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September 07, 2007

Woman Asked to Leave Southwest Plane Because of Short Skirt

A female passenger was recently asked to leave a Southwest flight prior to takeoff because airline staff considered her skirt to be too short and her top to be too revealing.  The woman, who happens to be a Hooters waitress (though that's neither here nor there), was wearing a short skirt and tanktop on a flight to Tucson (where it was well over 100 degrees) was approached by a customer service agent and told that she had to go home and change because her clothing was inappropriate.  She refused and took the flight while covering herself with a blanket.  The story is odd because, as it turns out, she really wasn't wearing anything out of the ordinary.

Southwest said that it reserves the right to deny boarding to someone who is dressed inappropriately, though it's kinda funny coming from Southwest, as their early advertisements (here and here -- on their own website no less!) featured their flight attendants in hot pants and miniskirts. I guess the staff are allowed to dress that way.

September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Helicopter Flights to New York Airports on Sale

US Helicopter, the company that flies passengers from Manhattan to JFK and Newark airports, is now offering trips for $99 each way through the end of October (normal fares are $159/$169 each way).  A cab to Newark with tax, tip and tolls will run you $60, and a car service runs about $20 more, so this is a legitimate alternative -- plus it only takes 8 minutes or so (once you schlepp your butt down to lower Manhattan). 

September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Air New Zealand to Shut Its Low Fare Freedom Air

About 10 years ago Air New Zealand launched Freedom Air to offer a low fare alternative to its full-service flights.  In yet another sign the airline-within-an-airline concept may not work for everyone, Air New Zealand is shutting down Freedom Air in March.  The parent company said that in the past 10 years fares have dropped so much in the New Zealand and trans-Tasman markets that separate airlines no longer makes sense.  The low fare carrier's routes will be merged into Air New Zealand.

September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

American Tests Cash-Free Onboard Sales

You may not need exact change to buy that drink on your next flight on American...

The carrier is testing cashless flights (different from the profitless flights they tested from 2001-2005) out of San Francisco for 3 weeks, accepting only credit and debit cards for in-flight purchases.  I'm certain this will mark the beginning of the end for onboard cash sales (I know, this isn't earth-shattering news.  But I thought you'd want to know anyway).

September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 06, 2007

Hero of British Airways Flight Dies of Cancer at 45

In 2000, a British Airways flight was nearly taken down over Kenya by a passenger who stormed the cockpit and wrestled the pilot away from the controls (oddly, my wife's ex-boyfriend was on the flight, as was Roxy Music singer Brian Ferry, who did not date my wife.)

Two passengers wrestled the lunatic off of the pilot and held him down as the pilot was able to re-gain control of the 747 after it nosedived 19,000 feet toward the ground, thereby saving the lives of nearly 400 others.  One of those passengers was a former Clemson basketball player named Clarke Bynum.  Bynum died Monday of cancer at only 45 years old.

This occurred, obviously, in the pre-9/11 days when the world was not obsessed with crazy people trying to kill people on planes -- this likely explains why Bynum's obituary was either not in your paper or buried below a story about Shaq filing for divorce.  But I think it's more than worth doing a little Google search on Bynum to read a bit more about a guy who saved 400 people when you know pretty well that you wouldn't have done the same thing.

September 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Northwest: Forget about Those LaGuardia-Dallas Flights

You may (or may not) remember that Northwest announced nonstop flights from LaGuardia to Dallas as a way of getting back at American for launching nonstop flights from LaGuardia to Minneapolis.  Well, they've come to their senses and have decided not to launch that flight, instead using the slots to fly nonstop to unserved markets such as Des Moines and Flint.  Good to see a little sanity in the operation.

September 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

JetBlue: Book a Flight, We'll Give You $50

JetBlue wants to give you some money.  Sort of.

What they really want to do is to get you to fly during the slow September and October season, so they're giving $50 vouchers when you buy a roundtrip ticket between now and September 18th for travel through October 14th.  You can use the vouchers for travel between December 1st and February 13th, except for Christmas and New Year's.  Can't complain about $50.

September 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 05, 2007

Qantas Flight Attendant Suspended for Giving Phone Number to Teenager

A Qantas flight attendant has been suspended after he gave his phone number to a 15 year old boy traveling alone on the airline.  He also asked the teenager if he wanted to chat online.  His mother found out about the exchange and complained to Qantas.

Qantas has had a few sex-related issues with flight attendants recently, including the onboard friskiness involving a flight attendant and Ralph Fiennes and an alleged "sex romp" involving three flight attendants on another flight.  I'm not sure if this will make you more or less likely to fly the airline.

September 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nepal Airlines Workers Sacrifice Goat for Help with Maintenance

I'm not sure what's more disturbing, this story or the fact the two separate people sent it to me (thanks, Sanj & IAHPHX):

Maintenance workers with Nepal Airlines sacrificed a goat to the Hindu sky god  (Akash Bhairab) after they struggled with some technical issues with one of their 757s.  Impressively, the plane is now running fine.

This is the second time in the past year or so that a maintenance team has sacrificed an animal for help repairing a plane:  you may remember the story of the Turkish airline workers who sacrificed a camel for similar reasons.

September 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 04, 2007

Garuda Flight Delayed - GASP! - 5 Hours!

Mildly amusing article in the Jakarta Post about a Garuda flight that was delayed 5 hours (5 hours!).  The way the article's written you would think it was delayed for 5 days.  Amazing that 5 hour delays are commonplace here, but warrant a breathless article in Indonesia.

September 4, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

More Than 100 Flights Are Almost Always Late

The NY Times reports that about 100 flights have been late 70% or more of the time over the last 12 months.  It includes some detail on one American Airlines flight from Newark to Chicago that's late 84% of the time, with an average delay of an impressive 87 minutes.  It's even more impressive because there are flights to Chicago every 30 minutes or so.  There are lots of reasons why airlines can't do much about flights that are delayed by an hour every. single. day.  But the reality of it is summed up by US Airways' CEO who says that no airline will spread out its flights over the course of the day to reduce delays because then other airlines will benefit.

There's a great interactive map about delays on the Times' site has well (thanks to Jon for the heads up)

September 4, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)