Tag Archives: air travel

Trains….

Forget Planes and Automobiles….

Believe it or not, there was a time when Trains where an integral part of American Culture and  a viable travel option…

I wish those days would come back…

Then, we might be able to travel as freely, cheaply, easily and comfortably as the rest of the world….

 

 

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Woman Trapped In Airport For Eight Days Due To Hidden Fees on USAirways

Do you really need any further proof that USAirways is evil?

I’m waiting for Occupy Wall Street to set off an Occupy Airports movement.  These U.S. Airlines are too incompetently managed by too many over paid executives to make a profit, so they find ways of nickel and diming the passengers to death.  Now that airlines are about the only means of public transportation in the US, they have become the equivalent of buses.  Hence, poor people like this unfortunate woman end up at their mercy.

And they have no mercy…..

From AOL.  Emphasis is mine….

 

For Terri Weissinger, who was trapped in San Francisco International Airport for over a week, it was nothing short of a nightmare.

With only $30 to her name, the Sonoma native was virtually broke and looking to start afresh in Idaho. She booked a ticket from San Francisco to the Gem State on the travel website Orbitz but, because she purchased her ticket before a new federal law went into effect requiring ticket brokers to disclose all hidden fees, Weissinger was unaware of the extra $60 U.S. Airways would charge at the airport to check her two bags.

Weissinger offered to pay the fee once she got to her destination or leave one of her bags behind; however, U.S. Airways personnel refused, citing airline policy for denying her former request and airport security regulations for denying the latter.

While attempting to resolve her situation, Weissinger missed her plane—thereby racking up another $150 in fees.

Weissinger ended up spending eight stressful days living in the terminal and sleeping in an out-of-the-way stairwell. She was treated for anxiety at the airport medical clinic. When she attempted to plead with airport authorities for help, she was threatened with arrest on vagrancy charges.

“[It’s] ridiculous,” said Weissinger to ABC 7. “I couldn’t believe it sometimes, you know, it’s just incredibly ridiculous situation to be in.”

Out of options, Weissinger saw a listing for the nearby Airport Church of Christ in a phone book and placed a call. Moved by her situation, the church quickly raised the necessary $210 to get Weissinger out of her predicament and on her way.

When ABC 7 asked U.S. Airways about Weissinger’s situation, the airline responded: “We have apologized to Ms. Weissinger for her experience, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund. When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger cannot travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements.”

Airline fees have spiraled in recent years as sites like Orbitz and Travelocity have allowed customers to instantly compare ticket prices between competing airlines. The easy access to this information has pushed airlines to offer cheaper ticket prices up front, ensuring their results appear closer to the top of any given search. As a result, they are relying more heavily on additional fees popping up later in the ticketing process to make up a larger portion of their revenue.

MORE:   Terri Weissinger Trapped In Airport For Eight Grueling Days Due To Hidden Fees (VIDEO).

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Airplane Caught In Duct-Taped Window Shocker

Oh, god….please don’t give USAirways any ideas!  I have to fly home on them Friday and I wouldn’t put behavior like this past them.  I think they find Ryanair inspirational….

At least this does show there is at least one non-U.S. airline as cheap, tacky and undependable as all the U.S. Airlines.

This has to be exaggerated- has to be- but still, it’s not outside the realm of the possible.

From Gizmodo.com:

200 passengers got the shock of their lives when their plane was forced to do a U-turn and head straight back to the airport after their pilot’s window, which had been ‘patched up’ with duct tape, came loose.

Apparently the mental-underachievers in the Ryanair maintenance crew thought that just taping the window down on a jetliner would be a good idea. But according to the Irish Aviation Authority the tape was there just as a precaution to secure a new window seal. One passenger told The Sun:

“We were kept in the dark, and were terrified. I could see guys taping in the windscreen with what looked like duct tape or gaffer tape.”

I’m surprised Ryanair didn’t call the tape a ‘cost-saving measure’, or indeed charge the customers more for the thrill. [The Sun via Aol via Gizmodo UK]

Update: Many readers have pointed out that it was most likely “speed tape” used to patch the window up, which is reportedly stronger stuff than your average duct tape. We can only go on what was reported at the source (in this case, The Sun – not the bastion of facts, as you’re all aware).

via Airplane Caught In Duct-Taped Window Shocker.

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JetBlue Passenger Pees On Sleeping Passenger

What is going on with the Airlines?  First, as I previously posted,  it was the man who’s luggage was peed in while being handled by Delta.  Now this…

It’s getting to be like traveling in a Third World Country….

From AOL News:

A drunk male passenger was caught peeing on a sleeping 11-year old girl on a JFK-bound JetBlue flight on Wednesday.

18-year old Robert Vietze of South Warren, Vermont was on a red eye flight from Portland, Oregon when he started peeing on a sleeping 11-year old girl who was traveling with her sister and father, the New York Post reports.

Vietze was drunk, having consumed eight drinks, and stumbled five rows behind him (presumably towards the bathroom?!) when he started peeing on the girl. The girl’s family was using the bathroom at the time.

“I was drunk, and I did not realize I was pissing on her leg,” the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Vietze told law enforcement.

The unidentified girl’s father caught Vietze peeing on his daughter and started screaming, “F— that kid! I don’t want him near my family!” a fellow passenger told the Post.

Flight attendants separated the father and Vietze, whom they moved to the back of the plane. They also tried to clean up the pee with soap from the bathrooms.

Yet the already exciting flight was far from over. An hour before the plane landed, another passenger started complaining of chest pains and vomited. The pilot addressed the plane, asking “Is anybody on this flight a nurse or doctor? We have a medical emergency.” Yet no one stepped forward so flight attendants worked to keep him calm.

A witness told the Post that the pilots “kept coming out of the cockpit to talk to the flight crew about what was going on.”

Six Port Authority cops greeted the plane when it landed at 6:30am. Two helped the sick passenger while four carted Vietze into custody.

Vietze has been issued a federal summons for indecent exposure.

This is not, surprisingly, the first time a passenger has peed on another under the influence of alcohol. Back in June, a drunk New Zealand man on a Jetstar flight from Auckland to Singapore peed on the plane’s carpet, a man’s leg and a woman’s scarf after drinking whiskey out of Burger King cups with friends. The man, Michael Aitkin, eventually came forward and apologized profusely to his fellow passengers for his actions.

via Robert Vietze, JetBlue Passenger, Pees On Sleeping Passenger – AOL Travel News.

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Delta Airlines Pees in Passenger’s Bag- Literally

Forget raining on a parade…

How about pissing in your luggage?  That’s a sure way to ruin a trip…

This guy from Britain had an even worse experience with Delta than I’ve ever had with USAirways.  I used to fly Delta and remember them fondly as being much classier and polite than those cattle cars in the sky run by USAirways.  This kind of destroys those happy memories of made-to-order Ice Cream Sundies by smiling Stewardesses.

At least USAirways has never used my Tumi as a toilet.

This is truly unbelievable…

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Woman Strips Naked on Delta Flight

Nothing this interesting ever happens when I travel…

And I’ve been on hundreds-if not thousands-  of flights…

Talk about in-flight entertainment. Passengers on a Delta flight Saturday got a “show” when a woman stripped naked and began to make a scene during their flight.

Flight 6562, en route from Chicago to New York, was descending to Kennedy Airport when the “emotionally disturbed” woman removed her clothes, reports USA TODAY.

A Newsday manager who was also on the flight said flight attendants tried to cover the woman with a blanket, but she yelled “No! No! No!”

The woman, reportedly in her late 20s, was taken into custody by local law enforcement. According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, she was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens.

via Woman Strips Naked on Delta Flight – AOL Travel News.

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Fourteen Ways to Improve Air Travel

I’m just back from a trip, so I decided to revise and re-run one of my older posts.  It’s still accurate, but I needed to add a couple of points.  I’ve never seen an industry go downhill as fast as the airlines.  They have used 9/11 as an excuse to avoid any attempts at Customer service.  After our tax dollars bailed them out.

Think about that, those of you who don’t want to extend unemployment benefits.  We bail out entire incompetently run businesses, then people complain if we try to help the average person…

One of the reasons I don’t post as often as I might like is that I travel on business about 50% of the time. I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years now and I’ve really seen first hand the decline in quality of life for airline travelers. A lot of it– most of it– is the fault of the airlines, but my fellow travelers are also contributing heavily to the unpleasantness of travel through their own behavior. Here are 10 suggestions I think would improve the process for all of us.

1.Weld all airline seats to a stationary position. I’m tired of some drunken businessman laying in my lap and blocking my reading light all the way across the country.   I never recline my seat.   Not only does this lead to poor posture, I find the seat is even more uncomfortable reclined than upright. Exceptions would be made for overnight flights only.

2. Allow pets in the cabin and put ill-behaved children in the cargo hold in pet carriers. Not only would it deter terrorists if we had numerous dogs loose in the cabin, it would be much more pleasant than having some kid kicking your seat from coast to coast, screaming and crying at the top of their lungs or whining unattractively.

3. Either increase the width of the seat or enforce the policy for severely over weight people to have to buy two seats.   God knows I could lose a few pounds and I hate to say this, but it really makes for an uncomfortable flight if the person next to you taking half of your space.  If you have spent 5 hours hanging halfway into the aisle or unable to move your shoulders because the person next to you takes up so much space, you will know what I mean.

4. Limit carry on bags and enforce the limits. I’m sick and tired of people practically dragging steamer trunks onto 30 seater planes, then seeming amazed that they don’t fit in the overhead.

5. Deliver checked luggage in a timely manner. We now have to pay the airlines to handle checked baggage, so they should handle it quickly. I’m tired of waiting up to 45 minutes after landing for my bags to arrive.

6. Ban carry on food.  Either provide it or sell it, but don’t make me smell a meatball sub for hours in a confined, ill-ventilated space.

7. Define “weather” delays so the airlines don’t use it as a catch-all excuse not to staff or schedule appropriately or pay for hotel rooms for passengers they leave stranded.  I’ve seen the airlines use this excuse too many times when they strand people for several days due to canceled flights when there either is no weather issue or it was several days previous to the delay or cancellation.

8. Don’t let airlines claim an “on time” departure from pushback from the gate. Require it to be when the plane actually is airborne. This would greatly reduce the time spent sitting on planes on the tarmac.

9. Start calling “Flight Attendants” Stewards and Stewardesses again. This might bring their attitudes down a notch and make them a little less uppity and mean.

10.  Ban Flip Flops.  If, god forbid, there were an emergency these fools would cause half the people on the plane to die because they don’t have appropriate footwear.  Just think if there was a fire, crash landing, etc.  Would you want to be crawling over hot, tangled metal shoeless or with little pieces of plastic melted to your feet?  These people would delay the process and endanger everyone on the plane.  This isn’t just a style preference, this is a safety issue.

11.  Make people dress appropriately for travel in all other ways.  If you wear shorts and a tank top on a plane, you should expect to be cold.  Don’t make them turn down the air conditioning so those of us who are dressed appropriately for travel, burn up.

12. Nationalize the airlines and start over by reselling them to someone with a viable new business plan and customer focused strategy. We’ve gone so far downhill, this may be the only true fix….

13.  Remove the requirement that the Airlines be majority US owned.  I’m thinking Richard Branson.  Virgin Atlantic is a wonderful airline.  It seems only American’s no longer know how to run an airline.  Other countries do this much better…either learn from them or let them go ahead and run ours.

14.  Make them clean the damn planes.  I actually found a used diaper in my seat back pocket once.  When the stewards and stewardess come down the aisle to collect trash, I’m thinking we should all start keeping it and throwing it in the floor before we leave.  That may be the only way to force them to clean the planes.  Now, they expect us to do that ourselves, too.

More to come…I’ve got 3 more business trips over the next month or so…

And here’s a look at the way air travel once was:

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