Weird Travel Stories & Video: Week Ending March 21

This week: A movie star makes an airline video (we’ve got it).

Weird, Strange & Wonderful Travel Stories

TSA goof? Big uproar because the TSA supposedly allowed a “notorious convicted felon” into its PreCheck program. No one is naming any names, sadly, but we are told the felonious individual spent “years in prison.” For what we do not know.

Ryanair’s U-turn: The BBC reports the discount carrier is doing an about-face on those 10 euro/10 buck fares across the Atlantic. Was it a trial balloon or just another wacky statement?

Uh-oh: A Canadian tourist in Cabo San Lucas died this week when her whale watching boat was hit by a whale. Note: This is said to be pretty much unheard of, and may be the first such incident of its kind.

Another ‘bad passenger’ incident: United called it a situation where a passenger aboard a DC-to-Denver flight “failed to comply with crew” but everyone else called it, ‘guy charges cockpit, has to be taken down by fellow passengers.’ Plane returned to Dulles, alleged bad passenger was detained and everyone else was stuck in the nation’s capital until the next morning.

The Michael Jordan of airlines: That would be Virgin America, according to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight who says the carrier “was faster than its competition on 87 percent of the routes they had in common.” And to think we like them for their comfy seats and amusing videos.

LUV-in at Chicago Midway: Southwest Airlines (stock symbol: LUV!) marks its 30th anniversary at Chicago’s Midway Airport with a big celebration. We’re not sure what will happen, but one news story says the festivities “will be most evident” at terminal gates where passengers arrive and depart. We hope this is a clue: Southwest’s website announcement of the big day features a picture of a cupcake. Yes, please!

The Face of Etihad: Actress Nicole Kidman made a lovely video for the Middle East’s Etihad Airways which may not make you want to go anywhere but will make you want to hang out in one of these amazing airplane suites. UPDATE: A U.S. flight attendant’s union asked the Oscar winner to please stop endorsing Etihad because they are not nice to their female employees whereupon Etihad said, are so. This spat may have a lot more to do with competition than any labor practices.

VIDEO: The posh Nicole on a very posh plane.

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Updated: November 17, 2015