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)

August 29, 2007

Security: Please Do Not Bring Holy Water on the Plane

Passengers flying on the Vatican's new charter flights are being told to leave their holy water at home (basically).  Officials France's Tarbes-Lourdes Airport told a passenger who was carrying 8 Madonna-shaped bottles filled with holy water that she couldn't take them on the plane because they were a security threat.  They said this with a straight face.

Fret not, religious pilgrims, because airline officials had the foresight to place small bottles of holy water on the seat of every passenger.  God 1, French Airport Security 0.

August 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 13, 2007

Child Thrown Off Plane For Saying "Bye Bye"

A Continental Express flight attendant had a 1 1/2 year old child and his mother removed from a flight from Houston to Oklahoma City because the baby repeatedly said, "bye bye plane" during the flight attendant's safety speech.  The flight attendant was annoyed that the baby was talking during her spiel, and told the mother, "OK, it's not funny anymore. You need to shut your baby up."  Then suggested to the mother that she give the baby Benadryl to put him to sleep.  After she refused, the flight attendant called security, who escorted her off the plane.

Oh, I should mention that the passenger had just enjoyed an 11 hour delay getting to Houston from Atlanta.

The fun summer of travel continues...

July 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (7)

July 09, 2007

Clay Aiken Involved in Minor Dispute on Continental Flight

American Idol star (?) Clay Aiken was involved in a dispute with another passenger on a Continental flight to Tulsa over the weekend. Details are sketchy, but he may have put his foot on the armrest of the passenger in front of him, which led to said passenger (a woman) giving him a bit of a shove.  The end.

July 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 26, 2007

Stuck on Delayed Plane, Passenger Uses Police to Get Him Taken Off

The NY Times has an interesting story about yet another flight stranding passengers on a plane for 5 hours.  A passenger on the Comair flight from JFK to Detroit was fed up after spending 5 hours on the aircraft, which had no air conditioning.  After being told by the pilot that the long delay meant that they now had to switch crews, the passenger, who owns a company that makes small cameras, marched up to the cockpit and starting interviewing the pilot about what was going on.  After the pilot mentioned that he could call the police to have the passenger removed, he realized that this was his chance to get off the plane.

So, the police came and removed everyone (which is what they wanted in the first place), interviewed the passenger, and released him (as he had done nothing wrong).

If you've flown this summer, you've noticed that the delay situation is completely out of control (my wife arrived home at 3am after a 6 hour delay in Minneapolis last week, and another friend told me about a 4:30am arrival of his Atlanta - JFK flight this week).  Nothing's going to change, but pity for all of us who actually have to fly this summer.  Get used to it -- it's not getting better.

June 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

June 18, 2007

Did a Passenger Cause a Ruckus Over a Sippy Cup

A story is making the rounds about a former secret service officer getting into a bit of a tiff with TSA staff at Washington National Airport.  The former officer was flying with her small child and was said to have gotten into a disagreement with security staff over whether she could bring her son's sippy cup through security.  As the story goes, she was detained after she refused to spill out the water in the cup. 

But the TSA has released a video of the situation showing that the woman dumped the water on the ground in front of TSA staff, which is why she was hauled off.  Moral of the story?  Not a lot of news today, so this is what I'm passing along.

June 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

June 11, 2007

Two Airport Security Dogs Fired for Sexual Harassment

Two drug-sniffing dogs that worked in Thailand's Chang Mai airport were fired for sexual harassment and urinating on passengers' luggage.  I know, that sentence doesn't make any sense.  But apparently it happened.  Passengers were complaining about the dogs' behavior.  An airport spokesman said of Mok, one of the dogs, "Mok liked to pee on luggage while searching for drugs inside. He also liked to hold on to women's legs."

The dogs are now working on a farm herding chickens and pigs. 

June 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 06, 2007

Guy Buys 787 Because of Underwear

(thanks to UpgradeTravelBetter):

A Hong Kong based tycoon has purchased his very own Boeing 787 because he was embarrassed after seeing a fellow first class passenger in his underwear.  This embarrassment led to him purchasing six private jets for himself, including the 787.  I'm not sure what to make of this.

June 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 30, 2007

Does Mike Figgis Want to Shoot a Pilot?

(Editor's Note: I'm calling bullshit on this one, but I'm printing it anyway:)

A number of places are reporting that director Mike Figgis was detained at LAX because he told screeners he was in LA to "shoot a pilot."  (that would be a TV show pilot, not an airplane pilot).  I believe this is too good to be true, but there it is.

May 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bees on a Plane

You can read the article for the details, but just know that a swarm of bees forced a plane to make an emergency landing...

Don't see that every day...

May 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 16, 2007

Fog Causes Near Riot Over Duty Free

(Thanks to reader Scott for the heads up):

A United Airlines flight from LA to Sydney was diverted to Brisbane because of fog. So far, so good.  Passengers were told, though, that after flying 14 hours, they would have to stay on board for another 9 hours because, and this is where it gets odd, if they disembarked in Brisbane, they would lose all of their duty free items (duty free can't be removed from the aircraft if it's not the final destination.  Or something like that).  A "near riot" ensued, and the airline figured out a way to circumvent the law (they would take everyone's duty free and put it in the cargo hold.)  However, this still took several hours to figure out.  And people wonder why airline satisfaction ranks so low (see next story).

May 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 16, 2007

British Airways Crew Delays Flight for 13 Hours Because They Were Sleepy

A British Airways pilot delayed his flight from Delhi to London for 13 hours because he said he and his crew did not get enough sleep the night before.  The pilot claimed his hotel in Delhi was quite loud, and because of that he was unable to sleep.  As a safety measure, he said, he delayed the flight so the crew could get some rest.  Passengers were given hotel rooms but, due to a shortage of available hotels, had to share rooms with strangers. 

April 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 09, 2007

Mouse Delays Flight 4 Hours

A small white mouse delayed a Vietnam Airlines flight to Tokyo for 4 hours as technicians attempted to "seek and kill the mouse," as one newspaper put it.  Unlike in the US, they actually took the passengers off the plane and sent them to a hotel during the mouse-search.  Passengers were relieved to hear the mouse was found, and the plane continued on to Tokyo, relatively mouse-free.

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pilot Removed from Flight for Swearing

A Northwest Airlines pilot was removed from a Detroit-bound flight at Las Vegas airport after he was swearing loudly onboard.  A bit more detail:  he was overheard swearing while talking on a cellphone in the cockpit.  After passengers complained, he started yelling (and cursing) at passengers.  Police were called in and removed the pilot (though they neglected to administer a sobriety test, for some reason).  The flight was cancelled, as there was no longer a pilot on board.

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 05, 2007

Japanese Passenger Pissed about Air Pacific Flight

There's no good way to say this, so I'm going to just come out with it:

A soldier from Fiji was arrested after he urinated on a Japanese woman during a flight on Air Pacific from Tokyo to Nadi, Fiji.  No reason was given for his actions.  But really, what possible reason could there have been?

(thanks to -- or blames goes to-- reader Luke for this...)

April 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 19, 2007

Dead Passenger Upgraded to First Class

British Airways has apologized (or in their case, apologised) for upgrading a passenger who died mid-flight to first class.

I'll explain.  A passenger on a London to Delhi flight died mid-flight.  According to the article, due to turbulence her body repeatedly slipped down off her coach seat (this is awful).  BA inflight staff moved her to an empty seat in first class, along with her daughter who, not surprisingly, was crying for the remaining 5 hours. 

According to this article, a fellow passenger complained to BA about the trauma of witnessing this situation and was told to "get over it." 

March 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 28, 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.

February 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 13, 2007

Man Removes Pants to Go Through Security

I know I sometimes feel a bit violated as I go through airport security and am asked to remove my jacket, shoes, belt, and whatnot.  A German passenger in Manila's airport felt the same way, so he took off his pants in protest.  Authorities were not amused.

February 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 08, 2007

Gulfstream Test Flight Leaves Mark on Internet

Airline nerd story alert:

Gulfstream did an 8 hour test of one of its Gulfstream V aircraft today solely (?) so it could form a flight track across 11 states in the shape of "GV," the initials for the Gulfstream V.  That will make more sense if you look here.

Thanks, as always, to GloomyJoe for that one.

February 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

Man Denied Boarding Because of T-Shirt

A man was not permitted to board a Qantas flight from Melbourne to London because he was wearing a t-shirt that had a photo of George Bush with the phrase, "World's #1 Terrorist."  The passenger had been asked to remove the shirt a couple of days earlier on a Qantas domestic flight and, because of that, asked Qantas staff if he could wear the shirt on the international flight.  He could not.  I wonder if he could've worn the shirt if it said "World's #17 Terrorist."  What number would have been acceptable?  Hm.

January 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 24, 2007

3 Year Old Kicked Off Flight for Crying

(Thanks to blog DC Night Out for the heads up)

Every time you've been on a plane with a screaming child you've probably thought to yourself, "Gee, couldn't they just drag the little brat off the plane?"  Well, it actually happened, and it wasn't nearly as satisfying as you'd have hoped. 

A 3-year old traveling with her parents from Ft. Myers to Boston was kicked off the flight by an AirTran employee after she threw a bit of a fit before takeoff.  Really.  That's it.  3-year old throws tantrum, employee comes on board and says girl has to leave.  AirTran realizes that this was not a particularly nice thing to do, as there's not much you can do if your kid is screaming like that except wait it out, and has refunded the airfare to the family.  They've also apologized.  Which is nice. 

January 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (8)

January 18, 2007

9 Year Old Runaway Flies to Texas

A 9 year old who was unhappy in his Tacoma, Washington, decided he would fly to Dallas to runaway from his family.  So he somehow boarded a Southwest flight to Phoenix, changed planes, and ended up mistakenly in San Antonio, not Dallas.  All of this happened without a ticket or boarding pass, which has puzzled Southwest Airlines officials (as you might imagine).  The child has a history of getting into trouble, including stealing a car last week.  No word on whether he'll receive Rapid Rewards miles for the flight.

January 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

New Zealand Airport Bans Racy Billboard

Officials at Auckland's airport have banned a billboard that features a former Miss Universe in lingerie holding a stuffed rhino.  The tagline on the billboard for the lingerie company reads, "Horny?"  For some reason, officials there thought that was inappropriate.  Go figure.

UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter who suggested that while none of my readers would want to see it, I might want to link to the ad.  Here

January 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 17, 2007

Swedish Prince Held Overnight by Security at Miami Airport

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden was held overnight by police at Miami's airport last September after he showed up without a visa.  The prince was flying from Caracas to Washington, DC, through Miami and because of a mixup in Venezuela, flew without his normal security staff.  He also arrived without the correct visa.  When he told immigration officials in Miami that he was the prince of Sweden, they did not believe him (as you can imagine) and held him in custody for the night.  Everything was straightened out by morning and the prince, to his credit, laughed off the whole thing.  Har har har (or its Swedish equivalent).

January 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 16, 2007

Airbus CEO Dropped Pants to Win Deal

For reasons I still don't understand even after reading the story 3 times, Airbus' CEO dropped his pants in front of US Airways' former chairman Stephen Wolf to help seal an aircraft deal.  It really should make more sense than that.  Perhaps he's one of those guys who likes to drop his pants.  I really don't know.  That said, the pants dropping worked.

January 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 10, 2007

Pretend I Came Up With a Better Headline than Scorpions on a Plane

(Thanks to reader Rich for the head's up):

An American Airlines flight from Miami to Toronto caused a delay at the Canadian city after a scorpion on the aircraft crawled out of a passenger's backpack and bit someone.  The scorpion was apparently not brought on board intentionally; the passenger had been camping in Costa Rica and apparently brought the little critter back with him.  As long as he was less than 3 ounces, I'm sure security didn't give him any trouble.

January 10, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 05, 2007

L'Avion's Crazy Website

I have become slightly obsessed with the website of French all-business-class carrier L'Avion, whose website is an oddly translated pastiche (?) of Fr'anglais.  I encourage them to spring a couple of bucks for a copywriter, rather than relying (apparently) on an internet translation site.  A few tidbits:

"Safety is the primordial element upon which our activities are based. Your confidence having no price tag, we have taken all the necessary measures to assure your optimal safety."

"Our mind is made up to make you rediscover the enjoyment of traveling in a plane, before, during and after the flight."

"The unique and agreeable sensation to travel in a large private jet."

"For your optimal comfort we have chosen the seats Weber « Business Class » with a cover combination leather/fabric in grey and parma hues, for sobriety and tranquility."

"Our pilots...have considerable exposure to international flights."

More (I hope) to come...

January 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 21, 2006

10 Craziest Airline Stories of the Year

It's the time of year when all news outlets do Top 10 lists of this or that, so, because I have no original ideas whatsoever, I'm bringing you the 10 Craziest Airline Stories of 2006.  Enjoy.

10) A Lithuanian tourist in Cancun runs out of money and heads to the airport to strip for cash so she can buy a ticket home.

9) Baggage screeners at Fort Lauderdale find human head in luggage.  Owner claims it's used for voodoo.

8) Another year of celebrities getting kicked off planes.  While Snoop Dogg, DMX and Mo'Nique all had run-ins, I believe David Hasselhoff's drinking binge prior to boarding a British Airways flight takes the prize.  Said a witness, "he had trouble standing."

7) Northwest Airlines killed 9,000 1-day-old turkeys it was transporting from Detroit to San Francisco.  This isn't funny, but killing 9,000 turkeys on one flight is impressive, isn't it?

6) China Southern tells passengers to pee before they fly to save money.

5) Northwest Airlines publishes pamphlet telling laid off workers they "shouldn't be shy about pulling something they like out of the trash" to save money.

4) Angry passenger bites ear off of Alitalia employee after being told his flight was overbooked.

3) Turkish mechanic is fired after sacrificing camel at Istanbul's airport as part of a celebration for completing some work.

2) A woman's flatulence causes a flight to make unscheduled landing.

1) Passenger carrying penis pump in bag at O'Hare is too embarassed to tell security that it's a penis pump.  So he tells them it's a bomb.

Have a merry Christmas.

December 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Air France Sued by "Fat" Passenger

A passenger who weighed 353 pounds is suing Air France for forcing him to buy a 2nd seat on a flight from Delhi to Paris last year.  He was especially upset that Air France staff measured his waist in the airport to prove that he was too large.  He also wasn't too happy that Air France's lawyer said, "Let's be objective. This man is fat...He barely fits on the courtroom chair. How could he sit in an airplane?"  That wasn't nice.  Oh, and the lawyer repeatedly referred to him as being "enormous" during the trial.  The passenger is seeking about $11,000 in damages, payable in pudding.

December 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 20, 2006

Baby Put Through Airport X-Ray Machine


A woman put her 1-month old grandson through the X-Ray machine at LAX on Saturday, not realizing that she shouldn't do that (don't ask).  The baby was taken to the hospital and was completely fine.  Security officials, however, were successful in keeping 4 ounces of toothpaste off the aircraft, but not in keeping a baby out of an x-ray machine.  Keep up the good work.

December 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 18, 2006

Mouse on a Plane

(As always, thanks to Nicole at Hitwise for another winner...)

80 live mice escaped from a man's carry-on luggage on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Riyadh to Tabuk.   No word on why the man had mice in his bag, how he got them on board, how they escaped, or how they rounded up the mice.  I suppose this really leaves more questions open than it answers, doesn't it?

December 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 14, 2006

Camel Sacrificed for Aircraft Parts (Basically)

A Turkish mechanic was fired after he sacrificed a camel on the tarmac of Istanbul's international airport to celebrate getting through a backlog of aircraft repairs.  Really.  There are photos.

December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 13, 2006

No Toothpaste, No Heisman, No Water

Yet another solid story about airport security:  Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith shipped his trophy home to Columbus because airport security would not allow him to bring it into the airport.  I don't know specifically why they wouldn't allow it, but I'm guessing it's because several airplanes have been hijacked with the Stanley Cup.

December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (6)

December 11, 2006

Sea-Tac Airport Removes Christmas Trees

Bill O'Reilly is going to a have a field day with this one:

Sea-Tac Airport has removed the 9 Christmas trees it had up after a local rabbi complained that there were no Jewish symbols in the airport.  Rather than put up menorahs for the upcoming Chanukah (Hannukah?) holiday, the airport decided to just take down the Christmas trees.  Interestingly (and I'll give him a bit of credit), the attorney for the group who asked for the Menorah to be put up said he was disappointed that the trees were taken down.  For its part, the airport says it does not have time to play "cultural anthropologists" and decide the right course of action.  Now nobody's happy.  Well done!  (Just to be clear:  I actually think the airport should've made the rabbi's group sue them to take down the trees.  I'm Jewish, and I think it's sad that other Jews would think that they're threatened because there's a Christmas tree in an airport.  Don't we have more important things to worry about?  Like Mel Gibson hating us?  I thought we ran Hollywood?)

December 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 06, 2006

Farts Lead to Flight Diversion

(Thanks to Nicole at Hitwise for the heads up...)

Every once in a while, a story comes along the reminds me why I get up an write this stupid thing every day:

An American Airlines flight from Washington to Dallas was forced to divert to Nashville after passengers smelled smoke on the airplane.  I'll cut to the chase:  they smelled smoke because a woman lit matches in the bathroom to cover up the smell of her farts.  While she was not charged with any crime (has the TSA banned gas? -- it's not a liquid), American has banned her from flying the airline. 

I almost feel like I should just shut down this website right now because there is no way I will ever EVER find a better story than this.  All the other blah blah blah I write in here every day pales in comparison to a woman trying to cover up her flatulence and forcing a plane to divert.  I will spend the rest of my life chasing another story like this one.  Bravo.

December 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 30, 2006

So What You Will About Your Local Airport, At Least You Don't Have a Jackal Problem

Pilots flying out of Calcutta's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport have run into a bit of an issue lately:  jackals on the runway.  Yes, jackals.  Not really an issue at LaGuardia, but a growing problem in Calcutta.  While you may complain about expensive parking at O'Hare or a lack of wireless access at your local terminal, at least you've never heard a pilot say, "Birds and jackals are the main problem," which is what has been said about the airport in Calcutta.  I don't know why I find the idea of jackals so funny, but I do.  And so should you.

November 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 16, 2006

Mother Kicked Off Flight for Breast Feeding. Sort of.

A woman is suing Delta Airlines and a regional affiliate after she was removed from a flight from Burlington, Vermont, to New York because, she says, she was breast feeding on the plane.  The airline, for its part, says she was not removed for breast feeding, but because she was asked to be a bit more discreet and use a blanket to cover herself and that she refused.  Mostly I feel bad for Paul Skellon, a spokesman for the airline, whom I've met several times and used to do communications for Air New Zealand and is now answering questions about why his employer hates mothers.  Ugh.


When it comes time for Mother's Day everyone out there thinks of Mother's Day candies or jewelry, and many moms have already gotten at least a couple Mother's day gift baskets in their times. Sometimes though finding an idea online for an unusual Mother's Day gift can make the holiday particularly memorable.

November 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

November 15, 2006

Couple Arrested for Amorous Behavior on Plane

A California couple was arrested after a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Raleigh after they refused to stop their, uh, romantic behavior on the aircraft.  Flight attendants repeatedly asked the two people to, basically, get the hell off each other, but, for God knows what reason, they declined.  Did I mention they were drunk?  No?  I should mention they were drunk.  The worst part of this is that is happened in the close confines of a daylight flight on a 737.  Gross.  We can debate whether this activity is gross on an empty 747 in the middle of the night, but there is no question it's just wrong on a Southwest plane.  Free nuts, indeed.

November 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 13, 2006

Flight Attendant Fired For Excess Baggage (Her Own)

This is an odd one:  An Indian Airlines flight attendant was approached by company officials prior to boarding a flight she was working.  They asked her to step aside and get on a scale.  They believed she was over the company's 63kg (138 pounds, or so) weight limit.  Turns out she was, and they fired her.  Now that flight attendant is suing Indian Airlines for their discriminatory policy.  The airline has grounded 140 staff members for weight-related issues.  The airline basically admits that it wants younger (thinner) flight attendants and is weeding out the older (less thinner) ones through this policy.  How progressive!

October 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 29, 2006

Flight Attendant "Sex Romp" on Qantas Flight

Two of Qantas' male flight attendants have been suspended after a third flight attendant complained that they were involved in a "sex romp" with a female passenger on a flight to London earlier this month.  The flight attendants deny this (of course) and details are a bit sketchy (thank God), but the accuser says he saw the two men kissing and involved in non-specific sexual activity in the food preparation area of the plane.  The food prep part is what disturbs me, frankly.  Qantas is investigating.

Meanwhile, the article refers to the accuser as a "whistleblower" which for some reason, in this context, sounds far more dirty than it should.

Have a good weekend.

September 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 28, 2006

Fight Breaks Out Over Smelly Passenger

Be thankful you weren't on this one:

A fight broke out on an American Airlines flight from Lima, Peru, to Miami after a passenger decided that his seatmate was smelly.  The non-smelly passenger had some sort of freakout about the allegedly smelly passenger using an iPod in -flight.  He then poured perfume on the man, poured water on himself (?) and vomited in the aisle.  I know, it doesn't make sense.  American officials had denied the non-smelly man boarding the day before because he seemed disturbed.  Turned out they were correct.

September 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 27, 2006

Passenger Gets, Er, An Earfull

An irate passenger nearly bit the ear off an Alitalia employee after he was told that he could not board his flight to Naples because it was overbooked.  Italian musician Raffaele Artesi was so upset by the overbooking that he started fighting with an airport employee and in the process bit his left earlobe so hard that it was dangling from his ear.  I know, that's kinda gross.  Said the employee, "I don't want to risk my life for an overbooking." 

Insert Mike Tyson joke here.

September 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 20, 2006

British Businessman Flies with 2-Year Old Daughter's Passport

No, you can't bring water on the plane but a grown man can successfully fly to Amsterdam with the passport of a 2-year old girl.  A British businessman mistakenly took his daughter's passport with him on a recent trip to the Netherlands and managed to get through 2 passport checks at London's Luton airport and board the plane.  In fact, he brought up the error to passport control in Amsterdam.  The airline he flew, EasyJet, will likely face a fine.

September 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 07, 2006

Religious Jew Removed From Fight for Praying
An Orthodox Jewish passenger was removed from an Air Canada Jazz flight from Montreal to New York because he was praying in his seat while the plane was about to begin taxiing for takeoff.  As is part of the praying ritual, the passenger was swaying back and forth while performing his prayers.  And because they world has gone completely insane lately, other passengers took this for some sort of threat.  Then it turns out that the man spoke neither French nor English, so flight attendants couldn't talk to him to find out what was going on.  The plane was returned to the gate where the passenger was removed.  God keep our land, glorious and free, O Canada!

(Thanks to reader Avi for the heads up...)

September 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 06, 2006

Bonnie Tyler's Song Causes Air France Lawsuit

I'm not sure I even understand this:  Bonnie Tyler, whom you may remember as the singer of "Total Eclipse of the Heart," was flying from Paris to Mauritius on Air France.  So far so good.  A flight attendant tells her that the co-pilot is retiring, and asks if she would sing Total Eclipse of the Heart for him.  She obliges.  Fast forward to today, when a broup of Belgian passengers on the plane have filed suit against Air France saying that, "they were traumatized by the experience and had feared for their safety during the celebration."  There ya go.

(Thanks to View from the Wing for the head's up)

September 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 31, 2006

iPod Flushed Down Plane's Toilet Causes Terror Alert

If you're interested in the details, you can read the whole story but suffice it to say that when a guy mistakenly flushed his iPod down the toilet on a flight from Chicago to Ottawa, Canadian authorities went into full terror mode.  Yes, that begs more questions than it answers.

(As always, thanks to Sanj for the heads up)

August 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 30, 2006

Pilot Locked Out of Cockpit Mid-Flight

This is just silly:  An Air Canada Jazz pilot left the cockpit to use the bathroom during a flight from Ottawa to Winnipeg, leaving the first officer and a flight attendant in the cockpit (I'm sure there was nothing going on there).  Upon his return, the door was locked and the first officer was unable to open it.  The pilot and first officer spent 10 minutes trying to unstick the door (passengers reported the pilot banging on it like Fred Flintstone when he got locked out of his house in the credits to his show).  Finally they removed the hinges of the door (take note, terrorists!) and the pilot safely landed the plane.  If you were wondering, the first officer could've landed the plane on his own.

(Thanks so reader Sanj for the head's up....)

August 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 29, 2006

Airline Loses Athlete's Leg

A woman from New Zealand traveling to compete in the world athletic championships for the disabled got a pretty miserable surprise when she landed in Amsterdam for the event:  British Airways had lost her prosthetic leg.  As you can imagine, this is a problem if you are a one-legged runner heading to a running competition.  For its part, BA was extremely helpful, telling the woman that her bag is "one of 20,000" sitting in Heathrow.  The leg's manufacturer is trying to make her a new limb before the competition begins.

August 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 28, 2006

Iron Maiden Singer Flies Airlift from Lebanon

You may or may not know that Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickenson is a licensed commercial pilot with Astraeus, a charter airline.  That's a whole other story.  Let's just accept for the moment that the lead singer of the heavy metall band is a licensed commercial pilot (he's technically a first officer).  Turns out he's also a good guy.  Dickenson flew a rescue flight on a 757 from Cyprus to London to airlift British citizens who were trapped in Lebanon.  Let's see Ozzy do THAT!  And yes, feel free to insert your Bruce Dickenson/Cowbell jokes here.

July 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 29, 2006

British Airways Workers in Brothel?

Six British Airways cabin crew are facing firing after they refused to work a flight becuase they were too tired after a sleepless night.  Why were they so tired?  Because they slept in a brothel near JFK.  How did that happen?  The airline put them up at the Diplomat Motor Inn, which is apparently rented by the hour on some occasions.  The staff said they were up all night as prostitutes and pimps (their words, not mine) were using all of the rooms in the hotel, including on several occasions trying to get into the room they were staying in.

But the best part of this is that the headline in the Daily Mail was "British Airways Staff Face Sack After Night in NY Brothel."  The prostitutes also faced sack all night, but that's kinda different.

June 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 15, 2006

Air New Zealand's Mile High Club?

Air New Zealand has launched an investigation into whether some of its employees have been exchanging travel passes for sex with prostitutes.  ANZ employees can buy tickets at 10% of the normal fare and have reportedly been giving them to prostitutes in exchange for services.  I'm not sure why the most surprising aspect of this story to me is that there are prostitutes in New Zealand.

June 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 13, 2006

Honey, Oyster Shut Down Tallahassee Airport

A food writer carrying a stash of goodies back home caused a 3 hour shutdown of Tallahassee airport yesterday.  For some reason, his bag filled with an oyster shell, honey, spice rub and a tape recorder seemed so suspicious that authorities shut down the airport to fully investigate.  They investigated and found that the guy was just carrying a tape recorder, spice rub, honey and an oyster shell.  Keep up the good work.

June 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 08, 2006

Guy Lands at Wrong Manchester

I've always kinda wondered if something like this could happen:

A guy returning home to Liverpool, England, on Continental from Los Angeles somehow ended up in Manchester, New Hampshire, instead of Manchester, England.  After landing in Cleveland and boarding a regional jet, it occurred to him that the 50 seater was not going to reach Manchester, England, from Cleveland.  Not without a stop or 7.  Please don't ask why he got on the plane when it was obvious it was not going to be able to fly 4,000 miles.  I have no idea. 

Anyway, he took his landing in New Hampshire in stride, and Continental was nice enough to get him home without charging him for the connecting flight to Newark.  His only complaint?  He felt Manchester, New Hampshire, "could use a few more pubs."

June 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 30, 2006

90 Minute Flight Takes 48 Hours

If you enjoy reports of flights gone awry, this is a pretty good one.  This article has the details, but in short, a 90 minute trip in the UK took 48 hours, involved five aborted landings, a cancellation, an unscheduled stop at another airport and more than 2,000 miles.  And a tortoise sanctuary. 


May 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 07, 2006

Passengers Detained for Not Speaking English...Sort Of

5 passengers--4 Angolans and an Israel--on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Newark were detained for 3 hours because they were carrying pilot training materials and speaking a language other than English.  Turns out that the 5 men were heading home after attending a pilot training course (hence the pilot training materials).  This craziness will never end.

May 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 21, 2006

Taiwan? Taiyuan? Same Difference?

Thanks to the OTR reader who passed along one of the crazier travel mix-up stories I've seen.  An American business traveller on the way to Taiwan is mistakenly booked to Taiyuan, China, where he's forced to sleep in a brothel.  Perhaps that will make sense if you read the story here.

April 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 13, 2006

Air Arabia & South Park?

I keep forgetting to mention this:  Air Arabia, a lowfare carrier based outside of Dubai, has a cartoon mascot who looks suspiciously like Kyle from South Park, but in full Arab dress (note the non-necessarily-Arab goatee).  You can see him here.  Just thought you'd like to know...

(Welcome to everyone visiting from it's your first time, Online Travel Review has daily stories about the airline industry, both wacky and otherwise.  If that's appealing, take a look around.  If it's not, I understand.  I'm a loser about this airline stuff.  I embrace my inner loser.  Thanks for stopping by.)


You can find more than just travel information on the Internet now, from free online Sudoku sites to others that will provide online help with math for kids. Among other free things online are online coloring pages to help your child have a larger variety of things to color in without a trip to the store.

April 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 11, 2006

Security Detains Passenger Because of Led Zeppelin

Thanks to Today in the Sky for this good one:

A passenger was detained at a small British airport because he asked his taxi driver to play Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song and London Calling by the Clash.  I wish it made more sense than that, but it doesn't.  The passenger, who was on his way to tiny airport in Darlington for a flight to London, asked his taxi driver to play those songs off his MP3 player.  the taxi driver, who was suspicious of the song choices (for reasons I can't figure out), reported the passenger to security as the airport.  Police then detained the man, who missed his flight. I'm not sure what the lesson is here.  I guess sometimes there isn't one.

April 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 04, 2006

Airline CEO: French Are "Lazy Frogs"

The CEO of British low-cost carrier twice publicly called the French "lazy frogs" after two incidents caused the delays of his company's airplanes.  French air traffic controllers staged a work stoppage last week causing delays to French flights, and this week a demonstration by 50 students caused the closing of a runway at the airport in the French town of Chambery.  After the air traffic controller incident he said it was time for the "lazy frogs to get back to work." 

While the British will laugh this off as a humorous dig at the French, I can only imagine what would happen in the US if an airline CEO were to make a demeaning comment about people from another country.  Ugh.

April 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 06, 2006

Paula Abdul: Too Important for Security

Paula Abdul caused a bit of a security meltdown at Las Vegas' airport on Thursday.  Because of the legions of fans mobbing her at the airport (that's what the article says...) she was permitted to skip the security line to board her Southwest Airlines (thrifty!) flight back to Burbank.  I could make a joke about permitting someone named Abdul to bypass airport security, but I wouldn't do that.  Authorities are investigating....

March 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 28, 2006

Mother: Ryanair Made Me a Baby Trafficker

Here's an odd one:  A passenger on Ryanair has accused the airline of making an error that lead (somehow) to Italian police arresting her as a baby smuggler.  The short version:  a British woman was bringing her newborn to Italy to be christened.  Ryanair told her the baby did not need a passport.  Not true, it turns out, and the woman found that out the hard way.  The hard way being when Italian police interrogated her and accused her of trying to sell her daughter.  Which is not what she was doing. 

To add insult to injury (as they say), she was held by British authorities on her return to England and accused (once again) of being a baby smuggler.  (If this all sounds confusing, I agree.  You can read the whole story at the above link).

In short, she wants Ryanair to refund the money for the tickets which, of course, the airline refuses to do.  The lesson here?  If you are a baby smuggler, do not fly on Ryanair.

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 14, 2006

Reason Airport Security Is a Joke, #372

Two air marshals were arrested and charged with using their positions to smuggle narcotics on airplanes.  The geniuses were brought into custody after an informant delivered 33 pounds (?!) of cocaine to the home of one of the air marshals.  Incredibly, the pair were willing to risk their lives and career for a combined $67,000.  A nice bonus, don't get me wrong, but c'mon.

(I stand corrected...JUPNATE lets me know that was a weekly salary.  I woulda taken it, too.)

February 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 13, 2006

Human Head Found in Passenger's Luggage

(Thanks to OTR reader Sanj for the heads up)...

Baggage screeners at Fort Lauderdale's airport discovered a human head in the luggage of a passenger arriving from Cape Haitien, Haiti.  Myrlene Severe said that the head was related to her belief in voodoo---the head was being used to ward off evil spirits.  Apparently it didn't work.

February 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 31, 2006

Snoop Dogg's Low Fares At

It's good to see that Spirit Airlines doesn't take itself too seriously:

The carrier is offering discounted seats to Detroit for the Snoop Dogg-sponsored Snooper Bowl at, get ready for this,  Yes, you read that correctly.  The LBC is coming DE-troit for a charity youth football game.  Now, you may be wondering why a guy who has spoken at length about the joys of marijuana usage is now a child charity hero, but that's neither here nor there.  More power to him, I say.  He'll be coaching a team of kids from the LBC playing football against a team of kids from Detroit on February 4th and in Pontiac Silverdome.  Spirit Airlines is offering $20 off round trip tickets to Detroit in early February in conjunction with the Snooper Bowl.  (It's actually Snooper Bowl II, but you probably knew that already).

January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 27, 2006

Flight Attendant Has a Grenade

The next time you're flying Northwest, DO NOT piss off the flight attendant.

A Northwest flight attendant was arrested in Milwaukee when security workers found a grenade in her hand luggage.  The grenade was real, though inactive, though airport security tends to not make a distinction about that (they're a little touchy these days).  The flight attendant says she bought the grenade as a gift (?!) for her son.

She posted bail and was released.

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006

Qantas' Chairwoman Detained

The head of Qantas Airways said that she was detained at LAX because she was considered a security risk.  Margaret Jackson was held because she had a bunch of aircraft diagrams in her briefcase (makes sense), but the security guard didn't believe that a woman could run an airline.  She's not the most PC person in the world, as she noted:

"And I said, 'I'm the chairman of an airline. I'm the chairman of Qantas'. And this black guy, who was, like, eight foot tall, said, 'But you're a woman'."

This black guy.

She managed to convince the guy that she was not a terrorist (lots of Australian women terrorists out there?) and she was released.

January 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

January 24, 2006

She's a Little Runway ay ay ay

Bon Jovi's chartered 707 skidded off the runway after it landed in Hamilton, Ontario, early Sunday morning with the band on board.  Nobody in the band was hurt, but their music still sucks (yes, I stole that from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog).

Newspapers everywhere rejoiced when they learned that a wet runway may have contributed, allowing them to use the headline "Slippery When Wet" with the story.  Har.

January 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)