Not Your Average Travel Stories: Week of Aug. 5

This week: Cheap flights, famous flight attendants – honestly, does it get any better?

Famous flight attendants: Our list of top celebrity flight attendants includes a slippery fellow, a 1950s gym teacher and a future king’s grandma. See if you can ID these folks.

Cheap flights: Aer Lingus has really cheap deals to Europe starting at just $539 round-trip. Alright, so they’re not good for travel until Nov. and yeah it might be chilly – but that’s why they invented coats! Tip: Check out the Deals Blog every day. No kidding.

Finally, a Twitter feed worth following: Well, besides @farecompare, that is! But if you haven’t checked out @unitedairlanes do so now (note spelling – do not confuse it with @united). Sample tweet: “This is your captain reminding you to fasten your seat belts; we may experience some mild turbulence as we surf this sweet tornado hell yeah”. UPDATE: Darn it! The @unitedairlanes account is now suspended.

Passenger-of-size solution? Airlines tell overweight travelers to buy two seats but boy-oh-boy can that get expensive. Now some genius has come up with the idea of buying an extra ‘half seat’ (someone else would buy the other half). Your thoughts, please – workable or nuts?

Drunk and disorderly: Alright, this US Airways passenger was only allegedly drunk on a flight to Barcelona but witnesses say he was so allegedly drunk that he threatened crew members and had to be restrained. The plane then turned around and headed back to Philly. Clearly this guy had not read the Dos and Don’ts of Drinking on a Plane.

Breast case scenario: A woman complained of being harassed by an American flight attendant who suggested she use a blanket while breastfeeding; the woman preferred not to (she was in a window seat and said the snack session wasn’t offending anyone). American apologized while noting breastfeeding should be conducted with a “certain discretion and sense of modesty.” Thoughts?

Africa hub airport ravaged: A huge fire swept through the international terminal at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Airport this week. BBC sources first indicated the eastern African airport – a main tourism gateway – would be closed indefinitely but domestic and cargo flights might resume later this week. If you’re heading to or through Nairobi, check with your airline ASAP.

What terror alert: The worldwide terror alert hasn’t put a damper on flying, or so says USA Today. As one traveler put it, “Stuff happens, even in your local town.” Ever wonder if there’s an alert where you’re heading? Find out at Travel.State.Gov.

It ain’t Las Vegas: E-gambling at Minneapolis airport bars and restaurants was supposed to raise $3 million this year alone to help fund a new Vikings Stadium. Hey, slackers! Time to step it up. So far all that’s been raised is a little over $33,000.

Hell flight: You have to figure any article that begins with the headline “Mass vomiting” is going to get attention which no doubt thrills Qantas but no one’s blaming them for an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that slammed 26 passengers during a flight from Santiago to Sydney. Which was worse, the 14-hour flight or the mere 10 lavatories?

And speaking of lavatories: San Diego has installed what’s believed to be the nation’s first indoor “airport pooch potty.” People like it because you don’t have to go outside then back through security. Dogs like it because – well, they’re dogs.

That didn’t take long: Woman files suit against Southwest for its July 22 nose-first landing, saying she suffered permanent injuries. No comment from the airline.


Published: August 5, 2013