Tag: Stupid IdeasView All Tags
Stupid Ideas / Pet Travel / Justin Bieber / Celeb Travel / MUC / Private Jets / Monkeys / → All Tags
This capuchin monkey is outraged
It may seems like just another April Fools' story, but trust that the news of Justin Bieber's monkey being held in quarantine in Germany is true.
Bieber flew to Germany's Munich Airport late last week as a stop in the European leg of his "I Believe" tour and, of course, traveling by private plane has its advantage...like bringing along a pet monkey for the ride. Justin's capuchin monkey made it to Germany, but didn't make it out of the airport as it seems the singer did not have the proper documentation to bring a monkey into the country.
Stupid Ideas / EWR / Airport News / Airports / Crimes / → All Tags
Well, it was a good run and now the streak has been broken. Up until last week, the last time some guy walked the wrong way through security at Newark-Liberty Airport was January 2010. In that case, the airport was evacuated and all passengers re-screened just because some guy had gone too far to get a goodbye kiss.
This time around, it was a 64-old British man who made it past a "distracted" TSA agent and "do not enter" signs to wait at the gate for a family member's arriving flight. Airport personnel didn't even figure out he wasn't where he was supposed to be until a gate agent he had talked to realized he wasn't a departing passenger. Thanks, security cameras.
We're thinking of starting an ongoing series about bad travel "studies." Last time it was the report about how cell phones can bring down airplanes, a conclusion that the authors reached after copying down several anecdotes describing things that made no sense. A few flight attendants insisted that one time there were problems on their flight, and then they made someone turn off an iPhone, and then the problems totally went awayand then someone published a report about it. Because why not?
Today's entry comes from the International Headache Congress, which sounds like something out of The Onion but is actually an academic (?) conference co-sponsored by the International Headache Society and the American Headache Society. Researchers announced that they've discovered "distinct form of headache" that you can only get during the last few minutes of a flight before your airplane lands.
Stupid Ideas / Spirit Airlines / Ryanair / LCCs / Airline News / Airlines / → All Tags
Okay, this is really starting to get ridiculous. Spirit Airlines has officially become like those little kids at European markets who flash a magazine or a piece of cardboard in your fact to distract, while they go about picking your pockets. How so? Well, Spirit loves to do garish ad campaigns that take cheap shots at news headlines (ah hem Weiner Sale), and then introduce jaw-grindingly frustrating new fees.
Spirit's formula hasn't changed and so, just after they sent Strippermobiles out into the streets, they've today announced a $5 fee to print your boarding pass at the airport. You will be charged the $5 per boarding pass if you've booked Spirit flights after yesterday, for travel beginning after November 1, 2011. Just in time for families traveling over the holidays!
It gets worse...
A new confidential report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), meant to evaluate whether in-flight cell phones and other electronic devices can really interfere with airplanes, has been obtained by ABC News. The report is based on surveys returned by employees of 125 airlines covering flights from the years 2003 to 2009. Out of that sample, 75 incidents were identified as examples of possible electronic interference. On the basis of those incidents, ABC Newsand just about everybody else who has picked up the storyconcludes that "there really could be serious safety issues related to cellphones and other PEDs."
Before you get worried though, yes of course this is idiotic. Social scientists have a word for the kind of "incidents" documented in this report. They call them "anecdotes." The rest of us also have a word for that kind of datawhich seems to be compiled from flight attendants who think that coincidences are proof and that cell phones are powered by crystals that transmit magical waves through the etherbut this is a family blog. Kind of.
How old is Spirit Airlines' marketing team? We're going to guess pre-pubescent, based on their love of throwing MILF sale and making light of the Gulf oil spill. These days, they've been laying it on pretty think though, focusing on sex scandals as material for their punny sales.
Well here's a surprise! Spirit Air is having one of their "sales," and they've borrowed a few of Charlie Sheen's recent catchphrases to boost the sale's meme cache. That's right"Tiger Blood,""Adonis DNA" and "Winning" all appear in a flash ad on Spirit's website, advertising fares as low as $27*
It's the "Living the Dream" sale, and we're starting the countdown egg timer until Sheen has his people drafting the papers to sue Spirit's people. Sure, the catchphrases Charlie has been slinging on Twitter are now copied over and over for a variety of uses, but this one seems particularly egregious. Exploiting a celeb's mental health in order to convince budget-seekers to hope onboard your flights? Not coolespecially considering this isn't a real sale.
The $27 price is each way, based on roundtrip purchase, and does not include taxes, fees and the mandatory checked and carry-on baggage fees levied by Spirit. Remember they are currently the only US airline to charge for both types of luggage! Sheen only travels by private jet lately, so at he's smart enough to avoid Spirit.
[Photo: screenshot from Spirit Air website]
Airport Security / Don King / CLE / TSA / Celeb Travel / Stupid Ideas / → All Tags
Chalk one up for the TSA today as they've gone and actually caught something dangerous in someone's luggage. That something was ammunition and that someone was promoter Don King, who was attempting to fly out of Cleveland's Hopkins Airport several hours ago, while packing heat for both .38 caliber and .357-caliber firearms, while the actual guns were not present.
Although it sounds like King stopped by Cleveland for a little "shopping," he was actually in town for the funeral of his wife, who recently died due to complications from stomach cancer. It's been a sad week for Don King, and even more so now that the TSA took all his ammunition. He was, however, allowed to continue with his flight to Florida once they'd taken all of the dangerous items from his luggage. Go here to see a short video report on the incident, from the AP.
Stupid Ideas / Crimes / DEN / Skywest / Airport Security / → All Tags
The quickest way to go from the airport to jail is...by claiming that you put a bomb on a plane. Heck, any mention of a bomb onboard a plane can get you pulled to the airport jail faster than you can say "body cavity search," so then why did a Utah traveler decide that claiming there was a bomb in his checked luggage was the easiest way to stop the plane he was too late to catch? Mystifying.
The man, who was late to the gate to board his plane at Denver International Airport for a short Skywest flight to Salt Lake City, "grew angry and made the comment about a bomb in his luggage already on the plane." This is according to Denver Post, who explain what delightful formal charges and jail time now await this business traveler:
For the second time in the last two months, a sleeping passenger has been left behind onboard the plane, even after the flight attendants and crew had locked up and the plane returned to the hangar. First it was a man onboard Air Canada from London to Vancouver, and now it's a woman on United, flying from Washington DC to Philadelphia...and she's suing.
After waking up more than three hours after the United plane had emptied, the woman says she "paced the aisle for about 15 minutes until the locked door opened and police demanded identification.” So that was all it took to get rescued? Someone in the hangar saw movement onboard the aircraft and it only took 15 minutes? That's not so bad actually; we'd have imagined that a passengers in such a situation would be calling 9-1-1 or something to alert anyone of their whereabouts.
Airline Industry / Airlines / Ryanair / Stupid Ideas / Airline Fees / In-Flight Comfort / Congress / Political Travel / → All Tags
Given how we're not totally comfortable with the government slapping down Spirit Airlines over their new carry-on fee, and given our abject loathing for that policy, you can imagine how we feel about Congress' next potential foray into airline consumer advocacy. At the end of last week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee spokesman Jim Berard announced that the committee might call hearings to grill US airlines over Irish LCC Ryanair's pay-to-pee scheme. Let's count the ways this is stupid.
First, no American airline has suggested that they're even considering following Ryanair on this. If they did consider it the outcry would be earth-shattering and force them to drop the idea. If they tried to ignore the outcry, the loss of customers would force them to take notice despite themselves. And if they still didn't reverse their policy, the market would deal with them long before Congress got around to doing anything useful. All of which is why Berard's best hypothetical question for the hearings is "do you intend to follow Ryanair’s lead and why," which has all the sophistication of a third grader playing Make-Believe Newscaster.
How many times do flight attendants have to remind the flying public that flights, in the these modern times, are strictly non-smoking? And what's more is that you'd think a passenger who's taking too long in the lavatory with smoke coming out from under the door would use common sense to stop himself from joking that he's trying to light a shoe bomb. But no; everything failed horribly last night when a Qatari diplomat on a United flight between Washington-Reagan and Denver International smoked a cigarette in the restroom and then made the sarcastic comment that he was lighting up his shoes.
As expected, the comment was taken literally by the US Air Marshals on board, who wrestled the man down and restrained him through the remainder of the flight, while military jets were scrambled to see the plane to a safe landing. United flight 663, a 757 plane, did land shortly after and was held in a secure area of the airport until a search of the passenger and the plane had finished. Surprise, surpriseno explosives were found.