In 2011 there were many news worthy things that happened, not only in our own country – the United States – but in other parts of the world, as well. Rather than dwell on them, I am taking the news that gives us a chuckle, or perhaps, it’s the weirdness that made us laugh.
The Airlines, and Airports provided us with many moments of “humor”. For starters there is the latest announcement from Ryan Airlines – following on the heels of their first announcement, that they would be “charging passengers to use the lavatories – now they say they have abandoned that idea and have decided just to remove two of the three lavatories, they have on each plane, this way they can add more seats. Passengers flying Ryan Air should be prepared to get in line, as soon as the flight takes off, just in case you need to go – just think of the long lines that can ensue.
Fighter Jets were put on alert, over New York City, during a terrorism scare, but how embarrasing for the pilot when it was discovered that the cause of this alert, was due to his getting stuck in the lavatory. As the story goes, a commuter airline was approaching LaGuardia Airport to land, when the pilot heeded the call of “nature” for a bathroom break. Little did he suspect what would ensue – the lavatory door got stuck, all his banging did not bring forth a stewardess, it did however bring a concerned passenger, who agreed to help. The pilot asked him to go and explain to the co-pilot what had happened. Very simple, not really, the jittery co-pilot heard a foreign voice, with an accent, shouting outside the cockpit and radioed Traffic Control – “the pilot has disappeared in the back, and someone with a foreign accent is trying to access the cockpit”. As they say the rest is history – the jets were put on alert – luckily the pilot was able to kick the lavatory door open and call off the alert, before the jets took off.
Ever think you would be asked to “anti-up” to pay for fuel for the plane you need to fly home on. Few people do, but when an Austrian airline went out of business in November, on a stopover in Vienna – on the return flight from Amritsar, India to Birmingham England, passengers were told they had to pay for the fuel to get them home. All 180 passengers were escorted to ATMs to withdraw enough money to pay for the gas to get them home. They will be repaid – the airline said – just when was not mentioned.
A new way to board the plane? This passenger was turned away at security, because he did not have a picture ID. Determined to board the plane, he jumped over the check-in counter at New York’s JFK Airport, and tried to ride the baggage conveyer belt onto the plane. But for this Columbia University researcher it was not to be – guess what he researched “human Impatience”.
I pays to advertise, at least Spirit Airlines believes it does not matter where you advertise, as long as you do.
a. For $18,500 companies can promote their products such as – pepto bismol, alka seltzer,
spray N wash – on their airsickness bags.
b. For $119,000 they can put their ads on the tray tables
c. For $196,000 have your AD painted on the outside overhead bins.
d. And the ultimate for 14 million, companies can have their “logo” on the exterior of every Spirit Airline jet for 1 year.
As the Airline spokesperson said “all cell phones are turned off, and the customer has nothing to do for at least three hours” great opportunity to get the corporate message across. What happened to bringing your own reading material.
While not funny, at least not to the rowers, there were two men rescued recently by Crystal Cruises “Serenity”. The two men were part of a race, attempting to row across the Atlantic, when their craft was hit by an enormous wave and capsized in the middle of the ocean. They were picked up by the Cruise ship – after spending the night in a life raft. Here is an excerp from their account of what happened
“Tom and I were just changing places. The ocean was quite calm. We were in great spirits after the first eight days in the race. Suddenly our boat was rocked by an enormous wave – the size of which we’ve never seen before. Our boat was thrown over and capsized. The cabin flooded.
“We desperately tried to turn the boat back up again – but to no avail. In fact our boat started to sink. We managed to get the life raft and life jackets out during some very nervous and difficult moments. We entered the life raft and saw our dream literally sink in the ocean. We floated for about 10 hours in the night on the life raft until we were rescued by the Crystal cruise liner”.
The Serenity became aware of the crisis by a Coastguard alert, and the Captain immediately set sail, full speed, to the stranded oarsmen who were rescued about 5 hours later. The rescued men enjoyed the freedom of the ship, until it reached St Maarten. A happy ending to an otherwise disasterous event.
Soon the new year – 2012 – will be with us, make sure you include travel in your vacation plans, it is a great way to relax, see new places, meet new people, and hopefully will not have any strange happenings.