Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of May 19, 2014

This week: Celebrities, fancy jewels, overly-expensive stuff – hey, sounds like Kim and Kanye’s wedding!

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Anne McDermott and Alexandria Williams with more delectable details.

Strange, Unusual and Just Plain Odd

Unusual obstruction on runway: The Southwest plane was heading to the runway in Houston for take-off to Tampa when the pilot noticed something odd – a guy on the runway. Just standing there. But not for long. He was taken to a hospital for observation. But how did he get there?

Romance is dead: We’re talking about the romance of flying! It’s deal alright but as USA Today points out, it lives on in vintage advertisements. Our favorites show a fat-cat businessman sitting in what looks like a La-Z-Boy smugly puffing away on a stogie, and pictures of a seven course meal. That’s right, seven.

Hail, Denver: Storms in Colorado Wednesday damaged six Frontier planes. The culprit was hail. Very bad hail, apparently, since they had to cancel 16 flights.

Jay Z in Atlanta: The music entrepreneur’s 40/40 Club opened at Hartsfield-Jackson International but unfortunately, it doesn’t sound as though either Mr. Z or Ms. B was there. Perhaps too busy getting ready for the Kim-and-Kanye wedding show? [Wait, are they going? Hard to keep up with all this gossip stuff.]

Southwest breaks bad for Albuquerque: Just our ever-topical way of pointing out that the airline is dropping 11 flights a day out of the New Mexico city and no, we don’t think the end of the popular TV show had anything to do with it. Maybe.

TSA naked scanners find a new home: You know those ‘invasive’ scanners that eventually got ditched by airport security? They’re now being used in prisons! As a news report dryly notes, “privacy concerns raised by airport passengers do not apply in many cases to prisoners.”

Costly California: Airports in the state are among the most expensive places to fly out of. Cheapest cities are Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.  Or so says Wallet Hub.

Emeralds and shrunken heads: Those are just some of the valuables that have gone missing during traveling, but we know where they wound up.

Odd story of the week: Nurses at a hospital in China have supposedly taken to dressing up as flight attendants in a bid to improve the hospital’s service. How many fantasies can you spot?

Wait, it gets worse: Headline of a story on Australia’s number one newsite: “Do pilots really hook up with flight attendants?” Answer: Not so much.

Burning bread crumbs: That’s what grounded an American Airlines flight heading from Boston to Miami over the weekend, a burning smell that turned out to be extra crispy bread crumbs in an oven. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time a carrier served me bread crumbs.

Now this is the way to fly: Air France unveils the elegant new Premiere class on its Boeing 777s in a nice little video below. Wish I could be more descriptive but my high school French is le très bad.

Venezuela flight suspensions: As CNN reports, first Air Canada suspended flights to Venezuela and now Alitalia is doing the same (as of June 2). Main problem: The government reportedly collects the money for flights, but hasn’t been passing it along to the airlines. Plenty of other carriers still fly to this South American country – so far, anyway.

VIDEO: Cool Air France cabins – on long-haul flights starting in September.


Published: May 19, 2014