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08 August 2014

Helicopter goes for a wild ride at a rodeo

The following appears to be a low-altitude flight demonstration of an R44 helicopter at a rodeo in Brazil, and was uploaded in 2012. One can say many things about the this flight demonstration, but those statements would likely include words or phrases like 'unsafe,' 'completely nuts,' and 'what the hell were they thinking?' By luck or by skill, no aircraft or humans were hurt in the making of this video.

The rough translation of the title of this video is 'Puerto Murtinho Centennial Rodeo with Helicopter Waltz.' Indeed the background music includes 'The Blue Danube' waltz from Johann Strauss, though it is hard to hear it behind the play-by-play from the MC standing on one the helicopter's skids.

Puerto Mortinho is a small city in southern Brazil. The full tail number is blocked off, but it begins with 'PT,' which is one of the tail number prefixes assigned to Brazil. If you are tempted to see this demonstration in person, our suggestion is not do so.

22 August 2013

Airlines make passengers wait days for lost bags

Airline: Aerolineas Argentinas
Date: 2 July 2013
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Flight: AA1181 (Sydney to Buenos Aires)

Baggage did not arrive in Buenos Aires. Waited four days. No news. Have continually been contacting Aerolineas Argentinas. No satisfactory response. Had to replace necessary medication and purchase items after four days in same clothes. Have had to visit doctor again and alter travel plans and spend considerable sums on additional travel changes due to delays. Have heard from the airline once saying that they found my luggage, but they gave me the incorrect baggage loss number.

Finding luggage at this stage really is of no importance as I have had to replace and change all my plans because of this incident. Extremely unhappy with any dealings with Aerolineas Argentinas with any communication over this problem. suggestion As discussed on the Baggage Basics page, you should never put critical, hard to replace items in checked bags. That would include prescription medications and other items that you need to use immediately after arrival.

Airline: Singapore Airlines
Date: 10 August 2013
Location: San Francisco
Flight: SQ0016 (Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco)

I have checked in eight bags from VTZ-SFO on Singapore Airlines and when I landed in SFO on August 10th, one of the bags did not arrive in SFO. I was told that this bag was missing and will be traced and provide status to me. They provided me with a Property Irregularity Report form and asked me to follow up with them regularly. I called on 11th August and they told me that the bag has been traced and will be sent to my home that night. Until now, I have not receive that bag and whenever I call them no one answers the phone and when I leave a voice mail no one calls me back. It has already been 10 days since I landed in SFO, and I do not know the status of my bag .

19 August 2013

What happens on the way to Vegas stays online forever

Date: 20 June 2013
Airline: Allegiant Airlines
Location: En route Medford, OR to Las Vegas, NV
Flight: 557

On 6 August 2013, the US District Court of Nevada charged two Allegiant Air passengers with one count of lewd, indecent, and obscene acts on an airplane.

The defendants and the charges
In the criminal complaint, the US government alleged that two passengers on Allegiant Air flight 557, Christopher Martin and Jessica Stroble made and obscene and indecent exposure of Mr. Martin's genitalia, engaged in masturbation and a sexual act, all in violation a specific federal law, 49 USC 46506(2), and District of Columbia Code 22-1312.

What does Washington, DC law have to do with this?
The particular acts in the charges took place on a flight between Oregon and Nevada, and was thousands of mile from Washington, DC. However, federal laws are the ones that matter in an airliner flying on a domestic route in the US, and the first law basically says that certain criminal acts that happen on an aircraft under US federal jurisdiction will result in charges under the appropriate Washington, DC laws

The investigation
The FBI and the Las Vegas police were involved in the investigation, which included gathering statements from a number of eyewitnesses. The criminal complaint was filed because the investigation resulted in probable cause for charging the two passengers with a violation of federal law.

The gory details
For anyone who dreams of joining the mile high club, consider that if you try it and get caught, details like the following facts from the Allegiant air incident will show up in a criminal complaint, and will live online forever:

  • Christopher was in seat 16F (right window) and Jessica in 16E (middle right).
  • Two witnesses (both passengers) were seating in 16A and 16C
  • Two different flight attendants had asked the alleged perpetrators to stop.
  • The passengers in 16A and 16C observed a variety of activities during ascent and at cruise, activities that included a fully exposed and erect penis, and exposed breast, and several sex acts.

If you are interested in the salacious details, please feel free to read the criminal complaint.

Mysterious statements in the criminal complaint
There were two witness statements in the criminal complaint that are mystifying in that they seem to be out of place given the alleged criminal activity. The first was a statement made by a passenger who said to a fight attendant "this is not the sex education I wanted to give my teenage sons." The second, and perhaps the most perplexing statement was made by he witness in seat 16A, who observed the male passenger on the receiving end of an act of oral sex and noted that the recipient "was in his own world."

A careful review of both the federal law and the District of Columbia law by did not reveal anything that was directly related, or even remotely related, to unlawful acts of unintended sex education or to illegal fantasies. Putting these kinds of statements into a criminal complaint on the surface seems to serve no purpose other than to humiliate the accused.

Recommendations from
For passengers who may see suspicious acts on an aircraft, whether it is of a sexual nature or not, the best course of action is to contact a flight attendant to deal with the situation. Keep in mind that the laws may be very different depending on where you happen to be flying. On a domestic flight, the relevant laws will be those of that country. On an international flight, the relevant laws will typically be those of the country where the flight terminates, or where the alleged offenders are removed from the plane.

For passengers who wish to have sex on airplanes, suggests that you either buy or rent your own aircraft, and hire someone to fly you around while you do whatever you wish with other consenting adults. If you can't afford your own personal sex flight, then restrict your in-air sexual activities to fantasizing about it, preferably while at home in private.

15 August 2013

Delta defines a two-stop flight as a one-stop flight

Airline: Delta Airlines
Date: May 2013
Location: Toronto, ON (YYZ)
Flight: DL268

Here is my story with Delta Airlines: In May 2013 I bought an e-ticket online, which says one-stop flight on the route Toronto (YYZ)- Atlanta (ATL) - Tel-Aviv (TLV). The first flight YYZ-ATL was delayed for three hours and I almost lost my connection for the next flight, but this next flight was not to Tel Aviv, it was back north in US to New York (JFK)! Then I was sitting for more than six hours before next flight with no food and I had to pass through all the security checking procedures again.

So in total I was "on the road" for more than 30 hours and it was very hard flight because of the wrong information provided by Delta Airlines. When I complained to Delta about this was actually a two-stop flights (with the same flight number between ATL-JFK and JFK-TLV!) and asked for any compensation - they just said "we're really sorry, but it's called a one-stop flight with "equipment change in JFK."

I'm a business client for many companies in the world and for the first time in my life I had wrong information and bad service from a famous airline company.

Thank you, - Alexander

10 August 2013

Delta passenger loses luggage and is injured by wheelchair

Date: 8 July 2013
Airline: Delta Airlines
Location: Orlando, FL (MCO)
Flight: DL2018

I am disabled and require a wheelchair. Delta furnished one and a skycap (Prospect) took me to security. Along the way, the wheelchair cut my leg twice. I was treated at the gate area by Delta and given ice and bandages. The flight was further delayed 4 hours/cancelled and my luggage lost.

The Delta wheelchair was defective with a rusty sharp clamp. Delta refuses to address the incident adequately and actually said that my ticket didn't show a wheelchair request so I am not entitled to any just compensation. What does that have to do with anything? My trip was started on May 13 and ended on July 13 with international and domestic trips involved, all with wheelchair assistance noted. Also in my passenger preferences.

09 August 2013

Thai Airways has inconsistent change fee policy

Date: 31 July 2013
Airline: Thai Airways
Location: Seoul, South Korea to LAX
Flight: TG692

When I made reservation drop down menu online did not have the return date I wanted. I called to verify and was told that arriving date change fee is $0. They only have $150 fee for outbound changes which states on their reservation confirmation. I was told to call back later after making the reservation to change the date I wanted. Now that I called to change the date, they're saying its $350 per ticket, total of $700.

Their terms and conditions / restrictions specify that ticket is good for one year but representative told me it is actually 6 months and that I have to pay to get an extension. None of their disclaimer links work either. Nowhere in the ticket or reservation confirmation state the fee of date change other than outbound flight. Consumers are deceivingly sold and unlawfully charged without proper notices.

08 August 2013

American Airlines repeatedly ignores their own written baggage policy

Date: 15 April 2013
Airline: American Airlines
Location: Denver, CO (DIA)
Flight: AA3613

I am seeking a reimbursement of $170, cash or airline credit, for an item that was pilfered from my checked bag.

On Apr. 15, I flew home to Chicago from Denver. When I retrieved my checked bag from the baggage claim, three of the pockets were splayed open and multiple items were coming out. One item was missing entirely: a pair of Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro Crampons (metal spikes you attach to boots for mountaineering and ice climbing, retail $170). They had been packed very securely.

I immediately filed a claim with the baggage department. My claim was initially denied. According to the documentation included with my checked bag stub, the airline has at least $3300 baggage liability per passenger, which does not cover 'photographic equipment, computers and any other electronic equipment, jewelry, cash, documents, works of art or other similar valuable items.' Crampons do not resemble anything in this list.

I was told that I could file a complaint online, which I did the following day. I received a reply, saying again that I was denied, with a similar list of non-covered items. Again, it does not seem that any of the non-covered items include crampons.

I wrote a complaint online once again, stating that my crampons are not included in their list of non-covered items. I received a reply stating that, ""It is our practice for personnel in our local offices to handle claims of this type. They have the full authority and responsibility in such matters. You will be contacted as soon as possible.

After three months, I still had not heard from the local office, so I called them directly. I was told that my file had been denied and closed out, that my item was not covered because, 'We only really cover clothes and stuff.' I was told there was nothing they could do.

I have been a regular American Airlines customer and would greatly appreciate the airline remedying this very unpleasant experience.