Next time you’re tempted to take a snapshot of an interesting cloud formation or your seatmate sprawling into your personal space on a plane, remember Arash Shirazi and Steven Leslie.
Both of them are law-abiding citizens and air travelers. And both recently ran afoul of the airline industry’s confusing photography rules.
Gary Pool was standing in the jetway, waiting to board his flight to Texas, when he remembered that the change in air pressure often caused him sinus problems.
He quickly grabbed a pill out of his carry-on and swallowed it with the last dregs in his water bottle. Unfortunately, the pill made it partway down and stuck in his throat. Pool was seized with a horrible coughing fit, his eyes watering, gasping for air, all the while inching forward in the jetway and onto the plane. Continue reading…
When Eric Crusius boarded his recent American Airlines flight from Washington to Dallas, the air conditioning was powered down and the cabin started to heat up quickly, just as you might expect an aluminum tube to do under the heat of the late summer sun.
“It was pretty steamy,” he recalls.
Why do we need to check in for a flight?
It should be possible to assign a seat directly after booking.
Actually, I’m not the one gettin’ drunk on a plane. But your pilot might be.
Last week, KLM flight attendants put out a fire in an overhead compartment caused by a lithium-ion battery in passenger’s hand luggage’ on flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok.
Mobile phones, laptops and tablet computers are powered by lithium batteries.
A KLM spokesperson said the incident occurred when the Boeing 777 carrying 321 passengers plus crew was taxiing to its gate at Bangkok International Airport after flying in from Amsterdam.
Can you believe what people wear on a plane these days? You’d think an old Greyhound bus had sprouted wings by the way some people look.
Flying used to be something that only business people or the one-percenters could afford. And when they did, they dressed up. Men wore suits and ties, and women wore dresses — or at least a long skirt, a nice blouse — plus a coat or a shoulder wrap. Dressy shoes were a must.
For Ryan Karas and Lindsi Stinson, it was blood. For Angela Rauen, it was urine. And for Linda Cannon, vomit.
Even though Kim Centrone made arrangements for Lufthansa to provide a bassinet for her baby on a recent flight from Washington to Frankfurt, the airline came up empty-handed. Now she wants a refund for the $1,000 extra she says she spent for the seat and the guarantee of the bassinet.
David French remembers the first time he flew with his bike, in 1977. Back then, Continental Airlines didn’t charge him to check his Gitane 10-speed from Washington to Paris, where he spent a month cycling through central Europe.
The pornographic images Elizabeth Saft recently glimpsed on her seatmate’s cellphone while she was flying from Sacramento to Minneapolis on Delta Air Lines can’t be described here.
“I told him to stop it,” says Saft, a clinical psychologist from Davis, Calif. “To which he responded: ‘Just don’t look!'”
She complained to a flight attendant, who relocated her to an open middle seat. “Needless to say, this was extremely distressing, and profoundly unfair to me,” she adds. “I believe the man should have been moved. I believe his behavior was criminal.”
Holding a plane for a passenger is an iconic customer service gesture.
In a different era of commercial aviation, before on-time arrivals became so important that aircraft doors closed 15 minutes before departure, planes were almost routinely kept at the gate for passengers who were trying to make a connection or who were just late.
Which made the story of Kerry Drake, a grief-stricken United Airlines passenger who was trying to catch a flight from San Francisco to Lubbock, Tex., so that he could say goodbye to his dying mother, so remarkable — and heartwarming.
We’re a nation of drivers, no doubt about it.
Don’t believe me? During the first five months of the year, Americans flew 321 billion miles. They drove 1.1 trillion miles. (It’s not a perfect comparison, since these are calculated slightly differently, but you get the idea.)
Last holiday weekend, less than eight percent of travelers flew to their destination. Almost 9 out of 10 drove.
You might not arrive at that conclusion from reading most travel blogs or magazines, but it’s true. For all the fretting we do about the indignities of flying, we sure don’t do very much of it.
All of which made me wonder: How far would you go to avoid a plane?