Monthly Archives: November 2006

Please Go To the Bathroom Before You Fly

Chinese carrier China Southern has calculated that each toilet flush in the air eats up a liter of fuel.  So they’ve come up with a novel solution:  they’re asking passengers to go to the bathroom before they fly. Or as they’re saying, "spend your pennies before boarding the aircraft."  Or as I would’ve put it, "Don’t piss away our fuel."

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

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

Man Loses Stinky Lawsuit

(thanks USA Today):

A German court has ruled that British Airways did not have to pay compensation to a man who stunk so badly that he was removed from his Los Angeles to London flight shortly before takeoff.  The passenger, who said he stunk because he had to carry his bags in the heat prior to the flight, was asked to change shirts by flight attendants, who were alerted to his ripeness by other passengers.  The smelly guy had no clean shirts with him (they were in his checked baggage), so he was asked to leave the flight (much to the happiness, I must imagine, of the person sitting next to him).  The man may still appeal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The OTR is heading out of town for the holiday.  We’ll be back next Wednesday (or possibly Monday or Tuesday).  Have a great holiday.

6 Muslims Removed from Flight for Saying Prayers

Another proud day for America:  6 imams were kicked off a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix because passengers accused them of "suspicous activity" on the plane.  The aforementioned suspicious activity was the 6 men praying.  There are so many things wrong with this that I can’t even discuss it.

OK, there’s more.  A spokesperson for the airport said that "said some witnesses reported the men were making
anti-American statements involving the Iraq war, asked to
change seats once inside the cabin, that one requested an
extender to make his seat belt larger even though he did not
appear to need it and that in general ‘there was some peculiar
behavior.’"  Yes, they were kicked off for praying and criticizing the Iraq war.  And because one of them felt a bit bloated. 

Only 25,000 Continental Miles for a Free Ticket to Cologne, Germany

Continental has a great deal on award travel to Cologne, Germany:  Book by November 30 and it’s only 25,000 miles for a round trip ticket – half the normal amount.  Fly by March 15, when it’s a bit less miserable than it will be in January.

$59 from New York to Cancun in December

JetBlue just announced a crazy cheap deal from JFK to Cancun: $59 when you fly from JFK November 30 to December 8th & December 13-15, and return December 4, 5, 11, 12 or 13.  Enjoy — it’ll be like you’re 18 and on spring break.  But in a good way.

Southwest Airlines Would Buy Delta Assets

Without waiting for the body to be cold, the WSJ is reporting that it would buy any assets that Delta needs to shed in its merger with US Airways.  If you’re a fan of the merger, this is a good sign.  Delta will have to sell some parts of its operations to make the combination work (both financially, and from an anti-trust standpoint), and it helps to know that there’s a wealthy company that’s interested in them.  The article doesn’t mention if Southwest wants the shuttle, but it would be quite interesting if they did.  They practically already run a shuttle between Houston and Dallas profitably with far lower fares than we see in the Northeast right now. 

More on the Breast Feeding Incident in Vermont

As mentioned last week, a woman was kicked off a Delta Express plane for breast feeding, after she refused to cover herself with a blanket.  The CEO came out with a statement a day or so later saying the whole thing should never have happened, apologized profusely, and said that passengers can breastfeed however they like.

Today, a group of mothers in 12 cities are planning a breast-in(?) (breast-feed-in?) (ah, yes, nurse-in) in 12 airports to protest the original kicking-off of the plane.  Never mind that the airline has apologized and said that it was wrong.  I have no idea what they’re protesting, as nursing mothers are not being kicked off planes left and right.  Anyway, I thought you should know.

4 Injured in Air Turbulence Incident

People are always concerned about planes being "safe," but on a day-to-day basis, your biggest concern should be getting injured from unexpected turbulence.  For the 2nd time in a week, a bout of turbulence caused injuries on a flight.  An Air Canada flight from Shanghai to Vancouver made an emergency landing in Tokyo on Sunday after 4 flight attendants were injured when the plane encountered turbulence.  Keep your seatbelt on.  Your plane isn’t going to crash, but smacking your head on the ceiling is going to hurt like hell.