Monthly Archives: July 2010

Man Arrested After Complaining to Ryanair about Quality of Sandwich

A passenger on a Ryanair flight from Berlin to Rygge, Norway, purchased a sandwich that the airline advertised as “freshly made.”  After tasting said sandwich, he determined it was not of recent provenance, and complained to flight attendants about the quality thereof.  The flight attendant (and pilot) were not amused by the passenger’s complaint, and asked that the flight be met by police when they arrived in Norway.  Police laughed when they were told what had happened and released the man without further incident.

I’m sure there is a lesson in here somewhere…

Woman Settles Lawsuit that Blamed Qantas for Child Screaming in Her Ear

An American woman reached a settlement with Qantas after she sued the airline because a child next to her on a flight from Alice Springs to Darwin screamed so loud in her ear that she claimed her ears bled (I don’t get it either).  The woman further claimed that the scream made her deaf, though “The pain was so excruciating that I didn’t even know I was deaf…”  OK.

My favorite part, though, is the note she sent to her travel agent following the incident:  “I guess we are simply fortunate that my eardrum was exploding and I was swallowing blood…Had it not been for that, I would have dragged that kid out of his mother’s arms and stomped him to death.”  Nice!

Mexicana May Be Shutting Down Due to Financial Troubles

Canadian authorities canceled two Mexicana flights from Montreal and Calgary to Mexico City after a creditor (likely Air Canada) raised concerns that Mexicana could not continue to make payments on the A319s.  This comes after a report that the airline is looking to file for creditor protection as a way to keep flying.  Now would be a great time to not book a flight on Mexicana…

Continental Tests Self-Service Boarding at Houston Intercontinental

Continental Airlines is testing a self-service boarding procedure at Houston Intercontinental that allows passengers to scan their own boarding pass at the gate, rather than relying on an agent to do it for them.  This system in Houston, which is used by 14 other airlines around the world, is a first for the US.   While this will not exactly revolutionize boarding for passengers, it will speed up the boarding process, which will be helpful long-term.  Expect to see these self-serve check-ins at airports around the country within a year.

Passengers Removed from Air Canada Flight After Watching 9/11 Video

A man and his son were removed from an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Orlando after other passengers saw them watching video of the 9/11 attacks.  Passengers on the plane, which had not yet left Toronto, told flight attendants that they were not comfortable being on the plane with the passengers watching the movie about the attacks.  Flight attendants confronted the man and his son, and had them removed from the plane.  They were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing (?), and sent on the next flight.

Said one incredibly over-protective Air Canada employee, “I don’t know if it was the right decision…But better safe than sorry.”

Seriously, this is still going on?

United Forgets 9-Year Old Boy During Connection at O’Hare

A 9-year old boy traveling alone from San Francisco to Ottawa on United Airlines spent 8 hours in a child care facility at the airport after airline officials forgot to pick him up for his connecting flight to Ottawa.  The boy arrived at O’Hare at 11am and was supposed to catch a 1:50pm flight.  That was flight delayed.  When the flight finally arrived in Ottawa, his mother was shocked that the boy was not on it.  After the boy called his mother from his cellphone, she realized that he was never put on the plane.

United has apologized for the oversight and generously offered to refund the childcare fee, which is great as they provided no childcare.

Thin Woman Removed from Plane to Make Room for Non-Thin Passenger

A thin woman was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Sacramento last week to make room for a much larger passenger who required two seats.  The more svelte of the two people was nearly the last to board the plane after she purchased a last minute ticket for the flight.  However, a passenger requiring two seats because of their size needed to board.  Typically, Southwest will ask passengers to be bumped voluntarily, but because the larger passenger was only 14, they didn’t want to cause embarrassment — so they just removed the other woman from the flight to make room.

For her credit, the passenger, who is a frequent flyer, didn’t make a big stink about it (or scream that she’ll never fly Southwest again, blah blah blah), and Southwest has said that they should have handled the incident better.  This is, however, the first time I’ve heard of this happening.

Black Box Inventor Dies at Age 85

David Warren, the man credited with inventing the flight data recorder (known as the “black box”), died at the age of 85 near Melbourne, Australia.  He requested that his remains be scattered, but investigators are searching the area nearby to see if they can find him so they can determine what happened in the moments before he died.

Has It Felt Like Airfares Are Much More Expensive? That’s Because They Are

A quick tidbit from Continental’s earnings report:

Anyone who has looked at buying a ticket to Europe has likely had a bit of sticker shock lately, with memories of $500 summer tickets fading deep into the past.  Continental’s earnings report gives the details:  After decreasing European capacity by about 6%, it saw passenger yields (roughly a measure of average fare) rise almost 26% on flights between North America and Europe between Q2 last year and Q2 this year.  Domestic yield is up about 13%.

Last summer was certainly an anomaly, with fares way below anything we had seen in a long time.  But being able to increase fares by a quarter in a just a year shows how much pent-up demand there was, as well as the power of taking seats out of the market.

Porter Airlines CEO Sues Air Canada For Canceling His Flight Pass

Porter Airlines CEO Robert Deluce is suing Air Canada because the airline took away his and his wife’s lifetime flight pass privileges.  Deluce sold his Air Ontario and Austin Airways to Air Canada in 1986, and as part of the sale he and his wife received lifetime flight passes on Air Canada.

He was surprised, then, when his flight privileges were suddenly revoked last year.  He probably should not have been surprised as his Porter Airlines has been involved in legal disputes with Air Canada over access to Toronto City Airport.

For its part, an Air Canada spokesperson said that it’s not surprising Deluce would prefer to fly Air Canada (ha).