Not Your Average Travel Stories: Week of Aug. 12

This week: A noxious brew of celebrities behaving badly, tales of terror and sexy seatmates!

Stupid threat: A 19 year old kid allegedly texted a phony terror message to Emirates Airlines at JFK; no flights were disrupted but the kid’s life sure was what with being arrested and all. No known motive so maybe the Daily News got it right when they called the young man a “nincompoop”.

Heroin in laptop: Customs officials at LAX thought a laptop seemed a little heavy and when they couldn’t get it to start they opened it up to find two pounds of heroin inside. The owner of the laptop who said he manages a Tanzania company offering ‘bird safaris’ pleaded guilty this week so I guess you could say he sang.

Best airline name: SpiceJet – a budget carrier based in India. We imagine cargo holds laden with cinnamon and oregano as passengers are greeted by flight attendant  Posh.

Celebrity mashup avoided: Whew. According to the Daily News, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston missed being on the same British Airways flight by this much. Luckily, an airline employee tipped off Team Aniston which then booked a different flight and peace prevailed throughout the land.

Airline stocks tank: So say the money folks. Now what could have caused that?

Personal jetpack: You’ll be jazzed if you’re old enough to remember the Jetsons because you too may soon be able to fly like Elroy now that aviation authorities in New Zealand have okayed manned test flights for these gizmos.

How to get rich: Become an airport consultant, maybe. LA pols are starting to ask questions about why LAX consultants get such perks as a $3,000 a month apartment. One even got got reimbursed for an executive assistant to the tune of $20K a month. [Forget being a consultant, be an assistant]

Sit down, Soulja: Recording artist Soulja Boy pulled an Alec Baldwin by disobeying orders on an American Airlines flight. His crime? Failure to sit when directed to do so by a flight attendant and yes, he was kicked off the plane. According to the ever-vigilant TMZ, Soulja later apologized, adding, “It was a bad night.” Tip to celebrities – the airline always wins.

Be honest – would you do this? Ride a tube-like capsule that would transport you from LA to San Francisco at a speed of 700 mph (the trip would take 30 minutes or so). I like the idea of skipping the mess at the airport but is this too fast? What if something goes wrong? [As you can clearly see, yours truly has zero knowledge of anything remotely scientific]. What do you think?

Hell no, we won’t go: The Mayor of London’s dream of bulldozing Heathrow (seriously) and building a bigger and better one has hit a snag – like the airlines saying, we’re not moving. Maybe because of all the great shopping at Heathrow.

Sexy flight: Passengers on an Allegiant plane say two frisky seatmates looked very, very friendly during the flight, or as one put it, “This is not the sex education I wanted to give my sons.” By the way, the plane was heading to Vegas, but the incident has about as much chance of staying there as Royal Harry’s hijinks.

$10,000 payout: Asiana Airlines says it’ll pay $10K to each passenger aboard the flight that crash landed at San Francisco’s airport in July (and this is in addition to medical compensation. According to CNN, a spokesman for the airline also noted that anyone who takes them up on the offer “can still sue us.” Good, since lawsuits are already well underway.

Smelly package: An odor determined to be phosphoric acid sickened two people at the JFK airport post office. According to an FBI team, the smell originated in a package from China and it was first thought it might contain nerve gas. Turned out it was beauty supplies.

Pilots fears for Ryanair: A UK paper reports that 9 out of 10 pilots for super-cheap Ryanair think that “aviation authorities should ­investigate how the airline’s employment practices impact on safety”. Also, two thirds of these pilots don’t want to raise these concerns to their employer. Ryanair’s response: “safety is a matter of evidence.”

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Published: August 12, 2013