Monthly Archives: December 2005

Drunk Passenger Dumped Off On Tiny Island

A drunken passenger was dropped off on a remote island off the coast of Africa after he became abusive on the Monarch Airlines flight from Manchester, England, to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.  The passenger, who was abusive to staff after being refused more alcohol, was dropped off on the remote island of Porto Santo off the west coast of Africa.  The passenger was described as "short and stocky."  I’m not sure why I’m telling you that, but the article notes it.  No word on how Mr. Stocky got back to Manchester.

Woman Sues Northwest Over Spilled Hot Water

A Chinese woman is suing Northwest Airlines after she was burned by a spilled cup of hot water five years ago.  The story is kind of involved (feel free to read the link), but in short some hot water spilled on a woman, she was taken to an emergency room at Narita Airport, Northwest refused to pay for the bill and the woman sued.  Northwest agreed to pay her, but she wants an apology, which Northwest refuses to give.  There ya go.

US Airways CEO: Charlotte Fares Will Stay High

Bad news for you guys in the Charlotte area:  You may have been excited by the prospect of lower fares now that US Airways has become a lowcost carrier.  No dice.  CEO Doug Parker said in an interview that the oppressive fare structure in the city (which is dominated by US Airways) will probably continue owing to the high costs of operating so many regional jets out of the airport.  That’s terrible for consumers.  But it’s a smart business move—for too long airlines have been charging fares that don’t cover their costs.  It’s hard to begrudge US Airways the opportunity to actually be profitable.  Still, it’s miserable that you can drive down the road to Greensboro and save a bunch of money.

$9 Fares to the Bahamas

Spirit Airlines has a number of flights available for $9, including New York to Nassau, Bahamas, and Fort Lauderdale (as well as Fort Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic).  Dates are quite limited, but I just checked a weekend at the end of January, and you can go from New York to Nassau for $9 each way.  Good luck.  Full details are here.

$499 Package to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Go-Today, a discount packager, is offering the lowest price I’ve seen on a package to Buenos Aires, Argentina:  $499 gets you a flight from New York, Boston or Washington and 5 nights hotel.  If you booked the flight alone it would cost $850.  The package is good January 10th through March 15th.

Independence Air to Shut Down in January

Well, it was a good run (actually, it wasn’t a good run at all…my bad):  Independence Air, which hoped to bring low fares to Washington Dulles at the expense of United Airlines, its former partner, will shut down in January.  Staff received letters yesterday saying that sometime between January 7 and 21, all locations will be closed.  A bunch of people will be put out of work, and fares will probably rise in a number of their markets.  The lesson here?  You can’t offer lowfare service with high(ish)-cost regional jets, and never underestimate the power of other airlines’ frequent flyer programs.

Virgin Nigeria Seeks Nonstop flights from Nigeria to New York

Virgin Nigeria (yes, there is a Virgin Nigeria) has applied to begin nonstop service between Lagos, Nigeria, and New York beginning in May.  Virgin Nigeria (which is 49.9% owned by Virgin Atlantic) launched in the wake of the failure of Nigerian Airways.  This would be the first scheduled nonstop service between Nigeria and the US since Nigerian Airways’ shutdown.

Continental Offering Platinum Status for Credit Card Signup?

Here’s a crazy one:  Continental Airlines is apparently offering Platinum Status (their highest level) for people who apply for their $85/year credit card.  The offer is supposedly targeted, but it appears to work for everyone.  The backlash against this has already started over at FlyerTalk, as these guys are flying all over the place this week trying to get Platinum Status the hard way.  I have no idea if Continental will end up honoring this, but we’ll see…

British Airways’ Club World Sale

In an attempt to compete with trans-Atlantic business class sales from virtually every other airline, British Airways is reducing the price of its Club World (business class) service through the end of February.  Roundtrip flights to London from the East Coast are $2798, Midwest are $3198 and West Coast are $3798.  Keep in mind that regular prices approach $8000.  Also keep in mind that Maxjet has roundtrip business class tickets for under $1400. 

Maradona Detained at Rio Airport

Fallen soccer great Diego Maradona was detained at Rio de Janiero’s airport after he and his posse tried to board a flight back to Argentina after gate agents closed the doors to the plane.  According to an article:

They damaged a door in the passageway to the plane and forced open a
second door before police arrived, the airline said in a statement.

In Buenos Aires, the Argentine star denied he turned violent but
admitted he shouted insults at a security guard who Maradona said
pointed a gun at his face.

"I didn’t destroy anything. If we had broken something, we wouldn’t be
here," Maradona said during a press conference, adding the guard
apparently "thought we had guns."

"I told him ‘Go ahead a shoot if you want to be famous’ and  they accused me of disobeying the police," he said.

Don’t worry, soccer fans, he made it back home to Argentina, where he continued hating Americans in peace.