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Gun Discharges in Cockpit

March 24, 2008 | Posted in: News,Pilots,Travel Safety,US Airways | 1 comment

UPDATE: The pilot has been taken off flight duty. Still unclear what happened, but an investigation is underway to see if the pilot was “mishandling” the gun.

Here’s a scary story that I hadn’t heard about (but Gadling did):

Over the weekend, a gun belonging to a US Airways pilot went off in the cockpit.

Nobody was hurt, and the plane landed safely.

Thank goodness.

I’ve got more details on that (including my thoughts on what COULD have happened), but I’d like to hear your comments, too. Should we have armed pilots? Keep reading…

Gun Discharges in Cockpit

United Grounds Some Planes (Briefly)

March 21, 2008 | Posted in: News,Pricing Activity,Travel Safety,United | 0 comments

United voluntarily grounded 7 of its Boeing 747′s, but an airline spokesperson said yesterday that it wouldn’t disrupt its schedule much AND it was unrelated to “airworthiness.”

This was done after the F.A.A told its inspectors to “reconfirm that airlines were in compliance with all requirements.”

The 747′s were grounded after the FAA told United that the planes had been checked with faulty instruments. If you’ll pardon an ancient cliche, better safe than sorry.

Sleeping Pilots…AGAIN?

February 21, 2008 | Posted in: Pilots,Travel Safety | 0 comments

An investigation is still underway.

So not all the facts are in.

But here’s what we do know (and it’s not pretty)…

Keep reading.

Sleeping Pilots…AGAIN?

China to Airlines: “You Better Not Crash during the Olympics!”

January 14, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News,Travel Safety | 0 comments

No airline in its right mind ever wants a plane crash, but China is trying to make sure this doesn’t happen during its summer Olympic Games, so they’ve come up with an unusual strategy to avoid such unpleasantness: airlines that do crash will be stripped of domestic routes and new planes.

According to Bloomberg, it’s just one of China‘s latest attempts to boost tourism. Beijing expects 1.5 million visitors this summer, and they want to impress them.

I guess a “no crash” policy is certainly one way to do that.

[Liked this story? Then check out "China Olympics: It's Going to be a Wild Ride"]

Another Young Flier Is Ignored – But There’s Blame to Go Around

January 5, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News,Ask Rick,Travel Safety | 13 comments

Saw this story on Consumerist.com: the parents of a Canadian child are steaming mad at WestJet. It seems they paid the airline to watch over their little “solo flyer” and apparently WestJet dropped the ball (though the child did arrive safely).

Sadly, this isn’t exactly breaking-news: there are plenty of other examples.

But as a parent, one thing caught my eye: the child in question was just 5-years old. I am by no means defending WestJet, but, whatever happened to common sense?

I don’t know about you, but I would no more let a 5-year old fly alone, than I would allow them to play in the middle of a Los Angeles freeway.

If you disagree (or agree), let me know.

Airport Security: Is it (Past) Time for a Change?

January 2, 2008 | Posted in: Security,Travel Safety | 24 comments

I just read a truly fascinating article by the New York Times’ Patrick Smith about airport security, and his point is a lot of it is meaningless.

Not all of it; he’s very much in favor of explosives scanning for checked luggage. But Smith believes it’s sheer lunacy to make flight crews undergo the same screening as passengers, while some airport workers are subject to just the occasional random screening.

And he’s not crazy about passengers undergoing such extensive screening either:

In the end, I’m not sure which is more troubling, the inanity of the existing regulations, or the average American’s acceptance of them and willingness to be humiliated.”

Smith maintains that the Sept. 11th attacks had less to do with terrorists armed with box-cutters, than armed with the element of surprise.

Airport Security: Is it (Past) Time for a Change?

The Top 10 – Best in Air Travel of 2007: Sometimes Flying is Fun!

Maybe you’ve already seen my Top 10 “worst” list. Now for the good news: I actually found enough good things for a BEST list.

Think you’ll enjoy this. Just click “more” to see the entire list.

And if you think I’ve left anything out, please, tell me in the comments section.

The Top 10 – Best in Air Travel of 2007: Sometimes Flying is Fun!

Airline Ticket & Trip Insurance – Read the Fine Print!

December 28, 2007 | Posted in: Storms,Travel Safety,Weather | 0 comments

Interesting tidbit from the Washington Post about airline ticket & trip insurance, and a good reminder for us all.

It tells the story of a vacationing family that had to flee a hurricane, only to find out that the trip insurance they thoughtfully took out, didn’t cover their losses.

Read the fine print, everyone. And I’m reminding myself, as well.

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