Airline Inconvenience, Theft, and Health Hazards


This subsection is about the long lines, general inconvenience, low average travel time, and health hazards facing airline passengers.  Baggage handlers are cause for concern, not to mention the likelihood of sitting next to someone who's wide enough for two seats.

Note:  All the information about cell phones on airliners has been moved here.



Airline: 'Emotional support' pig kicked off flight for being 'disruptive'.  A woman was kicked off a US Airways flight after the pig she brought for "emotional support" became disruptive, an airline spokeswoman told CNN.  The passenger and her large pig were booted from the flight before it left Connecticut's Bradley International Airport on Wednesday, spokeswoman Laura Masvidal said.  "After the animal became disruptive, the passenger was asked to deplane," she said.  How disruptive?  Fellow passengers told the Hartford Courant that the pig stank up the cabin of the tiny DC-bound aircraft.

More than 700 flights cancelled and tens of thousands left without power in holiday travel misery.  There were more 4,688 delays at airports across the U.S by 10 pm Wednesday [11/26/2014] and more are expected Thursday as the storm moves across the East Coast, reports Flight Aware.  Snow fell in every state from Virginia to Maine as Winter Coast Storm Cato hit its peak, with over a foot by midday in the Mid-Atlantic region and the same amount expected in New England.

What Is America's Worst Airport?  The first observation:  Are bookstores dying in airports?  Do people on planes not read anymore?  If so, this strikes me as a strikingly depressing development for our society.  It's one of the few places where you can get relative peace and quiet, you're out of cell-phone range, and you probably don't have Internet access (and if you do, it's pretty slow).  [Indeed], reading is one of the few things you can do comfortably in an airline seat.  Yes, perhaps everything has shifted to e-readers and Nooks, but there's something so inviting about seeing an actual bookstore, as opposed to a newsstand, near your gate with time to kill.

Flying Coach: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room.  Some 24.6 million people (equal to the whole population of Australia) will be heading down the aisle toward a seat on an American airline during this Thanksgiving holiday.  That's an average 31,000 a day more than last year — including international and domestic flights — as Americans wing their way home from far and not so far.  Depending on whether they turn left or right at the door, they're going to find increasingly different levels of service, from a hearty, personal welcome to a dismissive instruction to get seated ASAP.

Fresh fears after passenger flying from Nigeria to JFK dies in his seat after vomiting profusely.  A 63-year-old American man has died during a flight from Nigeria to New York's JFK after vomiting profusely -- but it was only a 'cursory' exam by the CDC that confirmed he did not have Ebola.  The unnamed passenger boarded an Arik Air plane out of Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday night [10/15/2014], but passed away before the plane reached its final destination.  Flight attendants called the CDC, Port Authority and customs officials, who then boarded the plane in protective gear as it touched down, forcing 145 worried passengers to remain on board.

The Editor says...
Right after 9-11-2001, the government would issue rash pronouncements whenever any suspicious event occurred, saying there was absolutely "no connection to terrorism."  We are now seeing the same thing with regard to Ebola:  In the story immediately above, other passengers have ample reason to be concerned; after all, people don't usually throw up and die after boarding an airplane in Nigeria.  But don't you worry, Big Brother says immediately, there's no reason to think this has any connection to Ebola.

Plane cleaners strike at LaGuardia terminal.  Airplane cabin cleaners have set up pickets outside a LaGuardia Airport terminal over health and safety issues.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews delay flight, refuse to sit next to women.  Hundreds of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to women on an El Al jet from New York to Israel — and spent the 11-hour flight trying to bribe people to switch seats and loudly praying in the aisles when they refused.  "It was an 11-hour long nightmare," one of the passengers told Israel's ynet news Web site after the Wednesday morning [9/24/2014] flight landed.  The flight — on the eve of Rosh Hashanah — was not only delayed, but degenerated into chaos once in the air, passengers said.

Police: Fire at FAA radar center deliberately set but 'no terrorist act'.  Nearly 2,000 flights in Chicago have been canceled so far today as federal aviation officials slowly resume operations at O'Hare and Midway airports following a fire that was deliberately set at an FAA radar center, apparently by a disgruntled worker.

Air passengers forced to wait 2 hours for VIP politician.  Resentment over the arrogance of ruling elites has boiled over.  While reports of air rage in the United States are increasingly common, the phenomenon of resentment over the indignities of contemporary air travel is global.

A standing-only section on planes could mean lower fares, study says.  Would you buy a bargain-priced airline ticket, but the catch was you had to stand for the entire flight?  A new university study says the idea of standing-only sections on planes is no joke.  An airline that removes seats can fit about 20% more passengers and, as a result, offer discounts of as much as 44% compared with airlines that offer big comfy seats, according to the study published in the International Journal of Engineering and Technology.  Airlines in Ireland and China have looked into the concept, but none have yet put the idea into practice.

The Editor says...
Isn't the air stale enough on an airplane without this?  And wouldn't all the standing-room passengers break their necks if the plane hit a pocket of clear-air turbulence?  And isn't it illegal to take off, or even leave the gate, before all the passengers have buckled up?  Will the airlines push people into the doors, the way they pack people onto Japanese subways?  How about an additional discount if you agree to squeeze into the unpressurized cargo hold?

LAX thieves stole thousands of valuables from luggage, police say.  As the sea of luggage twists and turns down rollers from terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, the bags stop briefly at large platforms where workers separate them for flights across the world.  It is there, police said, that a group of baggage handlers pulled off one of the largest property heists in airport history.  For months, detectives said, workers rifled through bags looking for items to steal.  "Basically everything of value — be it electronics, jewelry and items — that could be stolen in seconds would be removed from bags," LAX Police Chief Pat Gannon said.  "They'd just open up the suitcases and rifle through them and pocket valuables."

Virtuoso's flutes destroyed by US Customs.  Before you whine about an airline temporarily losing your luggage, think of poor Boujemaa Razgui.  The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them.

Tone Deaf? Musician claims feds destroyed rare flutes at airport.  A Canadian musician claims that U.S. Customs officials seized and destroyed 11 rare flutes as he passed through New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport last week.  The reason?  Concerns they were an ecological threat.

Delta Will Ban Calls On Planes Even If Feds Approve Them.  The airline's frequent fliers believe that calls in the cabin would disrupt the travel experience, CEO Richard Anderson told employees in a memo [12/18/2013].

The Air Boehner Tax.  He is the new tax collector for the welfare state.  And House Speaker John Boehner's latest gift to the American people — a 124% tax increase on air travel — can aptly be called The Air Boehner Tax.

JFK baggage handlers accused of stealing iPads, cash.  Seven men who worked as contract baggage handlers for El Al Airlines in New York have been charged with stealing iPads, iPhones, cash and jewelry from passengers' luggage.

A wise move by the airline generates positive publicity:
United to let lucky travelers fly on tickets accidentally sold for $0.  Airlines have posted so-called mistake fares before.

Tragic security snafu: Man dies at JFK after doors delay responders.  A man died after suffering a heart attack at Kennedy Airport after two teams of first responders failed to reach him — because their electronic ID cards couldn't open secure doors at the newly renovated Delta terminal, The Post has learned. [...] A call went out for help, but what happened next was a massive mix-up.

You will watch a movie, whether you want to or not.
Flight diverted after family raises concerns over PG-13 inflight movie.  A family's criticism of inflight entertainment allegedly prompted a United flight to be diverted over "security concerns."  In a story published in The Atlantic, one family recounts traveling from Denver to Baltimore with two young sons, ages 4 and 8.  During the flight, the PG-13-rated detective film "Alex Cross" was shown on drop-down monitors across the plane.  The family worried about their young children seeing inappropriate content in the film.

That's How They Getcha: Airlines Extract $6 Billion in Fees From Americans.  What's the true price of flying?  It's much more than the price of a ticket.  And it has been for a long time.  Last year, Americans likely spent more than $6 billion in baggage, cancellation, and change fees, on top of their ticket price, in 2012.

Wife called in bomb hoax to prevent husband from flying to Paris without her.  A whacked-out New Jersey woman sent police rushing to Newark Airport yesterday after falsely accusing her husband of plotting to blow up a plane, authorities said.  Eunice Ukaegbu, 50, called cops about her hubby, Okieze Ukaegbu, 58, because she didn't want him to leave the country without her, authorities said.

Another TSA Agent Accused of iPad Theft.  A TSA agent was arrested this week and charged with stealing from passengers traveling through New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, adding to the long list of TSA officers accused of theft of passenger belongings.

Woman Says TSA Agent Stole Jewels At Logan Airport.  Terri Ivester was on her way to a family christening in Chicago when she ran into a snag at the security checkpoint at Logan Airport.  Terri Ivester says, "The TSA agent holds my backpack up, and um, says there's a water bottle in this backpack, I'm going to have to take that."  That's when Ivester says the agent left the area with her bag.

TSA Worker Steals $500 From Traveler As Punishment For Complaining.  A former TSA worker has pleaded guilty to stealing over $500 in cash from a man who complained about the TSA's invasive pat down procedure, with the TSA agent admitting the theft was a punishment for the man's lack of obedience.  60-year-old John W. Irwin pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny following an incident in November 2011, during which a man asked that he be given a pat down rather than face a body scanner due to a medical condition.

TSA Confiscates Camera, Deletes Footage of Checkpoint.  Despite the TSA admitting on its own website that there is no law which prevents people from filming TSA checkpoints, a man traveling through San Juan airport in Puerto Rico had his camera confiscated and footage deleted. [...] Tom McCormack explains how he was repeatedly harassed by TSA officers and then police simply for filming at a body scanner checkpoint, before TSA agents violently grabbed his camera from him and disappeared, a concerning development given the fact that TSA workers are routinely caught stealing expensive personal items belonging to travelers.

More about videotaping the cops.

ABC News Tracks Missing iPad To Florida Home of TSA Officer.  In the latest apparent case of what have been hundreds of thefts by TSA officers of passenger belongings, an iPad left behind at a security checkpoint in the Orlando airport was tracked as it moved 30 miles to the home of the TSA officer last seen handling it.  Confronted two weeks later by ABC News, the TSA officer, Andy Ramirez, at first denied having the missing iPad, but ultimately turned it over after blaming his wife for taking it from the airport.

Convicted TSA Officer Reveals Secrets of Thefts at Airports .  A convicted TSA security officer says he was part of a "culture" of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers' luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues.

JFK Booster Shots.  A gang of 18 JFK Airport workers really could have used a stiff drink yesterday after they were busted for stealing thousands of the tiny liquor bottles served on airplanes to resell at bodegas around the city, officials said.  The airport insiders allegedly grabbed the mini-bottles — at a total value of $750,000 — that were left over after American Airlines flights landed at the airport.

What Not to Wear: Debate Over Airline Dress Code Continues.  In short, since airlines and their planes are private property and not a public space like the courthouse steps, crews can tell you what to wear.

Man with saggy pants booted from plane after dispute.  A man was kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight at O'Hare International Airport over the weekend after he became "verbally abusive" to flight attendants who asked him to to pull up his sagging pants, an airline spokeswoman said.  The man and the woman he was traveling with Sunday morning became "verbally abusive," threatening physical harm to flight attendants who had asked him to pull up his pants, which were "excessively low," hanging below his buttocks, Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson said.  The man was boarding the Orlando-bound plane when flight attendants spoke to him, she said.

50 airlines collect $22.6 billion in extra passenger fees in 2011.  Fifty airlines throughout the world collected $22.6 billion from bag fees and other extra passenger charges last year, according to a study released Monday [7/23/2012].  The fees that air passengers pay to check bags, change reservations, upgrade to roomier seats and buy food and drinks, among other fees, have grown steadily for the past four years, representing a major share of total revenues for most airlines, according to the study by Wisconsin-based IdeaWorksCompany, a consultant on airline revenues, and Amadeus, a travel technology firm based in Madrid.

Toxic uniforms sicken 1 in 10 Alaska Airlines flight attendants.  Hundreds of Alaska Airlines flight attendants say their uniform is making them ill.  The Association of Flight Attendants — which represents roughly 2,800 Alaska employees — says the company's recent uniform makeover has prompted itching, hair loss, and other adverse health reactions.

Best seat on the plane is 6A.  Flying, as we all know, is not always fun.  Along with long delays, disappearing services and creeping costs, choosing the right seat is always a gamble.  But one survey claims there is a perfect seat — one that combines maximum comfort with convenience.

Sleepy Air Canada pilot mistook planet for plane, report finds.  He had indulged in a lengthy mid-flight nap, denied himself a hit of caffeine and was suffering from the sleepiness experienced by North American pilots flying overnight to Europe.  So it was in a groggy haze that an Air Canada first officer flying over the Atlantic initially mistook the planet Venus for another aircraft, then plunged his Boeing 767 — with 95 passengers on board — 120 metres to avoid an imaginary crash with an oncoming U.S. C-17 military cargo plane.

More than 200 items stolen every day from checked baggage at JFK airport.  It's one of the busiest airports in the world, but it's fast earning a tarnished reputation.  More than 200 thefts occur daily at the New York City airport, law enforcement officials told CBS New York.  What's worse is that these thefts are not being reported — rather, the airlines involved write the stolen items off as 'lost luggage.'

The Stunning JFK Airport Baggage Scandal; 200 Thefts Per Day.  Think twice before you check your luggage at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  Cash, jewelry, electronics and other valuables are being stolen from passengers' baggage at a staggering rate.

JetBlue Plane Makes Emergency Landing In Amarillo After Co-Pilot Disrupts Flight.  A federal government official tells CBS the captain became incoherent, which caused the co-pilot to become concerned.  According to the official, the co-pilot convinced the captain to leave the cockpit and then locked him out.

Update:
JetBlue pilot who had midair meltdown to plead insanity-filing.  A JetBlue pilot whose midair meltdown prompted a cross-country flight to make an emergency landing in west Texas last month will plead he was insane at the time of the incident, his lawyer said in a federal court filing on Wednesday [4/18/2012].

Airplane air: Does it really make you sick?  Despite literally millions of passengers being crammed daily in tightly sealed, industrial flying tubes like sardines in a can, research has shown that the risk of infectious disease transmission aboard a plane is very low.  In fact, the risk of airborne transmission is probably higher in the departure lounge, where air isn't rigorously filtered.

Look Out Below!  Do airplanes ever dump their waste while in flight?  Not intentionally.

No female TSA agents means no flight for Denver woman.  A Denver woman claims she couldn't board a flight from Wyoming to Denver because of her gender.  Jennifer Winning makes the flight from the small airport of Rock Springs, WY to Denver often, but on January 29th it was different.  "They wouldn`t let me get on the plane because I`m female," Winning said.  She said she checked in and arrived at security about 35 minutes before the scheduled departure of her United flight.

TSA screener arrested for swiping $5K from passenger.  A TSA screener was busted for allegedly stealing $5,000 from a passenger who was going through a security checkpoint, the latest in a string of snafus by the federal agency at the city's three airports, authorities said.

Steal $40K, Get 6 Months in Jail — If You're a TSA Worker.  Steal $40,000 from a bank, and you'll spend a decade or two in prison.  Steal $40,000 from an airplane passenger's luggage and you'll get six months — if you're a Transportation Security Administration employee, that is.

JFK, La Guardia and Newark terminals among worst in world.  Three [New York] area airport terminals were cited as among the worst in the world yesterday — with Kennedy's Terminal 3 earning the dubious distinction as the most miserable layover location on the planet.  The former Pan Am terminal — which now houses Delta Air Lines — took home the dubious dishonor for its "endless immigration lines," crummy food and shopping options, and dank environment, according to the travel Web site Frommer's.  "JFK's terminals range from the awful to the mediocre, but Delta's hubs take the rotten, worm-infested cake," according to Frommer's.

Europe's Unfriendly Skies.  Flying to and from Europe just became more expensive thanks to the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).  The ETS was instituted in January 2005, in an attempt to control greenhouse gas emissions, specifically carbon dioxide.  Initially the scheme applied to power-generating facilities, oil refineries, steelworks, and other heavy industry in Europe.  Now, as of the first of the year, the regulations have reached the airline industry, including aircraft based in the United States.

'We began descending very sharply'.  A British Airways jet was forced to make an emergency landing after two women pilots 'almost passed out' at the controls.  The captain and first officer had to put on oxygen masks as the aircraft, which had just taken off from Heathrow, was climbing at 20,000 feet.

Ways to get thrown off your holiday flight.  You may not know this (but probably should, in case you need to remind flight attendants that the rule does, in fact, exist) airlines have the right to boot you off the plane if you smell bad:  Several airlines state in their policies that it can remove a passenger with an offensive odor and the language varies.

O'Hare named worst airport in America; Midway seventh.  To the surprise of no one, our very own O'Hare International Airport has "won" the top spot in The Daily Beast's third annual "Worst Airports in America" survey.  Midway International Airport came in seventh.

Pilot of JetBlue plane stuck on tarmac for seven hours begged for assistance as passengers grew hostile.  The passengers on a JetBlue plane stuck on the tarmac for seven hours on Saturday [10/29/2011] without food, water or working bathrooms weren't the only ones panicking.  The pilot of Flight 504 begged officials with Bradley Airport, near Hartford, or help as passengers grew hostile.

Reporter trapped on plane: 'We were all slowly losing it'.  JetBlue Flight 504 had been a perfectly normal flight right up until it wasn't.  And then it stayed that way — a strange, surreal experience that trapped passengers and the flight crew on board for nearly seven and a half hours amid one of the worst October snowstorms on record.

FAA romance led to $970 million contract award, increase in ATC errors.  A recent spike in air traffic control errors is likely attributable to a change in the Federal Aviation Administration's chosen contractor for training air traffic controllers, The Daily Caller has learned.  That change was likely the result of a government contracting shuffle orchestrated by an FAA official and her lover — a former FAA official who worked for Raytheon at the time the contract was awarded.  Raytheon won the contract, worth nearly $1 billion.  Potentially deadly aircraft incidents attributable to control tower mistakes have increased dramatically in recent years.

Laura Ingraham says $11,000 in jewelry was stolen from her checked baggage.  Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham says she had $11,000 in jewelry stolen from her checked baggage by a sticky-fingered thief at Newark Airport, including a baptismal cross that was blessed by the pope.  And she's not happy about it — at all!

Airport workers stole my baptismal cross!  Laura Ingraham's baptismal cross went missing from her checked luggage at the Newark airport this weekend, and the syndicated radio host says either a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker or a Continental Airlines employee is responsible.

Unruly Passenger Who Diverted Plane is Arrested.  The unruly passenger that caused United Airlines flight 944 headed from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany to make an unscheduled stop in Cleveland was arrested Monday [7/11/2011].

TSA Agent Caught With Passenger's iPad in His Pants.  The Broward Sheriff's Office says 30-year-old Nelson Santiago stole around $50,000 worth of electronics over the past six months from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's Terminal 1.  Santiago — a TSA officer since 2009 — was caught earlier this week by a Continental Airlines employee taking an iPad out of someone's luggage and stuffing it into his pants, the cops say.

TSA agent accused of pilfering from passengers.  A Transportation Security Administration employee accused of stealing from passengers at a South Florida airport has been arrested.  Nelson Santiago, 30, of Hollywood, Fla., was arrested Monday on two counts of grand theft.

TSA arrested, accused of stealing from passengers.  A TSA screener in Fort Lauderdale Florida was arrested and charged with stealing from passengers, deputies said.  Sheriff's deputies said Nelson Santiago stole items out of passengers' luggage and sold them online.

Oregon man stung by scorpion on commercial flight.  An Oregon man got a big surprise on a commercial flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska, when he was stung by a scorpion while sitting in his plane seat.

TSA worker arrested on suspicion of stealing from passengers at LAX.  A Transportation Security Administration worker has been arrested on suspicion of stealing from passengers' luggage at Los Angeles International Airport, police said.  Paul Yashou, 37, was arrested Thursday for burglary.  Yashou posted $20,000 bail and is set for arraignment on July 14.

Newark TSA Supervisor Sentenced for Bribery.  A former supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to taking bribes from a TSA officer who was stealing from passengers.

Furious passengers stage mutiny after being on board jet for seven hours.  Passengers 'mutinied' on a flight from Heathrow after a thunderstorm left them waiting for take-off for almost seven hours.  Witnesses said the ensuing fracas resembled a scene from Lord Of The Flies.

Sex, Lies & the TSA.  [Scroll down]  Recent studies have shown that naked body devices showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected.  Despite this statistic, the government has assured their workers and the flying public alike that the scanners are perfectly safe.  Given the incestuous involvement of government with the scanner manufacturers, would anyone expect a report to the contrary?  Where are the journalists who should be actively investigating this issue?

Doctors sound TSA germ alert.  Syphilis, lice, gonorrhea, ringworm, chlamydia, staph, strep, noro and papilloma viruses all are part of the possible fringe benefits when airline passengers next go through a full hands-on pat-down by agents of the federal government's Transportation Security Administration, according to doctors.

Spreadin' the glove: TSA infecting U.S.?  Those latex gloves Transportation Security Administration agents wear while giving airline passengers those infamous full-body pat-downs apparently aren't there for the safety and security of passengers -- only the TSA agents.  That's the word being discussed on dozens of online forums and postings after it was noted that the agents wear the same gloves to pat down dozens, perhaps hundreds, of passengers, not changing them even though the Centers for Disease Control in its online writings has emphasized the important of clean hands to prevent the exchange of loathsome afflictions.

Panic on Flight 547.  An American Airlines plane had to be diverted today after four passengers fainted and two flight attendants complained of feeling extremely dizzy.  The flight made an emergency landing at Dayton, Ohio, after a suspected problem with the plane's air conditioning system.  Passengers may have suffered 'aerotoxic syndrome' caused by breathing in contaminated air.

Vegetarian's blood boils over in-flight.  A vegetarian air passenger was so disgusted by the food she was served on a Newark-bound Continental Airlines flight that she threw the loaded tray at a flight attendant.  The New York Post reported that things came to a boil somewhere between the Dominican Republic and Newark Airport after the 30-year-old passenger complained that her special meal did not meet her expectations.

TSA employees admit to repeatedly stealing money from passengers.  A TSA supervisor stole money from passengers who went through his security checkpoint and accepted bribes and kickbacks from a colleague.  Michael Arato, a supervisor at Newark Liberty Airport, admitted on Monday [2/14/2011] that he regularly took money from passengers during security screenings and deliberately targeted foreigners who could not speak much English.

Two TSA agents arrested at JFK Airport for stealing $39K from passenger's bag.  Two TSA officers were busted Wednesday for stealing $40,000 from a bag at Kennedy Airport they thought belonged to a drug dealer, a law enforcement source said.  Under questioning, the pair also admitted swiping up to $160,000 from other unsuspecting passengers.

TSA Worker Avoids Prison After Stealing Travelers' Laptops.  A 37-year-old former Transportation Security Administration officer has been sentenced to three years' probation for stealing laptop computers from passengers' luggage at Philadelphia International Airport.  Federal prosecutor Arlene Fisk says defendant Troy Davis, upset about a demotion and lost pay, admitted stealing five laptops and a Sony Playstation.

Radiation risk from flying trumps body scanners.  "Most people are unaware about the fact that there is significant radiation exposure associated with air travel because they are well above the Earth's atmosphere," said Robert J. Barish, a radiological and health physicist in New York City.  "You'd get as much radiation in a whole-body scanner as you'd get in two minutes at 30,000 feet."

Petite woman bumped from plane for hefty passenger.  It's irritating enough to get bumped from a flight.  If you are already seated on that flight, having to walk off the plane adds a little indignity.  But to be told to leave a plane because a too-large passenger needs two seats?  It turned into a seeing-red, head-scratching moment for one frequent flyer.

Dude Where's My Gun?  No one can escape the experience of lost luggage when traveling by air, not even the Israeli Secret Service.  The Israeli Secret Service confirmed to Fox News that a suitcase belonging to the Israeli Secret Service entourage traveling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington, was accidentally (or not) sent to Los Angeles instead.  When it was located and opened in L.A a box with 4 guns were missing.

Airline Food Health Threat:  Roaches, Rat Feces, Horrors, Says FDA.  Airline meals are notoriously unappealing, but newly disclosed reports from the FDA suggest they could pose a serious health threat.  The reports, obtained by USA Today via the Freedom of Information Act, say that some kitchens where the meals are prepared use unclean equipment, employ food handlers who practice poor hygiene, and store food at the wrong temperatures.

Airbags on airplanes:  Your seatbelt may hide a lifesaving surprise.  The perception persists among many passengers that a commercial airline accident is all or nothing — either disaster is averted or everyone succumbs.  And while many aviation professionals have long known that surviving an accident is not only possible but increasingly likely, educating the public remains a serious challenge.

While you're standing in line at the airport...
Reid, Boxer flying high on Feinstein's private jet.  Hey, who wouldn't like to travel by private jet?  It's a treat few of us get to enjoy, including members of Congress.  Financial disclosure forms released Wednesday [6/16/2010] show that Sen. Dianne Feinstein let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Barbara Boxer hitch a ride Christmas Eve on her private plane after they had trouble booking commercial flights because of a blizzard, reports our colleague Paul Kane.

Tiny turtle causes taxiing plane to return to gate.  A caged, 2-inch turtle traveling with a 10-year-old girl caused a crew to turn around a taxiing plane, take the girl and her sisters off the flight and tell them they couldn't bring their pet along.

Airline radiation a concern, but not from scans.  Passengers may be suspicious of the low-level radiation doses coming from full-body scanners being deployed at airports, but a far greater threat comes from the radiation that creeps into airliners while in flight.  The phenomenon has been well known in scientific circles for years but has never gained much mainstream attention.

Europe extends flight bans as ash cloud spreads.  Millions of people faced worsening travel chaos Saturday [4/17/2010] as a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland moved further south and east, forcing European countries to extend flight bans into next week.  France decided to shut the three airports in the Paris area and others in the north of the country until 8:00 am (0600 GMT) on Monday [4/19/2010] due to the ash cloud that has caused the biggest airspace shutdown since World War II.

Pilot's brush with ash now aviation lore.  When Speedbird 9 ran into trouble on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, the pilots had no idea why their engines had stopped.  They were flying in the dark and the crew saw only a bright light on the windshield as the glass was being sandblasted.  There were fumes and a smell of sulphur in the cabin and the passengers could see fire as unburnt fuel ignited behind the stopped engines.  Only later did the crew hear that the nearby Mount Galunggung had erupted days earlier and that its ash had choked their engines.

Dead man kept off plane.  Two women were arrested at a British airport on suspicion of trying to smuggle a dead relative onto a flight bound for Germany, police said on Tuesday.  The 91-year-old deceased man was pushed in a wheelchair through Liverpool's John Lennon airport wearing sunglasses before check-in staff became suspicious on Saturday and he was prevented from boarding the plane.

A 16-hour flightmare.  They were supposed to be taking a direct flight from LAX to JFK — but wound up on a 16-hour nightmare tour by air and bus of New York state.  Before finally arriving at their destination, the starving passengers of jinxed Virgin America Flight 404 had been stranded on a tarmac for seven hours and forced to ride a bus for another 2½ hours.

A no-fly list?  Count him in.  Over the weekend, an idiot walked the wrong way through a secure exit for arriving passengers at Newark airport.  An entire terminal was shut down so that everybody on the "sterile" side of the security barriers could be herded back out and rescreened.  The entire process took just under seven hours.  The cascading delays disrupted air travel worldwide.

It doesn't help if the pilot is insane.
Pilot:  I kept having urges to crash.  Bryan Griffin, a veteran Qantas pilot, had a problem.  During flights he experienced overwhelming urges to crash his plane.  Once he had to pin his arm behind his seatbelt to prevent himself switching off the engines.

The airport is a police state.
Military Blogger Michael Yon Detained, Handcuffed by TSA in Seattle Airport.  [Scroll down slowly]  Yon described the TSA officials as noticeably frustrated by his refusal to answer their questions:  "I always assume everything is being recorded.  I was trying to be professional."  Yon continued, "They said I wasn't under arrest, but I'm handcuffed.  In any other country, that qualifies as an arrest." ... "TSA people are out of control," he said.  "They are not doing their jobs, they are harassing people, creating animosity.  They ask you 'what time is your connective flight?' and they bully you until you miss the flight."

Government Flight From Hell.  The Obama Administration is rarely careful about what it wishes for, and right in time for the holidays it has decreed there shall be no more flight delays.  If you happen to be reading this editorial stuck in an airport, we sympathize, though the new regulations will almost certainly result in longer waits, more cancellations, higher ticket prices and even greater inconvenience.

Flying Barely.  I, like most frequent flyers nowadays, am mentally ready to hurl myself at some guy with a weapon or who acts like a terrorist.  But I was totally paralyzed by the naked man.

You never know when some of your fellow passengers may exhibit remarkably poor judgment.
Arabic-language flashcards don't fly with TSA.  Nicholas George planned to brush up on his Arabic vocabulary during a flight in August from Philadelphia to California, where he was to start his senior year at Pomona College.  So he carried some Arabic-English flashcards in his pocket to study on the plane.  But those flashcards changed George's life far beyond the classroom.

Smelly Passenger Kicked Off Plane.  Few people would argue that air travel doesn't stink on same days, but what about their fellow passengers?  Well, the smell of one passenger was so bad that he was apparently asked to leave a recent Air Canada regional airline flight.

Airline asks passengers to use the toilet before boarding.  A Japanese airline has started asking passengers to go to the toilet before boarding in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.  All Nippon Airways (ANA) claims that empty bladders mean lighter passengers, a lighter aircraft and thus lower fuel use.  Airline staff will be present at boarding gates in terminals to ask passengers waiting to fly to relieve themselves before boarding, The Independent reported.

No charges for Salem man.  A man whose "concerning" behavior aboard a flight from Portland to Hawaii today caused the plane to turn around was released without being charged.  The plane's captain decided to turn the plane around after the man "made threatening remarks and refused to store his carry-on bag," said Dwayne Baird, a Transportation Security Administration spokesman.

Southwest Flight Turns Around After Passenger Removes Clothes During Scuffle.  A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to turn around after a dispute erupted on board that left one passenger completely naked.

Crying babies and overflowing toilets.  When Link Christin boarded a Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Minneapolis on Friday night [8/7/2009], he expected to be on the ground in about three hours and ready for a comfy bed.  Instead, he was among 47 passengers who spent the night trapped inside a small airplane, parked at the Rochester, Minn., airport, complete with crying babies and the aroma of over-used toilets.

47 Spend 'Surreal' 6 Hours on Grounded Plane.  By its sixth hour sitting on a deserted tarmac, Continental Express Flight 2816 had taken on the smell of diapers and an overwhelmed lone toilet.  What should have been a 2½-hour trip from Houston to Minneapolis had moved into its ninth hour, and the 47 passengers on board had burned through the free pretzels and drinks handed out early in their Friday night [8/7/2009] flight from Houston.

Nightmare on a plane — the Flight 2816 fiasco.  The latest infamous incident of Major Airline Tarmac Dysfunction occurred in Minnesota last weekend when a severe storm curtailed Continental ExpressJet Flight 2816.  The flight, bound from Houston to Minneapolis-St. Paul, was redirected to Rochester, Minn., and landed around midnight.  Then, because some person or persons made an unconscionably stupid call, the airline did not release the 47 passengers until 6 a.m.

Pilot tried to let stranded passengers deplane.  The pilot of an airliner stranded overnight on an airport tarmac in Minnesota pleaded unsuccessfully for her 47 passengers to be allowed to get off and go inside a terminal.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart
Taxing Off A Runway.  Hard to say which is worse.  From the U.S., the Democrat-led Congress is mulling the misnamed "Travel Promotion Act" to hit travelers with a $10 tax for visiting the U.S. under the visa waiver program.  High-spending Europeans will take the hit.  The aim?  To promote more tourism through a "nonprofit" company staffed by political cronies and set up to buy advertising.  From the U.K., a government advisory Committee on Climate Change is recommending a $10 tax of its own on every airline ticket sold.  The purpose here is to compensate Third World countries for global warming, turning every business trip into a guilt trip.

New kiosks at SFO first to sell carbon offsets.  Travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport can be the first in the nation to wipe away some of the damage their flights wreak on the planet by swiping their credit cards.

The Editor says:
There's a sucker boarding every minute.

When Skies Become Unfriendly:  Should rowdy airline passengers be prosecuted under the USA PATRIOT Act?  On the surface, the question seems to answer itself:  PATRIOT, enacted by Congress in the wake of 9/11, was intended to protect against a terrorist attack, not the drunk in seat 16A.  Dig a bit deeper, however, and there are good reasons to hold people accountable when they prevent pilots or flight attendants from doing their jobs.

Three luggage handlers convicted of stealing.  Three baggage handlers at San Francisco International Airport have been convicted of stealing from luggage during an undercover sting begun after the theft of a retired police sergeant's gun, authorities said Friday [7/31/2009].

Turtles on runway delay flights in New York.  The speed of the world's biggest jets was no match against the slow and steady pace of a group of turtles who delayed flights at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday morning.  A runway that juts out into a bay was closed for 35 minutes while 78 diamondback terrapin turtles, each weighing 2-3 pounds, were removed, said a spokesman for airport operator The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Music video:  United Breaks Guitars.

United Airlines Song Background (short version):  In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago.  I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged.  They didn't deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss.

Sting nabs sticky-fingered JFK airport workers going through luggage.  A sting captured by security cameras nabbed two sticky-fingered airport workers who swiped electronics planted by authorities, officials said.  [Two suspects] stole a laptop and cell phone from the decoy luggage as it moved through Kennedy Airport, Port Authority officials said.

Out of business, Clear may sell customer data.  Three days after ceasing operations, owners of the Clear airport security screening service acknowledged that their database of sensitive customer information may end up in someone else's hands, but only if it goes to a similar provider, authorized by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.  Until this week, the Clear service had given customers a way to skip long security lines in certain airports.

TSA asked to ensure safety of customer data after Clear closing.  For a $199 annual fee, New York-based VIP offered a service called Clear that was designed to help air travelers get through airport security checks faster by vetting their identities and backgrounds in advance.  VIP was the largest of seven private companies approved by the TSA to operate a registered traveler program.  VIP announced it was ceasing operations on June 21 because of financial reasons.  The announcement prompted immediate concerns about the privacy and security of the detailed personal identity information, including fingerprints, iris scans and digital images, the company had collected on its approximately 260,000 customers.

Ryanair may charge for toilet use on planes.  Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying, chief executive Michael O'Leary said on Friday.  "One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future," he told BBC television.

Man who stripped naked on L.A.-bound jet held by FBI.  A passenger who stripped naked aboard a Los Angeles-bound US Airways jet, forcing its diversion to Albuquerque, will be arraigned Thursday [7/2/2009] and possibly be ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination, the FBI confirmed today.

Cops:  Late passenger claims to be air marshal.  A man running late for a flight flashed a fake police badge to airline workers and claimed to be an air marshal so they would let him through the gate, authorities say.  Miami-Dade police said a 49-year-old man was booked on a flight to Los Angeles Wednesday night [2/25/2009], but the gate had already closed and the plane was departing.

Corporate Jets and Congress.  Most of us seem to hate the idea that our corporate executives are able to fly without the normal burdens of lines, delays and bureaucratic hassles.  We resent the whole business and our politicians know that so they pile on.  Corporations are so intimidated that no corporate jet carries any form of public identification.  It is impossible to tell from looking at these planes who owns them.

The Scariest Little Flight Attendant.  It's been a little while since I talked about the horrors of contemporary air travel.  Either I've become so desensitized to the situation or it's gotten better in the last year or so, I don't know.  Either way, my head hasn't flown off my shoulders in quite some time.  Which made my experience of JetBlue the other day all the more rich and surprising.  I'll just tell it to you as it happened.

Qantas probe laptop link after 300 foot plunge.  Passenger laptop computers are now being investigated as a possible cause of the Qantas mid-air emergency off Western Australia on Tuesday [10/7/2008].  The Airbus A330-300, with 303 passengers and a crew of 10, experienced what the airline described as a "sudden change in altitude" north of its destination on Tuesday. … In July, a passenger clicking on a wireless mouse mid-flight was blamed for causing a Qantas jet to be thrown off course, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's monthly report.

Update:
Qantas mid-air drama explained.  An error in the automatic pilot system caused an Airbus jet to plummet last week, injuring scores of passengers on a Qantas flight from Singapore to Perth, Australia's air safety agency said on Tuesday.  The incident was an "unique event", but was serious enough to prompt Airbus to issue emergency guidelines to airlines worldwide operating the Airbus A330-300 in the event of a similar emergency, Australian Transport Safety Bureau director Julian Walsh told reporters in Canberra.

FBI: Airline passenger restrained with duct tape.  An airline crew used duct tape to keep a passenger in her seat because they say she became unruly, fighting flight attendants and grabbing other passengers, forcing the flight to land in North Carolina.  Maria Esther Castillo of Oswego, N.Y., is due in court Thursday [11/6/2008], charged with resisting arrest and interfering with the operations of a flight crew aboard United Airlines Flight 645, from Puerto Rico to Chicago.

American cancels 922 more flights.  American Airlines canceled 922 flights today — including 16 that were to depart from Logan International Airport — as the world's largest carrier continued its struggle with aircraft safety inspections.  Today's cancellations followed nearly 1,000 on Wednesday [4/9/2008].

The Editor says...
As I understand it, the FAA (under pressure from Congress) won't let American fly their MD-80's because of potential wiring problems in the airplanes' wheel wells.  Obviously the airline considers the planes to be reasonably safe.  Here's my proposed solution:  Instead of inconveniencing thousands of people at airports all over the country, why not let them fly on the planes as usual, after signing a waiver and acknowledging that the plane might not be 100% safe.  American Airlines would be be better off letting people fly for half price, rather than getting so upset that they would never fly American again.  That would be the free market solution.  Unfortunately the American public has been conditioned to assume that the government can and will keep everyone 100% safe all the time, so that's why people are sleeping on cots in the terminals at DFW Airport.

American Cleared To Return All But Three MD-80s To Service.  There may finally be a (landing) light at the end of the tunnel for American Airlines, stifled for days following groundings of its 300-plane fleet of MD-80 airliners for safety inspections.  On Saturday [4/12/2008], FAA officials cleared the airline to return all but three of the aircraft to service.

The Best Route to Airline Safety:  [Scroll down] Unnoticed in the furor is that during all the time these carriers were doing something supposedly dangerous, it didn't cause any accidents.  The carriers' definition of "safe" seems to have been vindicated.  That should come as no shock.  As a rule, it makes sense to assume the industry puts great emphasis on safety.  Aircraft manufacturers have a huge stake in producing safe vehicles, and airlines have powerful incentives not to crash those planes.

The Latest Political Crusade:  CFL Light Bulbs and Airline Safety.  We are in an unprecedented era of safety as far as American commercial airlines are concerned and the uninspected items did not all have to be inspected immediately.  Since there were thousands of airline flights cancelled in the name of safety, this means that there were at least tens of thousands of passengers unable to take the flights they had booked.  Some of those passengers drove cars to reach the destinations to which they had originally planned to fly.

Delta Air doubles fee for second checked bag to $50.  Delta Air Lines on Tuesday [7/29/2008] doubled the fee to check a second bag for domestic flights to $50 from $25 to help offset record fuel prices.

30 lashes for smoking on plane.  A Sudanese man has been sentenced to 30 lashes for smoking on a domestic Saudi Arabian Airlines flight, local media reported on Monday.

US Airways to charge $7 for pillows and blankets.  If you want a pillow and blanket in coach on US Airways, it's going to cost you $7.  US Airways said Thursday [2/5/2009] it will begin charging for its "Power-Nap Sack" on Feb. 16.  It's following the lead of JetBlue Airways, which announced a similar policy last summer.

American Airlines waives 3rd bag fee for military.  American Airlines said Wednesday [8/13/2008] it will waive the fee to check a third bag for active members of the U.S. military.  Fees for first and second checked bags have always been waived for active service members, American said.  Previously, military personnel had to pay the $100 fee for the third checked bag, and then fill out a form to be reimbursed.  The new waiver policy begins immediately.

US Airways to follow JetBlue's pillow fee.  US Airways will likely begin selling pillows and blankets to its customers by the end of the year, following closely behind discount carrier JetBlue Airways Corp., which said Monday [8/4/2008] it will start charging fliers $7 to use a pillow and blanket.

Airlines' rising fees confuse and anger their passengers.  Rising airline fees reached new milestones last week with a charge for pillows and blankets and record charges for frequent-flier award tickets.  JetBlue began charging $7 for a new pillow-and-blanket set that passengers can keep.  US Airways established processing fees for frequent-flier tickets that will cost fliers booking online $30 for a domestic flight and $40 for nearly all international destinations.

American, Cutting Back, Plans $15 Bag Fee.  There's an old saying about the best way to travel:  bring half the clothes and twice the money.  Now may be the time to take that advice to heart.  American Airlines said Wednesday [5/21/2008] that it would soon start charging passengers $15 to check their first bag each way, or $30 round-trip, if they are flying on a discounted fare.

The Editor says...
Now American Airlines is grounding its MD-80s for a different reason:  The airline says (if I heard the TV report correctly) that the MD-80s are such gas-guzzlers that even if they were filled to capacity, the price of a ticket wouldn't pay for the jet fuel they burn.

Had a lost bag in 2007?  It was one of 42 million.  Airline passengers suffered more delays than ever in retrieving their luggage last year as 42 million bags went missing, 25 percent more than in 2006, according to a report issued Thursday [4/17/2008].  Of these, 3 percent or one bag for every 2,000 travelers were never found, said the report from the Geneva-based SITA organization, which provides computerized services including baggage handling to the air travel industry.

Arriving on carousel 1, far fewer of your bags.  After the crammed parking lot, the amusement-park-length check-in lines, security procedures that require all but a striptease, flights that are jampacked, if they're not delayed or canceled — after all that comes baggage claim, where the maddening odyssey of modern air travel is supposed to end but often just gets worse.  More than 1 million pieces of luggage were lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered by U.S. airlines from May to July, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.  June and July ranked among the 20 worst months for mishandled baggage in 20 years.

Planes Late, Fliers Even Later.  As anyone who has flown recently can probably tell you, delays are getting worse this year.  The on-time performance of airlines has reached an all-time low, but even the official numbers do not begin to capture the severity of the problem.  That is because these statistics track how late airplanes are, not how late passengers are.  The longest delays — those resulting from missed connections and canceled flights — involve sitting around for hours or even days in airports and hotels and do not officially get counted.

Fliers Fed Up?  Airline Employees Feel the Same.  And you thought the passengers were mad.  Airline employees are fed up, too — with pay cuts, increased workloads and management's miserly ways, which leave workers to explain to often-enraged passengers why flying has become such a miserable experience.

Air passengers win right to water, food.  A group representing air travellers in the US have claimed victory after a New York judge ruled airlines in the state must provide essential services to passengers stranded for long periods.

Passengers sue after being stuck on airplane.  Two passengers who were stranded for hours on American Airlines airplanes diverted during a major storm over North Texas have sued the carrier, accusing it of false imprisonment, fraud and negligence. … After landing, passengers sat in the planes for more than eight hours, unable to leave despite overflowing toilets and little food or water.

Update:
Court overturns air passenger rights law.  A federal appeals court Tuesday [3/25/2008] struck down a state law requiring airlines to give food, water, clean toilets and fresh air to passengers stuck in delayed planes, saying the measure was well-intentioned but stepped on federal authority.

The Editor says...
Airline passengers fork over hundreds of dollars to get on an airplane, only to be held captive on the plane for hours in some cases.  Here is the solution:  Pick the airline with the worst track record in this category, and don't fly on that airline again!  (Indeed, the courts have just ruled that there is no other recourse.)  When they go out of business, the other airlines will get the message.

Flight delays worst in 7 years.  Last year was the worst on record for flight delays since 2000, according to a new report from the federal Transportation Department. … Fort Worth-based American Airlines tied with U.S. Airways for the worst 2007 record among the largest domestic carriers, with more than 31 percent of flights delayed, according to the Transportation Department.  Southwest Airlines of Dallas posted the best record, with just 20 percent of flights delayed.

Flight delays are the second worst in 12 years.  "Travelers should look back on 2007 with a sense of fondness," said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, a Radnor, Pa.-based trade group of corporate travel managers.  "It's going to get worse.  These will be the good old days." … Any flight arriving less than 15 minutes behind schedule is considered to be on time.

Flight Delays, Lost Bags at Record Highs.  Flying, if it ever was fun, became less fun last year.  According to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report, U.S. airlines experienced a lower rate of on-time flights and more reports of mishandled baggage last year than in 2006, and passengers filed more complaints with the government about airline service than they did the previous year.

Hundreds Of Items Disappear From Luggage At OIA.  Thousands of dollars in property are being stolen from luggage handled at Orlando International Airport.  That information is according to the new data the Transportation Security Administration released after a year-long battle with the media to keep it private.

Flight delays, mishandled-luggage incidents on the rise nationwide.  Incidents of flight delays and mishandled baggage have risen steadily since 2003, and according to a report issued by the U. S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday [2/5/2008], the number of incidents has continued to climb in 2007.

Heathrow a national embarrassment, says airlines' chief.  Giovanni Bisignani, the director general of the International Air Transport Association, rounded on the airport when he addressed aviation executives at the industry summit in Istanbul. … "Look at Heathrow," he said.  "Service levels are a national embarrassment, but still the Civil Aviation Authority increased charges by 50 percent over the last five years and plan 85 percent for the next five.

Workers Use Handicapped Parking Slots at Airport.  The lure of free and convenient parking for the handicapped was apparently too much for some able-bodied baggage handlers to resist.  County investigators said Wednesday [4/9/2008] that at least 227 workers at Miami International Airport had been caught parking near the terminals with permits for the handicapped, only to walk away from their cars, typically with very little effort and bags in hand.

More flights cancelled as Heathrow bag mountain grows.  British Airways on Monday cancelled dozens more flights from its new flagship terminal at London Heathrow amid mounting anger over the disruption and a mountain of stranded luggage.  Five days after Terminal Five opened, ministers criticised anger at the chaos which has engulfed the multi-billion pound facility, while it also emerged that the turmoil had triggered a diplomatic incident.

British Airways bags sent to be sorted out in Milan.  British Airways is sending thousands of suitcases by lorry to Milan because staff cannot cope with the Terminal 5 baggage mountain.  A large chunk of the 20,000 suitcases, which built up after the Terminal's disastrous opening day, are being sent to the courier firm in Italy to be driven or flown to their owners.

My Escape from the Titanic:  In the case of T5, the planners had forgotten to create parking spaces for the baggage handlers.  When the handlers finally got to the doors of T5, their security passes didn't work.  The few that managed to get through didn't know where their workstations were.  The baggage handling software had already failed.  My two bags I had complacently supposed were being whirled at tremendous speed to the Boeing 747 at Gate 38 in Terminal B had in fact joined a vast logjam in the center of the baggage maze.  Everything came to a standstill.

Equipment problem delays flights at DFW Airport.  [Doug] Church said the FAA had called in a technician from Oklahoma to fix the problem.  "We were told he was told not to fly, but he was supposed to get in his car and drive," Mr. Church said.  … [Ric Loewen, spokesman for NATCA at D/FW Tower, asks,] "Why is the maintenance guy who is responsible for the nation's third busiest airport driving from Oklahoma City?  Why don't we have enough technicians here at D/FW that are certified who can fix it?

The Editor says...
Why drive all the way from Oklahoma City?  Couldn't he fly to Love Field and take a taxi?

Airline pilots may have slept past their stop in Hawaii.  The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether two airline pilots who flew past the airport in Hilo Hawaii by 15 miles last Wednesday [2/13/2008] were asleep.  Go! Airlines flight 1002 left from Honolulu and was expected to land in Hilo around 10 a.m., but had to turn around after flying past the airport.

This item was published four weeks later...
'Sleeping pilots' overshoot destination.  The pilots of a passenger jet are being investigated over suspicions that they both fell asleep at the controls.  An air traffic controller monitoring Hawaiian airspace repeatedly tried to raise the two pilots of the go! flight from Honolulu to Hilo as it overshot its destination by 15 miles.  Aside from a suspicious 17-minute-long radio silence, the plane remained flying at an altitude of 21,000 feet, suggesting that it had not even begun its descent to land.

Update:
Pilots Who Slept Through Landing Suspended.  Two pilots for Hawaii's Go airlines who slept through their flight's landing procedure were suspended for the careless and reckless operation of an aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration said.  The pilots, who have been fired by Go, completed their suspensions on Sept. 9, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said Tuesday [9/23/2008].  He did not know whether they are flying again with a different carrier.

A similar case:
Plane soared past destination as pilots slept: report.  An Air India flight headed for Mumbai overshot its destination and was halfway to Goa before its dozing pilots were woken out of a deep slumber by air traffic control, a report said.  The high altitude nap took place approximately two weeks ago, the Times of India reported today [6/27/2008].

Passengers also sleep past their destinations sometimes:
Woman says she fell asleep, woke up alone on plane.  A Michigan woman who fell asleep on a United Express flight to Philadelphia says she woke up and was shocked to find she was alone on the plane.

Flying the angry skies.  Flights are packed.  Delays are rampant.  Cancellations are all too common. … This year, airline passengers and employees already frustrated by delays say they have added peevishness, anger, even shouting matches to their travels.  Chances are not only greater that you will arrive late at your destination these next few months, they say.  It's just as likely you'll have a thoroughly unpleasant time on the way.

US Airways flight to Phoenix sat on NY tarmac for nearly 7 hours.  Passengers on a US Airways flight from New York to Phoenix spent nearly 7 hours sitting on the tarmac waiting for bad weather to clear, finally arriving nearly six hours late, and presumably a whole lot grumpier.

The Editor says...
I'm not a pilot, but I do know that the time to check the weather forecast is before loading people onto an airplane.

Flight diverted due to alleged groping.  Federal air marshals charged a Seattle-area man with groping a female passenger aboard a United Airlines flight that the pilot diverted to Pittsburgh because of the disturbance.

3 a.m. home invasion?  No, it's American Airlines.  In November, The New York Times reported that U.S. airlines lost one in every 138 bags checked in the first nine months of 2007.  That's 3.4 million bags, a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2006.  And during the holiday travel season the situation is usually even worse.

Power Outage Hits Grand Rapids Airport.  A nearly 14-hour power outage caused some flight delays Monday [12/24/2007] for holiday travelers at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, which was left without heat in the passenger terminal.

Stranded, angry air travelers overrun ticket counters, destroy equipment at Argentine airport.  Local television broadcasts showed passengers overrunning ticketing counters, throwing computers and wrestling with airport personnel, even as a spokesman for the airline attempted to explain the cause of delays.  Tempers flared as hundreds of travelers awaited word on suspended and canceled flights.

Coffee Grounds Qantas.  Qantas Flight QF2 from London To Sydney via BKK (Bangkok) (a Boeing 747-400) suffered a total AC electrical loss 15 minutes before landing at BKK on 8 January 2008. … Inspection of the aircraft showed that water from the first class galley had overflowed down onto the sub-floor E racks which contained the GCU's (controllers for engine generators) and BPCU (backup PCU).  All controllers were disabled resulting in total loss of AC power.

Airline passengers demand more legroom.  Airline passengers should be given the legal right to at least two inches more legroom to counter the threat of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), peers have said.  The gap should be widened from the current statutory minimum of 26 inches to at least 28.2 to take into account the fact that the traveling public were getting fatter and taller.

Man Drinks Liter of Vodka at Airport Line.  A man nearly died from alcohol poisoning after quaffing a liter (two pints) of vodka at an airport security check instead of handing it over to comply with new carry-on rules, police said Wednesday.  The incident occurred at the Nuremberg airport on Tuesday, where the 64-year-old man was switching planes on his way home to Dresden from a holiday in Egypt.

'Drunk' flight attendant arraigned.  A flight attendant for Atlantic Southeast Airlines who was removed from a plane because she was allegedly drunk was arraigned Monday in a Lexington, Ky. court.  Public safety officials at the Lexington airport said the flight attendant threatened the jet's captain, telling him "You're dead" as she was removed from the plane.

United Airlines [stinks] (part 40).  United damaged our bag, refused (through a contractor) to accept our damage report at the airport, and then over the phone blatantly misrepresented what it was offering as compensation.  If United had been telling the truth then we would have received the $150 compensation that United owes us.  Instead we seem to be receiving nothing at all.

Planes, Trains, and Solicitations:  With the holidays fast approaching, Americans are already bracing for the high anxieties of holiday travel:  missed flights, lost luggage, weather delays, and explaining to the children why that TSA agent gets to open all their presents.  But this weekend's latest expose in the Idaho Statesman gives millions traveling through the nation's crowded airports a whole new worry:  how to get home for the holidays without being solicited by Larry Craig.

Operations Returning To Normal After Second LAX Computer Glitch.  [Scroll down] A more serious snag occurred about 2 p.m. on Saturday [8/11/2007].  The Customs and Border Protection computer system — which is used to process travelers entering and leaving the country and identifies those on a "no-fly" terrorist watch list — went down and was not restored for about seven hours.  The outage prompted security officials to keep international passengers on their planes on the tarmac for up to six hours, creating gridlock throughout LAX.  Some 20,000 passengers were affected.

Update:
LAX airport delay cause.  According to the Los Angeles Times (and an Associated Press article), the issue that caused thousands of travelers to be delayed at LAX was caused by a faulty network interface card (NIC) on a single machine.

Terror crackdown:  Passengers forced to answer 53 questions before they travel.  Travellers face price hikes and confusion after the Government unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.  For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.  The information, taken when a ticket is bought, will be shared among police, customs, immigration and the security services for at least 24 hours before a journey is due to take place.

53 reasons to stay at home.  If you think radical Muslims, bureaucrats and cops have made travel miserable for everyone in America, you might have to stay away from Britain.  Gordon Brown, the new prime minister in London, revealed his new scheme yesterday for saying hello and goodbye to tourists and other travelers, and it's a scheme that could please only a busybody bureaucrat. … The relevancy of all this to Americans is clear and present, since bad things spread swiftly to unexpected places.

British Airways Places Dead Passenger in First Class Seat.  A British Airways passenger traveling first class has described how he woke up on a long-haul flight to find that cabin crew had placed a corpse in his row.

Passengers Spend 5 Hours On Plane At LaGuardia.  Stormy weather in the Northeast had led to canceled and delayed flights at all local area airports, hundreds being stranded at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports, and frustrated passengers sitting for hours on planes that never took off.

JetBlue passengers endure 25-hour trek from Fort Lauderdale to N.Y..  A 2½-hour JetBlue Airways flight bound from Fort Lauderdale to New York on Wednesday turned into a 25-hour odyssey that finally ended Thursday afternoon, as a chain of problems left 150 passengers staggered by the mind-boggling delay.

Sewage flows down aisles of trans-Atlantic flight.  Passengers on a Continental Airlines flight had to hold their noses for hours as sewage overflowed from toilets while they were high over the Atlantic.  "To be blatantly honest, I was more nervous than I had ever been on a flight," said Collin Brock.  The University Place man was on board Continental Airlines flight 1970 from Amsterdam to Newark, New Jersey last week when things went bad.

Airline industry in a jam.  Flight 1073 shows how easy it is for a situation to go from bad to worse, especially when carriers operate with little or no slack.

Plane diverted from IAH over unruly passenger.  A Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston from Dallas Love Field was diverted Wednesday night to College Station, according to a spokeswoman for the airline.  Continental Express Flight 2828, which had 40 passengers and three crew members on board, was diverted to Easterwood Field in College Station.

Computer problem grounds United.  United Airlines grounded all of its flights for two hours yesterday [6/20/2007] because of a computer malfunction, adding to the woes that fliers are expected to endure this summer.

Travelers Forced to Throw Out Liquids.  Airline passengers around the country stood in line for hours and airport trash bins bulged with everything from mouthwash and shaving cream to maple syrup and fine wine Thursday [8/10/2006] in a security crackdown prompted by the discovery of a terror plot in Britain.

Amazingly, people go along with this new level of stringent baggage checking without complaining.  Many were shown on television tossing their toothpaste and carbonated beverages into trash cans, while professing a belief that they're keeping America safe by doing so.  Someday even more restrictions will be put in place and the people who travel by air will gladly comply.  Some people believe that security guards are always right, no matter what they demand.

Flying naked:  Air travel quit being fun about the time snazzy Braniff Airlines went out of business, but it has become a nightmare as a result of the most recent security rules.  Not only can't you bring a bottle of water aboard to stave off dehydration on a five-hour flight, but even a tube of lipstick or mascara has become suddenly suspect in response to the recently foiled plot against American carriers in Great Britain.

Obese can get 2 airline seats.  Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.  The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have two seats for one fare.

Fat man sues over plane seat.  An overweight passenger has sued Air France after being told he was too fat and forced to buy a second seat to accommodate him on a flight.  A lawyer representing Air France told a court the company had a clear policy of asking obese passengers to pay for two seats.  "Let's be objective.  This man is fat," lawyer Fernand Gamault told the court in Bobigny.  "He barely fits on the courtroom chair.  How could he sit in an aeroplane?"

Call for airlines to charge 'fat tax'.  Obese airline passengers should be forced to pay a "fat tax" to cover the cost of transporting their excess weight, according to a controversial proposal by health experts.  Calls for the tax — which would be determined per extra kilo, in the same way as excess baggage — come as obesity rates and fuel prices surge to new highs in Australia.

United Air to Charge Obese Fliers Twice on Full Jets.  United Airlines, the third-largest U.S. carrier, may force some obese travelers to buy a second seat when flights are full and other passengers complain about being cramped.  The policy brings practices at UAL Corp.'s United in line with those at the other five biggest U.S. carriers including Delta Air Lines Inc.  The rule took effect today after being adopted in January, said Robin Urbanski, a United spokeswoman.

Air France to charge obese passengers for two seats.  Overweight passengers who struggle to fit into just one seat will have to pay double to fly with Air France in a new rule introduced by the airline.  Obese passengers will be charged 75 percent of the cost of a second seat if they are deemed too large to fit into just one seat of a 43-44cm width.

The Editor says...
Charging by the pound is, in my opinion, the only sensible way to sell airline tickets.

Swearing grounds NWA jet.  The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a Northwest Airlines pilot who locked himself inside an airplane lavatory while screaming obscenities before the flight was scheduled to take off for Detroit from Las Vegas on Friday [4/7/2007].

Passengers Sue British Airways For Lost Luggage.  When does an airline's mishandling of luggage cease to be a major inconvenience... and become an actionable, legal issue?  According to three US travelers, British Airways has crossed that line, and they have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit to prove it.

Airline Luggage Found Near Houston Store.  Authorities were trying Tuesday [12/26/2006] to figure out how dozens of pieces of luggage belonging to air travelers ended up in a trash bin behind a Houston pet store.  The store's owners discovered 60 to 70 pieces of luggage, which belonged to passengers of Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways and U.S. Airways, and contacted the Harris County Sheriff's Department, according to Houston television station KRIV.

Airport tries to get handle on bag theft.  The 68 pieces of baggage that turned up in a trash bin Tuesday [12/26/2006] near George Bush Intercontinental Airport were probably stolen by a team of thieves in a single day's work while airline staffers were stretched thin by the demands of holiday travel, a Texas travel adviser theorized Wednesday.

Update:
Five arrested in Houston airport theft.  Police in Houston arrested five contract workers suspected of stealing luggage at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.  [They] were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity after dozens of pieces of luggage were found in a trash bin near the airport.

Dogfight over MSP:  If you arrive at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 16th busiest in the world, with a seeing eye dog and want to take a taxi, you may be out of luck.  God help you if it is January and the temperature is twenty degrees below zero, for you may be refused service.  Somali Muslim taxi drivers, who comprise roughly three quarters of the supply of drivers there, think that Muslim law regards dog saliva as unclean, and they want to make their religious beliefs the basis on which they supply service to the traveling public.

BA passengers share first class cabin with dead traveller.  First Class travelers on a British Airways transatlantic flight were horrified when they were forced to sit next to a dead body for three hours.  The elderly passenger had died of a heart attack just minutes earlier and was carried into their cabin to continue the journey to America.  It followed a mid air drama in which a doctor and crew lost a 35 minute battle to resuscitate the man after he suffered a cardiac arrest in business class where he was traveling with his wife.

Like Clockwork:  Hour of Delay, Hour of Flight.  Few things are certain in air travel today, but one comes close:  If you're on Delta Connection Flight 5283 from New York to Washington, you can expect to be late.  The flight had the nation's worst on-time performance in September, arriving late 100 percent of the time at Reagan National Airport, according to a recent government report.

Questions Raised About Airport Staffing.  The ban on carrying liquids and gels onto airliners will continue indefinitely, raising questions about whether there are enough airport screeners to do the added work.

The filth that you would expect on a bus or subway can now be found on an airliner.
Beware of the Squish Behind the Jet Seat.  Seatback pockets hiding sticky surprises, carpets with patterns that can no longer conceal the curious stains, overripe lavatories and crevices oozing snack grit and plain old grime.  Increasingly, that describes the modern airliner, an untidy tube hurtling through the sky full of passengers who cannot wait to land and go wash their hands with disinfectant soap.  Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but in the airline industry it has taken a back seat to financial survival.

Security Ban Could Put Passengers' Health at Risk.  The highly restrictive carry-on rules in force today at airports could put many passengers' health at risk, especially those who suffer from chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes, a doctor warned.  Plus, the long lines and anxiety could exacerbate health conditions.

[Note to poorly educated TV news writers:  Plus is not a conjunction.]

U.S. relaxing ban on liquids, gels on airliners.  The government is partially lifting its ban against carrying liquids and gels onto airliners, as long as they are purchased from secure airport stores, and will also permit small, travel-size toiletries brought from home, officials said today [9/25/2006].  A total ban on such products, instituted after a plot to bomb jets flying into the United States was foiled, is no longer needed, said Transportation Security Administration chief Kip Hawley.

The War on Terror Is Worth the Costs.  Tighter restrictions on passengers, of course, severely limited carry-on luggage.  In addition, extra security at the gate required each passenger to go through a thorough search before boarding the plane.  After that, passengers were held in a secured area until they were allowed to board.  You could forget about getting a coffee or taking a trip to the facilities after being searched.  Add to that the restriction on standing up in the plane at the beginning of the flight, and you start talking serious hardship.  We might be losing the war on terror, but we are winning the war on trips to the bathroom.

Trapped on flight 63:  Police boarded a jumbo jet yesterday [8/24/2006] amid fears furious passengers would riot after being stuck in their seats for seven hours.  The 352 travelers were kept cooped inside Virgin Atlantic Flight 63 on the ground after a technical problem.

Airlines are squeezing more Fourth of July travelers into fewer planes.  Before celebrating the nation's birthday, many travelers will fight some Independence Day-caliber battles of their own.  They will face long airport check-in lines, followed by security lines and even lines at Starbucks.  Planes packed to record levels are great news for cash-strapped carriers but frustrating for travelers who want a little extra space.  And those who haven't traveled in a while will discover check-in kiosks and mandatory fees for skycaps.

On the other hand...
Airways in USA are the safest ever.  A passenger hasn't died in a U.S.-registered airline jet accident in more than 4½ years, the longest stretch in the modern history of aviation.  Even accounting for the death of a 6-year-old boy in a car that was struck by a Southwest Airlines jet last December in Chicago and other accidents involving small planes, the risks of flying are at an all-time low.

Next Time, We're Driving.  All things considered, our flight to Cleveland took eight hours from driveway to hotel check-in.  Some of our compatriots drove the same trip in ten hours.  The two hours saved were not worth the loss of freedom, hassle, and expense.  We are going to go on another trip soon.  This time we will be driving.

The Airport Experience:  [In the first two months after the September 11th attack, there were] at least four instances of people smuggling knives and guns successfully past security, in most cases, just to prove it could be done.  Clearly, making people stand in line for hours while ill-trained inspectors paw through their bags is not the answer.

Put your seat in the upright position — or else.  I am on a book tour, sitting in the middle seat of a row in the economy class cabin of an Airbus A-320.  Surrounding me are two people who are considerably larger than I, one of whom is eating a sandwich the size of a ferret that smells like a seafood Dumpster in August.

U.S. Airlines' service ranks worst in five years, report shows.  Customer service at U.S. airlines was the worst it's been in five years during the first quarter, according to a University of Michigan index that ranks customer satisfaction.

United airlines computer out(r)age.  TSA, not known for their flexibility, was not allowing people to go to the gates directly with a boarding pass.  Even an e-ticket receipt with a seat assignment wouldn't get you there.

United abandons Denver baggage system.  The $250 million automated system was intended to be a cutting-edge model but turned into a major problem for Denver International Airport.  The city, which owns the airport, spent an additional $100 million for construction and $341 million in interest to try to get it to work.  The automated system was an underground, computer-driven railroad network for moving baggage.  But bags were misdelivered, luggage was chewed up and cars derailed and jammed tracks.

Should Cities Be Allowed to Block Your Airwave Access?  Imagine if an airport declared that all food was banned — except for food that it specifically allowed you to buy, and that food was overpriced.  Does it sound fair?  Who decided that it's okay to ban access to the Internet, turning it into a monopoly?

 Read this article!   G.I. Joe a security risk?  Airline travel is more than getting from place "A" to place "B" and it used to be fun.  It's not fun anymore.  People, who travel on other than business, use airlines strictly as an option.  Families who fly save their money all year long to go on a deserved vacation, but I predict that this optional way to travel will soon go the way of the Buffalo, caused by government over-reaching, ordered by mindless, stupid bureaucracy.

Be Careful What You Write:  On September 1, 2002, I wrote a column critical of the way screening is carried out at U.S. airports ("A U.S. Police State").  Since that time I have been on ten flights.  On every one of those ten flights I have been "selected" for "random" searches by the same airline screeners I criticized.  Surely this was a coincidence!

Flowers, perfume in airline cabins not OK?  The Canadian Transportation Agency has issued a landmark ruling that could affect what passengers are allowed to take on airplanes, including pets, flowers and even the perfume they wear.

 Editor's Note:   The following is an anti-war column, but the writer makes some interesting points.

Isn't it time for the truth?:  Last Friday, at Los Angeles airport, I saw people trying to check their baggage — standing in a line that was at least 200 yards long.  I stood in five separate lines to identify myself and my carry-on luggage.  The soldiers in fatigues with sub-machine guns reminded me of a Third World country.

IRS Laptop Lost With Data on 291 People.  An Internal Revenue Service employee lost an agency laptop early last month that contained sensitive personal information on 291 workers and job applicants, a spokesman said yesterday [6/10/2006].  The IRS's Terry L. Lemons said the employee checked the laptop as luggage aboard a commercial flight while traveling to a job fair and never saw it again.  The computer contained unencrypted names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and fingerprints of the employees and applicants, Lemons said.

Revenge of the Tweezer People:  The backlash against senseless — and useless — airport security rules is building up into something nasty.  The anger that travelers feel toward airline security measures — like the confiscation of G.I. Joe, nail clippers and tweezers, or "random" searches that seem to target mostly white-haired old women or whoever's the first person in line — is real.  It could blossom into a political force.

Cigarette Lighters Banned From Airplanes.  Starting Thursday [4/14/2005], air travelers will have to leave their lighters at home.  Unlike guns, knives and other dangerous items that a passenger cannot carry aboard but may stow in checked bags, lighters are banned everywhere on a plane.

Flying the unhappy skies.  The allure has vanished, but the adventure remains, but it's an adventure into long security lines, high-tech glitches compounded by inefficiency, incompetence and irresponsibility.


Note:  All the information about cell phones on airliners has been moved here.


Waiting in line:  The feds are considering changing the rules on airport security again, which could end up creating even greater bottlenecks at those security checkpoints that are the bane of every traveler.

Woman banned from flight in blasphemy row.  Christian says she asked airport boarding staff to not use God's name in vain.

Handbag incident on plane gets passenger kicked off.  A passenger was escorted off a Tokyo-bound plane in Hong Kong after she refused to put her Gucci handbag under her seat, holding up the departure of a flight for more than an hour.

Air Rage Information Resources:  Extreme misbehavior by unruly passengers, often called air rage or sky rage, can lead to some tense moments in the air and may even put crew members and passengers at risk.

Is cabin air making us sick?  More and more pilots are reporting that air polluted by engine fumes is making them ill and even incapable of handling their aircraft.  So why are passengers not being told? … Incidents of contaminated air on aircraft are referred to in hundreds of reports filed by pilots in recent years, and some of the accounts have been seen by The Daily Telegraph.  They highlight concerns about the effects of toxic fumes from engines — which some medical specialists refer to as "aerotoxic syndrome".

Air Rage is Caused by Oxygen Deprivation.  Passenger unruliness began to rise some 20 years ago, coinciding with the cost-cutting practice of using recycled air instead of fresh air in commercial jets.

Nitrogen Used To Fill Aircraft Oxygen Systems.  Airlines all over the world are being warned to check to make sure there's actually oxygen in their aircraft oxygen systems after an embarrassing mix-up by Qantas Airlines at Melbourne International Airport.  For ten months, crews have been filling airliner oxygen systems from a nitrogen cart that's supposed to be used to fill tires.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a breath of fresh cabin air.  The successful launch of the Boeing Dreamliner this week has highlighted concerns about the amount of toxic air in conventional aircraft cabins.  The new lightweight plane, which is designed to cut fuel costs by 20 percent, has been hailed as the answer to the problem of contaminated air that scientists claim affects up to 200,000 British passengers each year — known in the industry as aerotoxic syndrome.

Airline Air:  Airline pilots get ten times more oxygen than passengers get.  Insufficient oxygen can cause many symptoms including impaired visual acuity. … What about flight attendants who catch tuberculosis from passengers and then spread it on subsequent flights?  This is a big coverup.  I've been contacted by several international flight attendants who have TB.

TB case brings warning to air passengers.  A man with a rare and exceptionally dangerous form of tuberculosis has been placed in quarantine by the U.S. government after possibly exposing passengers and crew on two trans-Atlantic flights this month, health officials said Tuesday.  It is the first time since 1963 that the government issued a quarantine order.

Fear of flying with tuberculosis:  One unglamorous truth about airplane travel is that it is a place where several hundred people are trapped for hours in a confined space, coughing, breathing on one another and sharing germs.  Nowhere is this more true and upsetting than in the case of a budding groom from Georgia with a dangerous form of tuberculosis.  This Atlantan simply had to get to Europe and back on two trans-Atlantic flights for his wedding.

Man crisscrossed border with TB.  A Mexican national infected with a highly contagious form of tuberculosis crossed the U.S. border 76 times and took multiple domestic flights in the past year, according to Customs and Border Protection interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Times.

Airborne contagion.  A tubercular Mexican national's 76 border crossings and multiple domestic flights over 10 months beginning in August 2006 require explanations from Customs and Border Protection.  So, too, does the six-week lag between April 16, when federal authorities first learned of this mobile danger to public health, and May 31, when the Department of Homeland Security finally got around to warning its inspectors.  Add the fact that not until June 7 was the infected Mexican businessman placed on the Transportation Security Administration's "no-board" list, by which time the man had flown to Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Phoenix after dozens of border crossings by land.  Finally, add a cover-up.  We are witnessing a genuine public-health scandal.

Congress orders probe of TB case.  Capitol Hill lawmakers yesterday called for an investigation into why federal officials knowingly allowed a Mexican national infected with a highly contagious form of tuberculosis to repeatedly board planes and cross U.S. borders.

Sick Man On 'Do Not Board' List Flies From Philly.  The Centers for Disease Control said a passenger with tuberculosis has been detained after boarding a flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco despite being on a "do-not-board" list.

Sick Passenger on "Do Not Board" List Flies Out of Philly.  An investigation has been launched to find out why a man with an extremely contagious disease was allowed to fly out of Philadelphia International Airport.

Is First Class Worth It?  For me, the most significant first-class perk is oxygen. According to a study by the US National Academy of Sciences (The Airliner Cabin Environment, 1986), first-class passengers get about three times more oxygen per person than economy passengers!

Skypoxia:  Flight attendants, unlike other employees in the U.S., are not protected by OSHA.  Instead, the FAA has full responsibility.

Immobility is Not the Only Factor in DVT Risk.  Air travel, particularly long-haul flights, can increase the odds of developing dangerous blood clots but researchers said on Friday [3/10/2006] they are not only due to being immobile for long periods.  Low pressure and low oxygen levels in aircraft may also contribute in some people to the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Flying Hassles Ground Many Passengers:  Security checks, random searches, new airline ticket fees and other hassles since the Sept. 11 attacks have kept many people off planes and on the road, particularly for short trips.  The number of people flying commercially between 200 miles and 400 miles dropped 22 percent in the year after the attacks.

In a speeding world, rage is all the rage.nbsp; Air rage and road rage are distinct products of our time.  We are too impatient for gracious living.  And if we want it, the people who service us have no desire to provide it.  Today's airline travel - especially in coach - makes steerage on the Titanic look like the lap of luxury.  Passengers are packed in like sardines without the oil.

 Editor's Note:   I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who's getting to his (or her) destination at 500 miles an hour.  If you don't like airline travel, get on a bus; or just drive on an interstate highway for a couple of days and see how you like it.

Love Field  is again in the news, this time illustrating the farcical consequences of the government's ten-thumbed attempt to manage an industry. … If you want to fly Southwest from Love Field to Los Angeles, you must buy a ticket to Albuquerque, collect your baggage there, buy another ticket, go through security again and board another plane.

Set Love Free:  Southwest Airlines would like to show you the statistics and let the consumers decide.

What is the Wright Amendment anyway?

Obese fliers:  A judge has ruled that Southwest Airlines did not unlawfully discriminate against Cynthia Luther, whose weight exceeds 300 pounds, when it required her to buy a second seat on a flight from Reno to Burbank.

In England:
Airlines load extra charges onto air fares.  Airlines are loading extra charges on to air fares, which can more than treble the basic price of a journey.  Research by The Independent on one of the key international air routes, London to Amsterdam, reveals sharp discrepancies between airlines about the amount added on to fares as "taxes, fees, charges and surcharges".

Big bottoms crushing airlines' bottom lines.  Heavy suitcases aren't alone in weighing down airplanes and requiring them to burn more fuel, raising flight costs.  A new government study reveals that airlines increasingly have to worry more about passengers' weight.

Why Airlines Can't Cut The Fat:  The current flap over whether and how to deal with overweight passengers is a no-win situation.  The latest dustup involves a woman flying from London to Los Angeles on Virgin Atlantic in 2001.  She apparently suffered leg injuries after being seated next to an obese woman who spilled over into her seat, reportedly squashing her.  This week, Virgin paid the woman $20,000 in compensation, but the company is not changing its policy on overweight passengers.

Thirteen SFO cargo handlers charged with stealing military mail.  Thirteen cargo handlers at San Francisco International Airport were charged Friday [4/15/2005] with stealing $200,000 worth of computers, cameras and other goods from mail bound for U.S. soldiers stationed in Japan, authorities said.

That's No Camel, That's My Baggage!  A baggage handler wearing a camel suit taken from a passenger's luggage has left Qantas Airways red-faced, with Australia's national carrier investigating a potentially embarrassing security lapse.  Passenger David Cox complained after he saw a baggage handler driven across the Sydney airport tarmac Wednesday [4/6/2005] wearing the camel suit that had been packed into the baggage he had checked in only minutes earlier.

DFW Airport Skylink train system cost $880 million to construct, making it perhaps the most costly mass transit system ever, in dollars per passenger mile.

Deputy on the carpet for trying to get woman past airport screeners.  An Allegheny County sheriff's deputy could face a fine, suspension or other disciplinary action for violating security procedures when he attempted to help a friend bypass screeners at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Unlike Chelsea, Bush Daughter Flying Commercial after Terror Attack:  "Remember Clinton saying no one should be afraid to fly and that he was taking four different domestic flights last week?" reminded Lucianne Goldberg on her website Monday [10/08/2001].  "Last Sunday he and Chelsea hopped onto a grocery mogul's private jet at Dulles and whisked off to Oxford."

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