Bad Storm Delays Flights, Hero Pilots and JetBlue's Steven Slater Speaks Out

Midwest Storms Close Chicago’s O’Hare

Terrible storm in the Midwest yesterday cancelled hundreds of flights out of Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway yesterday.

Weather forecasters said the storm had everything from rain, hail, tornadoes and cyclonic winds.

What to Do When Bad Weather Delays Your Flight

If something like this ever affects one of your flights, the key is to be “first in line” to get on the next plane – since there are a lot fewer seats than there used to be.

  • If you’re at the airport, get in line for a gate agent immediately
  • At the same time, get on the phone and call the airline
  • Check out Twitter – airlines often use this network for updates on flight problems
  • Be patient – the airlines can’t do much about Mother Nature, and a cheerful attitude will make airline reps more inclined to help you

By the way – this Chicago-area storm is being touted as the worst in 35 years – since the 1975 storm that sunk the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior – which some of you may recall was immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot.

Famous Pilots Honored

Last week, the FAA handed out its Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards to six legendary pilots who’ve proven to be experts – and who also have been prove to be safe pilots, for 50 years.

The honorees included the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong – the last man to walk on the moon, Gene Cernan – and, Arnold Palmer. Yep, the golfer is a pilot, and a good one: according to the FAA, “in 1976 he set the around-the world speed record for the Lear 36, a mark that still stands today.” And he swings a mean club, too.

JetBlue’s Sliding Flight Attendant Comes Clean

You remember JetBlue’s Steven Slater; he’s the flight attendant who got angry and bailed out of the plane via the emergency chute, thereby losing his job and gaining celebrity status at the same time.

The former flight attendant told CNN’s Larry King last night that it was a “perfect storm of bad manners” – meaning, rudeness on the part of some passengers – and himself.

Things You Didn’t Know about the Ex-JetBlue Flight Attendant

The interview was pretty revealing; for example, did you know the following?

  • Slater is the son of an American Airlines pilot and flight attendant
  • Back in July of 1996, he was set to work a return flight for TWA Flight 800 before it crashed just minutes after taking off from JFK
  • He is a self-described “recovering alcoholic” who admitted he had a “few sips” of an alcoholic beverage during his ill-fated flight, but denies he was drunk (though he did grab a couple of beers before heading down that inflatable exit slide)
  • He’s coming out with a book, of course – it will be called, “Cabin Pressure”

Photo from CNN

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Published: October 27, 2010