you’ll pay for a turkey/bacon delight if you order it from room service in Helsinki. Go to Denver, it’ll only cost $12 (but don’t forget the tip).

Would you do this? Woman sees man of her dreams on a flight but neglects to get his last name. American helps her indirectly track down the guy via Twitter. They connect. Happy ending? Stay tuned for updates. If you’re lusting for more romance in the meantime, see the video (right after the TSA video).

VIDEO Off-duty TSA officer doesn’t hesitate to do the right thing.


VIDEO An airport proposal. The question is popped at 2:45.


Published: March 31, 2014