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MH370 missing

Malaysia Airlines MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is missing.
Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.
Rumors that the plane has landed in Nanning, China are debunked. Chinese media had originally reported Vietnamese officials saying they've picked up a signal, but this has also been refuted. There has been no contact nor distress signals, and the case is especially puzzling as the plane lost contact at the safest moment of the flight. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 7, 2014 - 1953 comments

Cheap Air Tix

How to Choose an Air Travel Search Site (SLNYT)
posted by storybored on Feb 12, 2014 - 21 comments

New Kindle feature: doesn't cause the plane's wings to fall off anymore!

Just in time for holiday travel, the FAA now approves use of portable electronic devices for the entire duration of your flight.
posted by phunniemee on Oct 31, 2013 - 94 comments

Virgin-American ailines safty video rap

Prepare for Take-Off Virgin-American airlines has a informational show that's better than an in-flight movie
posted by naight on Oct 30, 2013 - 36 comments

Next to being a Hollywood movie star, nothing was more glamorous.

"After all I had gone through, I couldn’t believe I was finally wearing the uniform. I had made it. I was going to fly. It was such an accomplishment." International Politics and the First African American Flight Attendants [more inside]
posted by jaguar on Oct 1, 2013 - 3 comments

‘Mr. Drake? We’ve been expecting you’

United Airlines holds plane so passenger can say goodbye to his dying mother. Kerry Drake broke down when it seemed he would miss the last flight to Lubbock, Texas, where his mother lay dying. Then something that an airline watchdog says "almost never happens," happened. Also on CNN.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Mar 6, 2013 - 45 comments

American Airlines Pilots Stage Alleged "Sickout"

American Airlines has been forced to cancel 300 flights this week as pilots, upset over a discouraging deal with their union (including pay and benefits cuts), have begun calling in sick in high numbers.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Sep 20, 2012 - 105 comments

Don't You Know Who I Am?

In 2011 Malaysia Airlines introduced what is believed to be the world's first airline integration with Facebook. In February Air France KLM announced its Meet And Seat program, allowing customers to scan other passengers' social media profiles. to select or reject seatmates. (Previously). It prompted safety and privacy concerns, while others said it showed how a company "gets" social media. In June airBaltic announced it would trial SeatBuddy to make trips more pleasant by seating like-minded people next to each other. Now, British Airways has decided to use the Internet to create dossiers on its customers, including using Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane. The Know Me service will initially be limited to first class passengers and other 'captains of industry'. So-called 'social seating' is part of an emerging trend to marry data-mining with customer service.
posted by Mezentian on Jul 7, 2012 - 79 comments

Sketching Safety

Air New Zealand latest in-flight safety video (SLYT). Cameo sketch-appearances by a variety of well-known people, including President Obama, Queen Elizabeth, and Snoop Dogg. Spot the others (mostly well-known New Zealanders). Presented by Ed O'Neil from Modern Family and New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey from Two and a Half Men. Previously and previously.
posted by vac2003 on Jun 21, 2012 - 27 comments

Flying Low

Josef Hoflehner took a series of black & white wide-angle shots of planes that appear to be flying very close to the beach. [Previously]
posted by gman on Mar 29, 2012 - 28 comments

Flying the _____________ skies.

Comparing airlines' Airbus A380s. Seven commercial carriers fly the A380. Here's a look at how each has used the space aboard the superjumbo jet. [LATimes photogallery].
posted by VikingSword on Dec 12, 2011 - 29 comments

Glowing Lines of Night-time Airline Flights

Long exposure photos of airline traffic - like the mapping of flights with GPS, except more glowing. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 18, 2011 - 21 comments

A Massage from President Director

Tri-M.G. Intra Asia Airlines (Warning: Sound, Flash, airplanes) has taken regional airline website design to new heights (Warning: Airline banned in the EU for being unsafe). via
posted by swift on Mar 23, 2011 - 25 comments

What's under my plane?

As your airline takes you from Point A to Point B, do you ever wonder about all the points in between? Enter MondoWindow (in beta today), which mashes up satellite photos, air traffic data, wikipedia, and flickr to show where your plane is, and what's nearby on the earth below, provided your flight has wifi. [more inside]
posted by underthehat on Mar 10, 2011 - 17 comments

Mensch

"A desperate Arizona man faced with a horrible family tragedy is praising a Southwest Airlines pilot today for displaying an act of human kindness some say is rare in the airline industry: he delayed a takeoff so the man could reach the bedside of his dying 2-year old grandson." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 14, 2011 - 84 comments

Hopalong Air Flight 58, now boarding

Aviointeriors SPA, an Italian firm specializing in aircraft seats, has patented and is marketing the Skyrider, a new saddle-style design of seat that reduces the pitch (distance between rows) by some 28% from 81 cm to 58 cm (32 inches to 23 inches). Reaction has been mixed, to say the least.
posted by ricochet biscuit on Sep 14, 2010 - 100 comments

Flying 101

Flying 101. Kulula Airlines is a South African airlines with a great sense of humor. Yeah, I thought it was a hoax, too. It's not.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Sep 8, 2010 - 20 comments

Crazy About the All Blacks and Airline Safety

Air New Zealand's new on-board safety video has been released and this time it features the All Blacks. (YouTube) Following on from its last innovative safety video (previously), Air New Zealand has produced another quirky safety video, this time featuring the national rugby team, the All Blacks. And the soundtrack features the iconic hit, "Why Does Love Do This To Me?" (YouTube) by the The Exponents. Pure kiwiness.
posted by vac2003 on Aug 19, 2010 - 26 comments

Flying the Unhelpful Skies

Disabled traveler Rachel D. took a harrowing flight with United recently. Despite their stated policy, she was told repeatedly that "It's not in our contract to assist passengers with their luggage and we reserve the right to refuse assistance to anyone." This is not the first time United has had a problem with disabled people. (For reference, the federal Air Carrier Access Act that prohibits discrimination towards disabled passencers.)
posted by restless_nomad on Apr 12, 2010 - 102 comments

Still no fee for wearing pants, though.

The natural progression of airline fees has reached its apex (or nadir, depending on how you look at it): Spirit Airlines is now charging for checked and carry-on baggage. (via)
posted by backseatpilot on Apr 6, 2010 - 111 comments

Japan Airlines

Apparently, bankrupcy isn't the only thing Japan Air Lines is fighting. The flight stewardess' uniform black market...
posted by Heliochrome85 on Mar 4, 2010 - 32 comments

Fly, fat*ss, fly!

Filmmaker Kevin Smith was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight last night for being too fat. Oops, sorry, for some sort of nebulous "safety risk". Needless to say, Southwest is rapidly discovering what happens when you mistreat a customer with 1.6 million Twitter followers and a lot of spare time (not to mention a movie coming out).
posted by Bluecoat93 on Feb 14, 2010 - 375 comments

You Can't Beat The Inexperience

The exotic blend of international travel, the authority of commanding the ever larger and faster airliners, and those dashing uniforms turned heads, drew autograph hunters and attracted groupies. Pilots also made a lot of money. Today it is different. Captain Dave Ryter earned so little when he was a co-pilot for a major airline that he lived in a gang area of Los Angeles, commuted for hours to work and made less money than a bus driver. A pilot's life: exhausting hours for meagre wages
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 11, 2010 - 39 comments

United Brakes Guitars

Sometimes music really is a weapon. Big surprise, United Airlines messed up some luggage and refused to do anything about it. But I have to give props to this guy for taking a bad situation and making something positive out of it. Bonus points for the song being pretty catchy. I wonder what would happen if that song was so popular that the record label wanted it on the in flight music station...
posted by theichibun on Jul 7, 2009 - 70 comments

Emirates Flight attendants

"Innocuous onboard flirting is condoned: Emirates' rules require attendants to politely accept a business card or phone number if it's proffered by a passenger." Inside the life of an Emirates Airlines Flight Attendant.
posted by Heliochrome85 on Jul 3, 2009 - 28 comments

PepsiNude

Nothing to Hide. Air New Zealand has introduced new ads and an in-flight safety video which uses body-painted uniforms to ... get your attention. SFW due to strategically placed drink carts, seatbelts and camera angles.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 30, 2009 - 54 comments

Tomato Juice Terrorism in the Skies

Airlines Use Terrorism Law to Punish Unruly Passengers. Since 2003, more than 200 airline passengers have been convicted of felonies for violating terrorism laws, many for incidents only involving yelling, cursing, or behaving drunkenly. One such passenger, Tamera Jo Freeman, was arrested and convicted for "an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act," after she spanked her children for toppling tomato juice, cursed at the flight attendant who confronted her, and tossed the juice can on the floor.
posted by terranova on Jan 25, 2009 - 91 comments

Oh, it's a big, pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels; why, it looks like a big Tylenol!

Mark takes us on the A380 (warning: image heavy) from Dubai to New York with meticulous photographic detail. For $7300 you can fly the A380 with access to amenities like showers and a full-service bar, and stroll down to see the plebs in steerage. Arguably the last time a flying hotel was tried in earnest was the post-WWII Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a staple of Pacific routes until jet-powered 707s appeared on the scene.
posted by crapmatic on Nov 20, 2008 - 90 comments

Freedom Flies

The Department of Homeland Security has expressed interest [PDFs] in forcing all commercial airline passengers to wear a taser bracelet that can be used to incapacitate anyone on an airline. This video, from the company that will produce the bracelets, explains how the bracelet would be put on the passenger at the point that they clear security, and would not be removed until they leave secure areas. It would take the place of boarding passes, carry personal and biometric information about the passengers, track and monitor every passenger via GPS and shock the wearer on command, immobilizing him or her for several minutes. DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development is also excited about the possiblility of using it as an interrogation tool at airports. Ah freedom, who knew it smelled like burning flesh?
posted by dejah420 on Jul 12, 2008 - 146 comments

Phony airline ads and website almost too close to reality

A fairly convincing website for a fake airline added to the outrage some felt in Philadelphia when newspaper ads promised airfares based passengers' weights. "Philadelphia to L.A., $2.25/pound" read the ads.
posted by polysigma on Jun 11, 2008 - 90 comments

If it looks too good to be true...

After just eleven months of operation, Skybus has ceased operations and declared bankruptcy. It's the third American airline to do so in the past week. That, plus the fact that the FAA is coming under fire for its failure to spot missed inspections, makes this a pretty ugly week in American aviation.
posted by showbiz_liz on Apr 5, 2008 - 71 comments

Something "special" in the air?

Woman sues American Airlines for not preventing in-flight masturbation. Oh sure, they can tell breastfeeding mothers to cover up, but when it comes to American Airlines and a fellow passenger ejaculating into a sleeping female passenger's hair? No problem!
posted by bitter-girl.com on Mar 17, 2008 - 149 comments

How Life is different from Top Gun

After taking possession of a brand spankin' new Boeing 777-300ER airliner, the pilot decided to celebrate by buzzing the airfield, landing gear retracted, at 28 feet above the ground [YouTube]. Killjoy airline executives promptly fired his ass.
posted by LarryC on Mar 2, 2008 - 47 comments

Why is your airplane late?

Why is your plane late? Airlines can make more money selling 70 airplanes worth of tickets per hour than they could if they limited themselves to the 60 airplanes per hour that the runway can handle. A long but excellent post on what is causing the delays at the airport.
posted by Coop on Jan 30, 2008 - 34 comments

The Asbestos Of The Skies

It smells like dirty socks, wet dog, oil, chemicals, gymnasiums, burning, vomit, and more. It induces blurred vision, disorientation, shaking and tremors, vertigo, seizures, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, depression, sleep disorders, salivation, nausea and diarrhoea among other symptoms. Is "toxic airline syndrome" the new Gulf War Syndrome? [more inside]
posted by AmbroseChapel on Jan 7, 2008 - 35 comments

Vintage Flight Attendant Photos

Remember when air travel was viewed as glamorous and exciting? Of course you don't. So check out this collection of vintage flight attendant photos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
posted by brain_drain on Nov 13, 2007 - 37 comments

How To Travel With Just One Bag.

Tired of waiting an hour for your luggage? Can't fit all your gear into a tiny suitcase? Struggling to find the perfect carry-on? OneBag can help.
posted by brain_drain on Oct 4, 2007 - 34 comments

Seat 29E

"Dear Continental Airlines" Disgruntled airline passenger writes to customer service. Complete with hand-drawn diagrams.
posted by thatweirdguy2 on Jun 30, 2007 - 113 comments

FlightMemory.com - easily keep track of where you have flown

FlightMemory.com You must remember this: Passengers can wax nostalgic about flights they made and missed. Launched in Germany last year, this free site made its English-language debut last month.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on May 14, 2007 - 6 comments

"You get what you pay for." - Mercedes-Benz S-Class ad.

Jet Blue Unveils its Image Revival/Damage Control Plan. The low-fare airline rolled out a customer bill of rights Tuesday that promises vouchers to fliers who experience delays in a move it hopes will win back passengers after an operational meltdown damaged its brand and stock price.
posted by wfc123 on Feb 20, 2007 - 43 comments

The "Love" clearly doesn't extend to handles, fatso.

Southwest's obesity ticket policy nearly strands man with medical condition that causes obesity. SWA's extra fee for fat travelers has been covered before. But what if your obesity is caused by a medical condition? An indigent man dying of late-stage Hepatitis C and suffering from related abdominal bloating is told by an SWA gate agent he can't board a connecting flight to a hospital willing to take his case unless he coughs up money for another ticket -- despite the family getting reassurances before he departed that he wouldn't have to pay due to his medical state. He only boards after an SWA in Dallas for the ticket herself.
posted by dw on Jan 24, 2007 - 55 comments

Cabin crew, please make sure we have remembered to close the doors.

Veritas Airways, the airline that tells it like it is.
The Economist asks, "In-flight announcements are not entirely truthful. What might an honest one sound like?"
posted by thatwhichfalls on Sep 14, 2006 - 51 comments

Puerile ozzies.

Last call for Mr Al Kyder and Mr Terry Wrist...
posted by marvin on Aug 19, 2006 - 18 comments

ATSB, You're cleared for landing

You just made $300 Million (well, you in the "We The People..." sense). The Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) was authorized by Congress shortly after the 9/11 attacks. It was critized by the Bush administration and some members of Congress as a risky bailout of major airlines, offering to guarantee up to $10B in loans. However, only $1.6B in loans were actually guaranteed under this program. And now, as their work wraps up, the American taxpayer stands to see an extra $300M in the coffers of the US Treasury.
posted by SirOmega on May 30, 2006 - 20 comments

How much is that seat in the exit row?

Get 'em while they're hot. Northwest Air Lines figures it's gotta pay the bills somehow, starts charging $15 for aisle and exit row seats.
posted by anjamu on Apr 14, 2006 - 75 comments

Gender Discrimination on Airlines

Is discrimination OK when it's against males in general? Apparently Qantas and Air New Zealand think it is OK to treat all males as potential pedophile. The NZ Children's Commission thinks it is a great move to not seat unaccompanied minors next to males, while the Human Rights Commission tends to disagree. Joe Public can't seem to decide either way.
posted by pivotal on Nov 29, 2005 - 159 comments

all business (class)

After the first time I flew on an upgraded ticket, I wondered why some airline didn't just make slightly more expensive tickets on a plane filled with fewer, roomier seats for those that crave comfort (basically, all business class). Well, it looks like someone has at Eos Airlines. The seating arrangements look fantastic, going from roomy seat area to flat bed to double table with two seats (for a coworker), with privacy and aisle access for all. Unfortunately "slightly more expensive" is pretty high at $5k for NYC to London, though that's cheaper than major airlines. Business Week has the full story on this new venture.
posted by mathowie on Nov 12, 2005 - 47 comments

The T-Shirt Terrorist?

Last week, a woman was forced off a Southwest Airlines flight for wearing a t-shirt. The shirt in question bore the phrase "Meet the F*ckers" and an image of US President Bush, VP Cheney and Condoleezza Rice. The passenger, Lorrie Heasley, refused to remove it after other passengers complained. Apparently "Southwest rules filed with the FAA say they can remove a passenger that is offensive, abusive, disorderly or violent or for clothing that is "lewd, obscene, or patently offensive," but the airline says the curse (not the political message) led to her being asked to leave. Ms. Heasley is now speaking with the ACLU to see if she can initiate a lawsuit, but the NYTimes checked with experts in constitutional law and they don't think she has a case.

Well, the makers of the t-shirt have responded: "If any T-Shirt Hell customer is kicked off of any commercial airline flight simply for wearing one of our shirts, we will provide you with alternate transportation to get you to your original destination. This transportation includes, but is not limited to, the T-Shirt Hell corporate jet."
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2005 - 221 comments

Oh, dear.

JetBlue flight 292, with 145 people on board, is currently circling LAX, burning fuel while it prepares for an emergency landing with its nose gear twisted 90 degrees.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 21, 2005 - 180 comments

Where's my pension ?

UAL (United Airlines) dumps four pension plans[optional audio interview with Businessweek expert] ; bankruptcy court authorizes shifting of USD 5 billions (allegedly largest pension default in U.S. history) in pension obligations to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. As a result the burden of private failure and incompetency will be shared by all taxpayers (whose taxes finance PBGC which is already operating on a 23 Billion deficit) and by beneficiaries of the pension plans who will see their pension severely cut : pilots from 100K to 30K pensions but also less privileged workers will be hit. For instance Mrs Tamuk, spokeswoman from Association of Flight Attendants said her pension will be reduced from $1,700 a month to $800 a month.
posted by elpapacito on May 11, 2005 - 94 comments

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