Category Archives: airlines

United Passenger Blames Airline For Drunk Man Who Urinated On Him During Flight

Airline passengers have to deal with all manner of human menace — whether it’s that inconsiderate person in the aisle seat eating a tuna sandwich, the charming child repeatedly kicking the back of your seat while his parents pretend not to notice, or the dude next to you voiding his bladder on your leg. At what point does another passenger’s transgression become the fault of the airline? A United passenger who says another traveler used his leg as a urinal during a June flight from Los Angeles to Newark is now blaming the airline in a lawsuit [PDF] filed in a New Jersey court accusing United of allowing a visibly drunk passenger to board the plane in the first place. The plaintiff says that when he boarded the aircraft, he noticed the stranger in the next seat was “heavily intoxicated prior to entering the flight, and had fallen into a drunken stupor.” According to the complaint, “a powerful odor of alcohol was emanating from the passenger’s breath and body.” The lawsuit states that just as the flight was preparing to take off, the man seated next to him took out his penis, aimed it at the plaintiff, and “proceeded to urinate all over [the man’s] leg” while he was confined to his seat due to the “imminent departure of the flight.” Not only did his seatmate smell of booze, but “upon being soaked in the passenger’s urine,” the plaintiff says he noticed the stuff “also emitted a powerful scent of alcohol.” “Shaken and disturbed by these events,” the man claims he tried to wake the other passenger up, but couldn’t because he was too drunk. He says that no flight crew members had done anything to intervene throughout the experience. He notified a flight attendant and asked to be moved, “to avoid the continued humiliation, assault, and inhumane experience of sitting in urine-soaked clothes on a urine-soaked seat.” The lawsuit claims United refused that request at first, but eventually relocated him to another seat. However, he was then “forced to endure the remainder of the flight” to New Jersey while remaining in his urine-soaked clothing. The man says he got in touch with his father during the flight to let him know what happened, and that he then notified law enforcement. The lawsuit claims that if he and his father hadn’t contacted police, no one would have intervened. Upon arrival, both men were removed from the plane and interviewed. The complaint claims that during an FBI interview, the allegedly intoxicated passenger said he didn’t remember anything from the flight, and only recalled being at a bar inside LAX. He believed he’d consumed at least four rum cocktails while at the airport bar prior to the flight, the lawsuit says. The passenger’s “unresponsive state upon being seated should have been a clear indication to United of the passenger’s heavy intoxication,” the passenger’s lawsuit claims. “United failed and refused to change the flight itinerary as a result of the assault and thus risked the health and safety of not only” the passenger who’s suing, but the man accused of peeing on him and other people on the flight. The complaint points to United’s own contract of carriage, which requires that members of the crew remove passengers who “appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs to a degree that the passenger may endanger the passenger or another passenger or members of the crew. The lawsuit alleges negligence and assault, as well as breach of contract and emotional distress. We’ve reached out to United for comment on the lawsuit and will update this post if we receive a response. The anonymous passenger accused of urinating on the man’s leg is also named as a “John Doe” defendant in the case. He’s accused of assault and battery, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Flight Lands Safely After Plane Loses Cabin Pressure, Rapidly Descends Over Pacific

Passengers on a flight from Australia to Bali on Sunday say they were terrified when the plane cabin depressurized at around 34,000 feet and then rapidly descended about 23,000 feet in a matter of minutes. Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ535 from Perth was carrying 145 passengers to the holiday island when the plane suddenly depressurized and then descended to 10,000 feet — where pressurized cabins aren’t necessary — in about nine minutes. The pilot turned back to Perth “following a technical issue,” the airline said in a statement reported by USA Today, and the plane landed without incident 78 minutes after it it took off. The budget airline commended its pilots for landing safely “and complying with standard operating procedure,” AirAsia Group head of safety Captain Ling Liong Tien said. “We are fully committed to the safety of our guests and crew and we will continue to ensure that we adhere to the highest safety standards.” But passengers say they were afraid and confused, and that to make things worse, the crew appeared to be panicking. “The panic was escalated because of the behavior of staff who were screaming, looked tearful and shocked,” one passenger told reporters. “Now, I get it, but we looked to them for reassurance and we didn’t get any, we were more worried because of how panicked they were.” “Hostesses started screaming: ‘Emergency, emergency.’ They just went hysterical,” another passenger told Seven Network. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says is now investigating the incident. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the country’s industry regulator, also said it has asked Indonesia AirAsia for more information on what happened. “Our job as the regulator is to gather information on these sorts of events and review that to see whether we’re satisfied that everything was managed properly and determine whether we should dig any deeper,” a spokesman for the group told USA Today.

Following Mid-Flight Explosion, FAA Orders Emergency Inspection Of Some Airbus Engines

In the wake of the recent in-flight engine explosion on an Air France jet, the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered an emergency inspection of the engines on some Airbus superjumbo jets to make sure this is not likely to happen again. The FAA’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive was [PDF] sent to those Airbus A380 owners and operators whose jets use one particular engine, the Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 turbofan. The agency is ordering one-time visual inspections of the engines aimed at preventing failure of the fan hub, “which could lead to an uncontained release of the fan hub, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.” If any damage or defects are found that are outside serviceable limits, engine owners will have to remove the fan hub and replace it. In its directive, the FAA acknowledges that the measure was prompted by the uncontained engine failure on that Air France flight, which was bound for L.A. but ended up making an emergency landing in Newfoundland. “We evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design,” the FAA notes. This is considered an interim action, the agency notes, as an” investigation to determine the cause of the failure is on-going,” air it may consider additional rule making in the future.

Today Was The Last Friday The 13th For Flight 666 To HEL

If the thought of taking Flight 666 straight to HEL on Friday the 13th fills you with a kind of spooky glee, we regret to inform you that you will never have a chance to book this special Finnair flight on this particularly superstitious day. Finnair has been flying AY666 from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Helsinki on Friday the 13th since 2006. But the airline has decided to retire that flight, with the last one of its kind taking off today at 1:18 p.m. local time today (it was scheduled for 13:00, of course). It landed safely in HEL a few hours later, the airline said:

“As of Oct, 29, some of our flight numbers in our network will change and our AY666 flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki will change to AY954,” a spokesperson told The Telegraph. Over the last 11 years, Finnair has flown AY666 to HEL on Friday 13th a total of 21 times, the spokesperson noted. “It has been quite a joke among the pilots,” a pilot who flew the route in 2013 said then. “I’m not a superstitious man. It’s only a coincidence for me.” He explained at the time that he and the crew were happy to help any passenger who felt uncomfortable or anxious about being on Flight 666.

Southwest Airlines To Fly To Hawaii In 2018

HONOLULU, HI (RADIO ALICE) – Plans are underway for Southwest Airlines to offer flights to Hawaii starting sometime in 2018.

The announcement was made in a joint address to the thousands of Southwest employees by Hawaii’s governor David Ige and Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines’ President, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The airline just needs to start the public application process to get FAA certification that will allow Southwest to operate between Hawaii and the mainland. Airline officials has not indicated which cities will have connections to islands. Nor the possibility of flying between islands.

According to the Associated Press, Southwest’s Chief Revnue Officer Andrew Watterson says they cannot confirm a date of when their planes can fly over the Pacific, because it depends on when they get the certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We know we’ll get through the FAA process in time to sell tickets next year, but until the FAA gives us better indications of the authorization timeline, we’re not going to speculate and put a date out there,” Watterson says. “This has been a long time coming so there’s no particular reason for us to rush it.”

The Dallas-based airline currently flies out of all the major airports in the Bay Area, SFO, Oakland and Minetta San Jose Airport.

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Delta Passenger Blames Edible Marijuana For July Attack On Flight Attendant

A Florida man who was arrested after allegedly attacking a flight attendant on a flight in July — starting a brawl that injured two others — claims the incident was triggered by some edible marijuana he’d eaten before getting on the plane. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the passenger said he was fueled by drugs when he tried to exit the plane in mid-air and then turned on passengers and a flight attendant who were trying to subdue him. “My understanding is that it was legal to buy and consume marijuana in the state,” he wrote in an affidavit. “After purchasing the edible marijuana, I ate it.” He says that such behavior is totally unlike him, writing that he’s never had “a remotely similar incident in all my times of flying on an airplane.” His friends and loved ones also submitted testimonials claiming that he’s not a violent person, but that he has a regular history of regular marijuana use. The man’s physician also chimed in, writing that eating marijuana can have adverse effects like “paranoia, confusion, hallucinations, and combativeness.” A federal magistrate judge decided that was good enough to allow the man to leave jail while he awaits a February trial, where he will be facing four assault charges as well as a charge of interference with a flight crew. However, while he can stay at his mother’s home in South Tampa until then, he’s not allowed to fly there from Seattle and will instead be required to travel by train, bus, or car.

Southwest Airlines Plans To Start Flying To Hawaii, Eventually

Southwest Airlines put on its best floral shirt to announce that the (sometimes) lower-cost carrier intends to start offering service to Hawaii. But when those flights to the far-flung island state will begin remains a question. In its big announcement of the Hawaii news, Southwest would only say that it intends to start selling tickets for travel to Hawaii at some point in 2018. First, Southwest needs to get what’s known as Extended Range (or ETOPS) approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. ETOPS is needed when you intend to fly an aircraft over an area — like, say, a vast ocean — where there aren’t any places to land safely in an emergency. While Southwest currently offers flights to as far away as Costa Rica, Hawaii would be the airline’s first transoceanic route. “We wouldn’t be so bold as to say we’ll start flying in October or November or July of 2018 and not go through the FAA process,” Southwest Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Watterson told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “We know we’ll get through the FAA process in time to sell tickets next year, but until the FAA gives us better indications of the authorization timeline, we’re not going to speculate and put a date out there.”

Woman Dragged Off Southwest Flight Disputes Airline’s Version Of Events

The woman who was forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight last week — and later charged with disorderly conduct and a slew of other offenses — is now disputing the airline’s version of how the incident unfolded. At the time, it was reported that the flight had an emotional support animal and another pet on board, and that the woman said she had life-threatening allergies that wouldn’t allow her to be on a plane with dogs, so she asked the crew to remove the dogs because of her allergy. When the crew told her they couldn’t remove the animals, the airline said the woman asked for an injection to alleviate her symptoms. But in a statement issued on the woman’s behalf by her legal team, she says that she discussed her allergies to dogs with Southwest representatives when she boarded the aircraft, and that she never said those allergies are life-threatening. Instead, she says she told them she could manage perfectly fine by sitting far from the dogs at the rear of the plane. She also claims she never asked for the dogs to be removed from the plane and did not request an EpiPen. After she’d picked her seat and got settled in, she says she was grading student papers — she’s a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art — when she was approached by a series of Southwest representatives. The woman says she answered every question they asked, and was never asked for medical certification, something she wouldn’t have needed to carry because again, her allergies are not life-threatening. But although she tried to convince the crew that she was totally fine, she claims she was asked by another airline rep to exit the plane. “Shortly thereafter, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled her from her seat by her belt loop, dragged her through the aisle exposed with torn pants, and humiliated her for the world to see in a now viral video,” the statement reads, alleging that police later disparaged her, accused her of lying about her pregnancy, and made racist remarks about immigrants. “I was calmly explaining that it’s not life-threatening over and over again and I even gave options that were just categorically rejected by the captain,” she told Good Morning America today. “There’s something that they just didn’t trust me. I was a brown woman with a hoodie.” Her lawyers claim she suffered physical injuries and mental trauma, required emergency care at a local hospital, including for her pregnancy, and is under continuing medical care. She also says she’s received hate mail including racist messages and threats of violence, and that someone tried to break into her home. She has since left her home out of concern for her safety. “Her removal from the flight had nothing to do with allergies or safety concerns,” the statement says. She “was profiled, abused, interrogated, detained, and subjected to false reporting and the trauma of racist, vitriolic public shaming precisely because she is a woman, a person of color, and a Muslim,” the statement claims. As for the criminal charges levied against her – disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing, and hindering a police officer — her legal team says those accusations have no merit. Her lawyer told GMA that although she’s a professor, a researcher, and a scholar, “we fear that when you Google her the first thing that is going to come up are these criminal charges, which we plan to contest.”

L.A.-Bound Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Breaks Apart Over Ocean

An Air France flight from Paris to Los Angeles was forced to make an emergency landing in eastern Canada after one of the plane’s engines broke into pieces over the Atlantic. The A380 superjumbo jet and its 497 passengers landed at Goose Bay airport in Newfoundland on Sunday afternoon. No one was hurt, and the airline says it’s now investigating “serious damage” to one of the plane’s four engines. “The aircraft landed safely at 15:42 (GMT), and the regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly,” the airline said. One passenger Tweeted that a fellow traveler with a view of the engine said it “exploded” into a “giant fireball.”

Another reported a “loud thud” and “lots of vibration,” Tweeting a photo of the engine in pretty bad shape:

Passengers reported having to wait in the plane for hours on the tarmac without any updates from the crew. Eventually, after about 23 hours onboard, passengers said they were allowed to leave and board a bus

“Air France apologizes once again to all its customers affected by this incident for which specific commercial measures will be implemented.”

Airline Software Glitch Leads To Worldwide Delays

Travelers around the world are facing delays today after a glitch in a computer system used by many airlines put a kink in usual operations. Amadeus IT Group SA confirmed on Thursday that a “network issue” in its Altea booking system — which handles flight reservations — caused a disruption to some of its systems. “Amadeus technical teams took immediate action to identify the cause of the issue and restore services as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement. “That action is ongoing with services gradually being restored. Amadeus regrets any inconvenience caused to customers.” The company didn’t elaborate on how many of the 130 airlines that use Altea are affected. However, Bloomberg reports that British Airways, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Qantas Airways were among those who experienced issues today. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in D.C. told Reuters that Southwest Airlines had a computer issue that prompted a few minor delays at Reagan National Airport, but no other problems had been reported yet. Other airports around the globe have been chiming in with reports from the ground as well. “A small number of airlines are experiencing problems across the world and we’re working closely with them to solve the issue,” a spokesperson for London’s Heathrow told the BBC. Meanwhile, Gatwick said there were “brief issues” but that things were back to normal. Lufthansa and its partner airlines were also hit by the glitch for about 430 minutes this morning, said Frankfurt airport said on Twitter, preventing bags from getting checked in. Operations have since returned to normal. A spokesman for Groupe ADP — a Paris-based airport operator — said that Air France and other airlines had flights affected by the technical issue at Charles de Gaulle airport. “This was a worldwide failure (of the Amadeus system). We were no worse affected than other airports,” he told Reuters. “It only lasted a few minutes.” Let’s take a moment now to enjoy the below clip.