Monthly Archives: February 2007

Don’t Swear in the Airport

A PhD student has filed a first amendment lawsuit after she was charged with disorderly conduct at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.  Why was she charged?  She was saying goodbye to a friend at the airport and, in the course of that goodbye, swore rather loudly.  A sheriff’s deputy asked her to keep her swearing to a minimum because there were children around.  The swearer replied, "Is it against the [bleeping] law to say [bleep]?" ("bleeps" added by NY Times, not me).  Said the deputy, "yes it is," then cited her for disorderly conduct.  An expert quoted in the story said that charges against her will likely be dropped.  Damn.

Airline Apologizes to Gay Couple for Covering Them with a Blanket

Comair, a South African affiliate of British Airways, has apologized to a gay couple who was flying between Cape Town and Johannesburg.  Why did they apologize?  In a classy move, a flight attendant walked by the couple, saw that one passenger had his arm around the other, then placed a blanket fully over the two of them so other passengers wouldn’t see them.  Following the apology by the airline’s CEO, the couple have dropped their threat of a lawsuit.

Adam Air Plane Damaged After Hard Landing

Adam Air, the Indonesian airline whose January 1st crash debris was never found, had another incident where a hard landing bent the plane.  I mention this only because it’s pretty crazy to see a 737 bent in the middle.  See photo of the bent aircraft here.

Silverjet 2-for-1 Deal

Silverjet, the 3rd all-business-class carrier from New York to London, is offering a buy-one-get-one free deal when you buy a ticket by March 5th.  The deal is only good when buying a flexible ticket ($2500) round trip, but that’s a pretty good deal for 2 tickets.  Silverjet’s service is better than MAXjet, but not as good as Eos.  But they do have flat beds (albeit at an angle).  This isn’t bookable online, so you have to call their call center.

El Al Faces New Boycott for Shabbat Flying

El Al is facing another boycott by religious Jews in Israel after a plane (filled with non-strictly-religious passengers) delayed by mechanical issues in London, landed in Tel Aviv 2 hours after Shabbat started.  El Al had made an agreement with a group of religious people (folk?) in Israel that it would not fly on Shabbat.  You can read the article to see the technical reasons why El Al isn’t technically responsible (the plane was being flown by a subsidiary).  As I mentioned the first time the issue came up, what other airline are these people going to fly?  It’s fine to boycott, but what other option do they have?  Good luck, El Al!

Virgin America Leases Aircraft to Other Airlines

Virgin America, which is still struggling to gain permission to fly 15 months after its expected launch date, is leasing 2 of its new A320 aircraft to a startup carrier (Skybus?) and is hoping to lease 2 others to an international airline soon.  Virgin America has taken delivery of 11 planes, but cannot fly (which, as you can imagine, is rather costly).

Most Pakistan International Airways Flights Banned from EU

The European Union has banned Pakistan International Airlines from flying 33 of its 40 aircraft to the EU because of safety concerns.  This does not affect the airlines’ newer planes, so PIA’s nonstop service from JFK to Manchester, England (continuing to Pakistan) on a 777 will not be affected.

13 Balls Is Unlucky for Brussels Airlines

Thanks, as always, to reader Gloomy Joe for this:

Brussels Airlines has changed its logo because the "b" in Brussels Airlines was originally comprised of 13 dots or, as their spokesman said, "balls" which was making everyone uncomfortable.  A 14th ball alleviated everyone’s superstitions.  This will likely make more sense if you read the story.

Delta to Launch Nigeria Service

Bravo to Delta for announcing nonstop service from Atlanta to Lagos, Nigeria, beginning in December.  Any nonstop service to Africa is a plus for Americans and even moreso for those living in African nations who were forced to stop in London or Paris anytime they wanted to go anywhere (which makes doing business there even more difficult).  Speaking of difficult, in the linked article you’ll notice that a spokesman for North American Airlines (which flies thrice weekly to Lagos from New York) calls the market "challenging" which is code for "good luck bribing your way through that mess."

To steal a comment from the board, this service will also make it easier for Atlantans to fly to Lagos to pick up their $34,720,000 they’re helping a prince smuggle out of the country.

Britney Spears Nearly Misses Flight, Gets Special Treatment from American Airlines

Though Britney Spears has certainly had a rough week, she got a bit of help from American Airlines on Friday.

Ms. Spears arrived at Miami’s airport late for her American Airlines flight to Crazytown (or wherever she was going).  When she got to the gate, the door to the plane was already closed.  So the gate agent did what she would’ve done for any passenger (except you), was call the pilot, said that Britney Spears needed to get on the plane, and could they extend the walkway back to the plane and allow her to board.  The pilot, just as he would’ve done for anyone (except you), said, "of course."  She made her flight and arrived in Crazytown just in time for her uneventful weekend.

(Thanks to Today in The Sky for the head’s up):