Singapore Airlines Becomes The 1st Airline in ASIA To Offer TSA Pre-Check

Meanwhile Global Entry allows for expedited customs & immigration, where eligible travelers can just use kiosks at immigration, rather than having to queue for an agent.

Global-Entry

While Global Entry is valid regardless of which airline you’re flying, TSA Pre-Check requires flying certain airlines that are enrolled in the program.

Over the past year the TSA has nicely expanded the number of airlines that participate in Pre-Check. For example, last year the TSA added Aeromexico, Etihad, and Lufthansa to the program, among other airlines. Earlier this year the TSA added 11 more airlines, including Avianca, Spirit, Virgin Atlantic, and more.

Seven more airlines have joined TSA Pre-Check

The TSA announced today that seven more airlines have joined TSA Pre-Check, including Copa Airlines, Dominican Wings, InterCaribbean Airways, Silver Airways, Singapore Airlines, Swift Air, and Turkish Airlines.

While a lot of foreign carriers have already been added, oddly no Asian airlines have been eligible for TSA Pre-Check up until now, so it’s great to see Singapore Airlines added to the list. This will benefit Singapore Airlines passengers traveling out of their gateways in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. I’ve taken Singapore’s flight from New York to Frankfurt many times, which departs from JFK’s Terminal 4. Security lines there can be abysmal, so it will be a huge time saver to have access to TSA Pre-Check.

I’m surprised to see Turkish Airlines added to the list, given the reports of passengers traveling to Istanbul getting “SSSS” on their boarding pass, and given that Turkey is on the list of countries which are impacted by the electronics ban.

Registering for TSA Pre-Check

Keep in mind that while you can pay to register for TSA Pre-Check directly, you’re much better off registering for Global Entry, as it also comes with TSA Pre-Check (TSA Pre-Check, on the other hand, doesn’t come with Global Entry).

I registered for Global Entry for the first time in mid-2011, and wrote about my experience at the time. Global Entry is valid for five years, and I just renewed my membership just last year.

Several credit cards offer Global Entry fee credits, where they’ll reimburse you for the $100 fee to join Global Entry. These cards include the following:

Citi-Prestige-Global-Entry-Credit

The very best way to get TSA Pre-Check is through NEXUS, which costs just $50 and gets you expedited immigration in the US and Canada, Global Entry, and TSA Pre-Check. You pay half the price and get the most privileges. But that’s not as practical for everyone, since there aren’t as many centers where you can enroll for NEXUS, since it’s primarily intended for those traveling frequently between the US and Canada.

Bottom line

It’s great to finally see more airlines eligible for TSA Pre-Check, and I’m especially happy to see the first Asian airline added to the list. Here’s to hoping that Cathay Pacific and other major Asian carriers become TSA Pre-Check eligible as well.

Which other airlines would you most like to see join Pre-Check?

Turkish Man Attempts Cockpit Break-in During LA to Honolulu Flight

A Turkish man who had been stopped hours earlier by LA Airport Police for breaching airport security – then released – attempted to enter the cockpit of an American Airlines jet traveling from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

According to authorities, Anil Uskanil, 25, was a ticketed passenger aboard the flight and had gone through a TSA screening. At 2:45 a.m. Friday LAX Police received a call that a man had gone through a door in Terminal 5 that leads to the airfield ramp. A contractor spotted him and detained him until authorities arrived.

LAX Police determined Uskanil was intoxicated, charged him with misdemeanor trespassing, and released him.

He boarded the flight to Hawaii, and his odd behavior started before the plane even took off.

Passengers Mark and Donna Basden of Albuquerque, New Mexico, sat down in their first-class seats, and Mark found a laptop in the seat pocket. A flight attendant suspected it belonged to Uskanil, who was in the bathroom.Basden returned it to the man when he came out. Basden says the man scowled at him, opened and closed the laptop computer and then sat in a different seat. A flight attendant asked to see his boarding pass, and then escorted Uskanil back to row 35.

There are conflicting reports about what happened later in the flight. The Basdens said Uskanil put some kind of towel or blanket over his head and tried to get into the first-class cabin, with his laptop in his hand. A serving cart blocked the doorway, and he was subdued for the rest of the flight.

government source reports he was loitering in the area of the forward restroom, near the cockpit, with his laptop in hand. When he was asked to return to his seat, he refused.

Other passengers told Hawaii News Now a more detailed and slightly different version of events.

Several hours in, passengers and authorities said, he allegedly tried to break through the cockpit door, throwing himself up against a beverage cart as he tried to force his way into the first-class cabin.Passengers said the man had a blanket or towel on his head, and didn’t say anything as he pushed forward.

Flight attendants, an off-duty Los Angeles police officer and other passengers were able to stop the man and secure him in a seat.

“It was all kind of surreal,” said Penny Lorenzen, a passenger on the flight. “It’s amazing to me how calm everybody stayed. Angels were watching out for us.”

Her husband was among those who got up to try to stop the man.

“It took seconds,” said Lee Lorenzen, of Orange County, Calif. “He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him. They found some duct tape. There were pillows and blankets. And they taped him to his chair.”

He added, “It was all over very quickly. They really deserve a medal for what they did.”

When the plane landed, law enforcement officers were waiting.

Greeted by the FBI in Hawaii. #fbi #police #hawaii #homelandsecurity

A post shared by bplus.noisefloor.dnb (@bplus.noisefloor.dnb) on


One passenger recorded Uskanil being led off the plane in handcuffs.


Uskanil’s visa has been canceled, and he is being held at a federal detention center in Honolulu.

5 Tech Hacks That Will Save You a Bundle on Airfare

We all love to complain about airlines and their never-ending efforts to find new, clever, and incredibly annoying ways to squeeze every penny out of travelers. But when it comes to soothing your travel rage, revenge is sweeter than anger.

You know they’re using every tool out there to maximize their profits. So, of course, you should arm yourself with every tech hack possible to fight back and potentially save yourself a ton of money. Plus, how great does it feel to get a great deal and beat the airlines at their own game? Happy shopping!

1. Google Flights is your best friend.

As Suzy Strutner points out on The Huffington Post, when it comes to saving money on flights, Google Flights is your best friend. In an enormously helpful article, Strutner lays out all the ways the site can help you get a deal, including its “best bang for your buck feature” that figures out the best deal not only based on price but also on flight duration, and notifications when prices will probably jump via your phone.

2. A niche site for every issue.

Kayak and Google Flights might be the usual go-to choices for the savvy traveler, but there are a ton of other tech tools you should be aware of that can help with a head-spinning variety of particular travel issues.

  • Hopper notifies you of price drops.
  • Got no time but $49? FlightFox will do the work of finding cheap airfare for you.
  • Yapta tracks your flight details and lets you know if the price drops after you purchase. If the decrease is large enough, it can be worth paying the penalty to change your ticket.
  • Budget airlines don’t appear on all comparison sites, but WhichBudget will tell you which ones fly where.
  • Not sure where you want to go? Skyscanner shows you the best deals currently on offer for a particular country or even the whole world.
  • Use Points.com to trade, buy, or redeem points.
  • Airfarewatchdog employs actual humans to handpick a smaller number of truly awesome deals.

3. Clear your cookies.

Clever airlines use every crumb of data they can get to decide how much money they can charge you, including whether you’ve visited travel booking sites previously. Deprive them of that info by clearing the cookies on your browser and you’re likely to see a lower price.

Setting your browser to incognito or private browsing mode before you start searching works too.

4. Fudge your location.

What other information do airlines use to set fares? Your location. Tickets are sometimes cheaper in countries with a lower cost of living, a fact you can use to your advantage, Erica Ho of Map Happy tells Thrillist.

“It’s as simple as using the airline’s regional website (or masking your IP address to make it look like you live there) to buy your ticket in the foreign currency. So, let’s say you wanted to fly from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa. All you’d do is log onto South African Air’s local site (.za, NOT .com) — or use a VPN to get a South African IP address — select the ATL-JNB flight you want, and buy it in Rand — preferably using a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees,” explains the site.

5. Pretend you’re going solo.

According to lifestyle site MyDomaine, “many airlines hike up prices when you’re buying several seats at once.” Therefore, “even if you’re booking for the entire family, be sure to do a separate search for the flights set to one person first.”

28 Amazing Pictures From The Golden Age Of Airlines

By-  – 

A United Airlines flight attendant talks with a passenger aboard a Douglas DC-10, 1968.

Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

The Supremes, including Diana Ross, pose at an undisclosed airport in 1965.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

The world’s largest jetliner, the Boeing 747, is rolled out for public view at the company’s hangar in Everett, Washington, 1968.

San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

Pacific Southwest Airlines flight attendants model their latest uniforms in the late 1960s.

Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

The Jimi Hendrix Experience poses for a quick pictures on the tarmac of the London Airport in 1967.

U.S. National Archives

The interior of an Alaska Airlines Convair 880 M-6 during the 1960s.

San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

The interior decorations of a PSA airliner in the late 1960s.

Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

A flight attendant makes a bed aboard a German airliner in 1955.

Express / Getty Images

Jacqueline Dubut, the first female airline pilot for the French domestic airline Air Inter, sits in the cockpit of her plane in 1967.

Leonard Mccombe / Getty Images

Three Pan Am pilots check out the scenery while flying over Paris in 1956.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Three flight attendants who served first lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her flight from Italy to India and Pakistan pose for a photo in Rome’s airport.

Mirrorpix / Getty Images

Air Canada, in its efforts to attract more passengers, installed a dance floor and music for passengers who wanted to dance at 30,000 feet on their way across the Atlantic in 1972.

Getty Images

Left: A pair of flight attendants from Russia’s Aeroflot airline pose for a photo, 1966. Right: Staff prepare meals in the kitchen aboard an Tu-114 airliner (at the time, the world’s largest), 1959.

Yale Joel / The LIFE Picture Collection

United Airlines flight attendants participate in an evacuation drill as part of their airline safety training in 1966.

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor boards a plane at an undisclosed airport for Hollywood in1958.

Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

French singer Sacha Distel performs with his band mid-flight, 1959.

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Passengers enjoy a smoke on a Transocean Air Lines Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in 1955.

A. Y. Owen / Getty Images

A group of women step off an airplane and onto the tarmac at an undisclosed airport in 1958.

Dmitri Kessel / Getty Images

An exterior night view of the Pan Am Terminal at Idlewild Airport, later renamed John F. Kennedy Airport, in New York City in 1961 features a series of figures mounted on a glass wall (seen at right), collectively called Zodiac Screen and sculpted by Milton Hebald. Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton designed the terminal in 1957.

New York Post Archives / Getty Images

People gather inside the TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in 1966.

San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

A pair of PSA pilots make their way to their cockpit in the late 1960s.

San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

Flight attendants work on Southwest Airlines in the early 1970s.

U.S. National Archives

A commercial airliner departs from National Airport in Washington, DC, in 1973.

Confessions of an Airline Nanny—Everything You Need to Know

A flying nanny can truly be a mother’s best friend. (Photo: Etihad)
A flying nanny can truly be a mother’s best friend. (Photo: Etihad)

By Jo Piazza for Yahoo Travel  –  If you love travel and you love children, there are few jobs more enviable than being a Mary Poppins in the sky.

Sara Adra is one of the flying nannies for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and one of the premiere luxury airlines operating around the world today.

Most parents can’t afford to bring their own personal nanny along for a flight. Etihad makes one available on demand. The job of a flying nanny is to be an extra pair of hands for parents. They do they everything from preparing kids to go to bed, keeping them entertained and making flying enjoyable for the whole family. They’re skilled in arts and crafts, hand puppetry, origami and even face painting and magic tricks.

It sounds downright brilliant to us. Isn’t it in every passengers’ best interest to keep children well-behaved on a plane?

We got a chance to ask Adra what it is really like to be a flying nanny for a premium airline, taking care of the smallest of “VIPs.” Frankly, it sounds pretty great.

Yahoo Travel: What do you like the most about your job?

Sara Adra: I assist all our true VIPs of the flight, the ones that are just over a week old that don’t yet know how precious they are to the world, the ones that are discovering their feet and have mommy chasing them up and down the aisles to the ones that are way too cool to be coloring in and are totally in love with watching movies like “Frozen” and of course, there’s the real special ones that want to be a flight attendant someday so when they meet me they feel today is the day. I see myself as the new and reimagined Mary Poppins. What isn’t there to like about my job?

My favorite part of the job is when I see all the happy face at the end of a flight and I know it’s not just because the flight is over when I’m showered with farewell cuddles and I get beautiful cards made for me.

My second favorite is when I become shadowed by this little figure. I’ve had children attempt to help me collect the headsets and point guests to an alternative direction for another lavatory when the line is too busy. It’s just too cute.

It’s so nice to see the parents in a state of happy shock too, when they realize the flight was nowhere near what they expected on the scale of difficulty and also when they see their children being so entertained and social with the crew.

Yahoo Travel: What exactly are your duties?

Sara Adra: My role is to help every family have a smooth flight. I meet and greet all the lovely little VIPs with a special package that has coloring pencils, a book, cards for a fun game of memory, stickers and more. I help show the children how to navigate the movie menu for our kids’ club section. I show mom how to block any other movies on our screens in case she falls asleep while her little angel is breaking bedtime rules. I am there to help any family to have an easier flight — whether that means to cater their meal times differently to our serving times, to distract the child with coloring competitions and other fun games while mom and/or dad take a break or even help mind the children while the single traveling parent takes restroom breaks and a quick stretch.

Yahoo Travel: How did you get into this gig?

Sara Adra: I wanted to be a flying nanny after I finished my cabin crew training course and found out more about the role. I was lucky enough to get the position and be trained by the world-renowned Norland College and I haven’t looked back.

Yahoo Travel: How often are you on the road? Is it tough on friendships and personal life?

Sara Adra: As an on-board nanny, I am usually scheduled for anywhere between six to eight flights per month and mostly ultra-long haul flights to the U.S. It is a unique lifestyle. For me, it’s been great. There is no other job in the world where I could say I’m going to London this weekend to see a friend or I’m in Los Angeles next week so let’s go to Malibu for lunch. I love that I can so easily connect to my friends who are living abroad and can see them more than just once a year. So overall, no, it’s not really tough. It’s more of a blessing, I am absolutely grateful and lucky to lead the life I have where my personal life is enriched with travel benefits, cultural awareness and just general opportunities. And, of course, all the incredible people and new friends I have gained.

Yahoo Travel: How often are you in the air?

Sara Adra: Everyone’s roster is different but for me I’ve found myself doing anywhere between one and two short flights a week or one long flight a week. A four-day working week! Yes that’s right, I get that a lot. Etihad offers great work/life balance.

Yahoo Travel: What is a typical day like for you?

Sara Adra: I don’t have a ‘typical’ day. Every day is different and it all really depends on where I am. If I’m on a layover somewhere, I can guarantee you my day will involve massages and pampering if I’m in Asia. When in Europe, I am outdoors walking and exploring and when I am in the U.S., you can be sure to find me in the nearest shopping outlet. Every day is really full of surprises. The only day that I can guarantee you laziness in is when I’m home in Abu Dhabi, relaxing and enjoying a bit of me time.

Yahoo Travel: Any hilarious situations involving the kids?

Sara Adra: I have had some funny moments with many children I’ve flown with since becoming a nanny. [During a game of dress up] I had a little girl get completely transformed into a cabin crew outfit.  We put the whole lot on her – the jacket, apron, hat, gloves and scarf. She was so adorable and the funny bit was watching her waddle about to show her parents. The sleeves were so long on her and the jacket was almost at floor level. She was only about four.

Yahoo Travel:  Are the first class parents any different?

Sara Adra: I do not think that a cabin “class” of travel differentiates parenting skills or parenting nature. We are here to make the flight as enjoyable as possible for children and parents across all classes of service.

Yahoo Travel: What do you wear to work? 

Sara Adra: I wear the same uniform as the rest of my crew however, I change into the signature orange apron that Ettore Bilotta designed for our nanny crew. We have a dress type of apron rather than just a half apron like my colleagues which provides more protection from the coloring pencils and markers used for crafts and the occasional baby drool from cuddles.

Yahoo Travel: What do you hope to do after this?

Sara Adra: I chose to apply and work for Etihad not because of the luxury I get with my travel opportunities or living in the UAE. That was all a bonus for me. I came from an office environment so this is a completely new experience for me. I chose Etihad because I believe in the company’s vision. I researched Etihad and I really like the fact that they are fairly new in the aviation industry and their achievements so far have been beyond fantastic so I wanted to be a part of that team, knowing that there will be plenty of room for growth and potentially a career with the same company – from cabin crew to the head office. Of course, this will be in the future and first I need to let go of my nanny apron and dip my toes into business class service.

Yahoo Travel: What’s the best way to get a baby to stop crying on a plane?

Sara Adra: There is no magic potion I’m afraid. It all depends on why the baby is crying. If you can work that out, your job becomes a lot easier. Generally, if a baby is crying during take-off or as we descend it’s because of the aircraft pressure so their ears may hurt. I always suggest to parents to use a pacifier during these times as it helps the baby’s ears pop. The aircraft is a completely new environment for children with new sounds and experiences so being close to mom or dad always helps. I also recommend parents bring along their child’s own baby blankets and cuddle toys which give them added comfort.

That Time We Sat Next to Richard Branson on a Plane


By Jo Piazza – Richard Branson is a good sport. He hasn’t slept in two nights. He’s done nearly 50 media interviews, taken more than 100 selfies and conducted two press conferences. He’s still smiling when I sit next to him on Virgin America’s inaugural flight to Hawaii.

“Hello! So good to see you,” he says with an enthusiasm that is welcome, but not necessary.1 That Time We Sat Next to Richard Branson on a Plane
Virgin America launched new daily nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) this week. (Photo: Virgin America)

Most interviews with Sir Richard Branson open with a description of his charisma, his charm and his wit. Now I know why. I eat it up, it’s hard not to. All of those things are true, but I do start to believe that, more than anything else, Richard Branson is a good sport. He’s delighted about being on this plane, launching a new airline route, and even talking with journalists who are inevitably asking him the same questions over and over.

I turn on my video camera and he speaks directly into the lens.

“You can’t see the woman behind the camera, but she is very beautiful,” he winks. I ask him to repeat that, but slower so that I can send the clip to my husband. Like a good sport, he does.

Sir Richard Branson greets everyone like a pal, someone he’s known for years. Later that night, we will attend a party hosted by Airbnb to celebrate the launch of Virgin’s Hawaii service and a new partnership between the brands. At the event, a gentleman who won a trip to the island approaches Branson with a mason jar of amber colored liquid. He was an amateur beekeeper, he explained. He wanted to give Branson some of his homemade honey. The airline owner took it without hesitation and thanked him graciously. Branson then sprinted across the well-manicured lawn to make sure he put it in his personal luggage.

2 That Time We Sat Next to Richard Branson on a PlaneUpon touchdown of the first flight in Hawai‘i, Virgin America’s passengers were feted with a red carpet reception on the HNL tarmac. (Photo: Virgin)

He is a walking photo op. I notice it that night. Virgin signage and beautiful women follow him with ease.

For a brief period we sat next to one another on the Virgin America inaugural flight to Honolulu. During that time he genuinely acted more excited to be sitting next to me than I was to sit next to him.

Maybe this kind of demeanor is just what happens when the script of your life reads like an Indiana Jones movie, but better.

This was Branson’s first-ever commercial flight to Hawaii. 18 years ago he landed on the islands in the Pacific by accident while trying to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon.

“We were forced to crash land miles from Hawaii and we jumped into the ocean and were lucky enough to be rescued by the Hawaiian coast guard. I kissed the ground and gave the coast guard the biggest hug ever,” Branson recounted.

3 That Time We Sat Next to Richard Branson on a PlaneHe’s a man who knows how to make an entrance. Branson arrived to the Airbnb party by float boat. (Photo: Virgin)

He knows how to throw a party. Most airline CEOs will give a half-hearted speech and maybe pop a bottle of champagne during the launch of a new route. Branson threw a bash at the San Francisco airport.

The mood was festive. Hula girls served mai-tais with copious amounts of rum at the departure gate at SFO at 8 in the morning. Later, a ukulele player pranced the aisles of the plane, over the Pacific, playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Branson was in on it all. He led a champagne toast mid-flight, chatted with the flight attendants and danced the hula in the aisles.

“The best thing about owning your own airline is you can invite people to come along to Hawaii and we can all go partying in the evenings,” he said.

Richard Branson can sit anywhere he wants on a plane, but he prefers a window seat.

“I can watch the beautiful women cruise by and still have a bit of a nap,” he explained matter-of-factly.

He checks his bags since security keeps taking things away from him.

“I’ve given up on carry-on. I’ve learned the hard way too often.”

While most airline CEOs actually opt to fly private planes, or sequester themselves in First Class, Branson flies Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic as often as he can, always bringing with him a note pad and a pencil to take notes on what he can be doing to make those airlines better.

He truly does have a knack for making things better and he knows it, but still he flashes a humble smile when I mention that fact. We then talk about his latest endeavor to disrupt a travel industry mainstay—cruising.

“We love creating things. We want to create the kind of cruise ship that the kind of people who would never dream of going on a cruise ship would want to go on. In two and a half years we will have our first cruise. We just go into industries that seem a bit naff and we go in and try to make them better.”

And what about his commercial space endeavor Virgin Galactic? For more than a decade, Branson has been working to create a program that would allow tourists to travel into space. Last year they experienced a setback with the loss of their shuttle, SpaceShipTwo.

“Our big challenge is space travel,” Branson said earnestly. “We’re putting everything we’ve got to get back on track. In February we’ll be unveiling the new spaceship. It’s going to be beautiful. The engineers have crafted it with a lot of care. Our brave test pilots will be testing it throughout next year and hopefully it will be a whole new era in space travel.”

With that I volunteered to be a brave test pilot. He just laughed my suggestion off and invited me to that night’s festivities.

 

[Via Yahoo]

Confessions of an Airline PR Man

Confessions of an Airline PR Man
Jets at Denver’s former Stapleton International Airport.

By  – What to do?

It’s the mid-70s, and I’m the public relations man for a Denver-based airline. I’ve been told by the top brass that if the press asks about a certain matter, not to admit anything. I think “finesse it” was the way they wanted me to handle it. Sure, like I’d finesse a charging bull.

What got the brass all worked up? It seems the Civil Aeronautics Board (which regulated the airlines until 1978) has decided to crack down on “discrimination” by the carriers. They’ve just levied a hefty fine on Pan Am for – gasp! – handing out roses to the airline’s female passengers. (Not giving anything to male passengers was a big no-no, the CAB ruled, constituting preferential treatment.)

Next on the discrimination front, the agency is frowning on a special perk offered to first-class and other premium passengers: the airlines’ supposedly non-existent VIP lounges. (Just about all airlines had such rooms, but kept them hush-hush until the doors opened later on to anyone willing to pay to get in.)

My day between a rock and a hard place came when we had to cancel a flight from Denver to Jackson Hole, Wyoming – with Monaco’s Princess Grace on it. Of course we put her in our phantom VIP room in Denver..

The princess waited out the next flight to Jackson Hole by watching the 1976 Olympics on the lounge’s TV set. Fourteen-year-old Nadia Comaneci had just scored an historic perfect 10 on the uneven bars when the Associated Press called me to see how long the princess was going to be delayed. Then the reporter – either unwittingly or otherwise – asked this loaded question: “Are you giving her any special treatment while she’s waiting?”

There’s no way I’d lie about it, but to admit we had a room exclusively for VIPs would be on the newswire in minutes. And right after that in the papers. And then for sure we’d get a big fine. And then I’d likely be out of a job.

So I came up with this spin that’s since been told over many PR campfires: “Well, let’s just say we didn’t treat her differently than any other princess.”

The reporter chuckled and ended the interview. “Good quote,” he said.

Beauty in the Sky With Diamonds

2 Confessions of an Airline PR Man
Human Resources rep interviews applicant for stewardess job.

Another legendary quote came a few years later from the PR rep (let’s call him Jim) for a major airline based in Miami. The burning issue then had switched from special treatment for special passengers to preferential hiring practices by the airlines – also good for big fines, but from the U.S. Department of Transportation (after the demise of the CAB).

Now, Jim’s airline had long been known for its gorgeous stewardesses (as flight attendants were called back then). Jim knew it was just a matter of time before a reporter asked something like: “Is it true your airline just hires good-looking women for stewardess jobs?” Well, he could answer that by saying, “No, looks have nothing to do with our job requirements.” The trouble is, if they saw that answer in the paper, the airline’s stewardesses would think their company was saying they weren’t very attractive.” And if Jim responded this way: “Yes, we have the best looking stewardesses in the industry,” he’d be admitting his airline was guilty of preferential hiring.

So when the question finally was asked, Jim came up with this gem of an answer: “I have to admit, not all of our stewardesses are beauty contest winners.”

Coffee, Tea and Press Trips

Did an airline PR guy ghost-write Coffee, Tea or Me? That was the rumor when the book – billed as the memoirs of two airline stewardesses, supposedly co-authored by them – came out in 1967. Well, it took 35 years, but a PR rep for a big airline finally fessed up to writing the book in his own memoirs, published in 2002.

3 Confessions of an Airline PR Man
Reporters rush to file stories after a news conference.

One chapter in particular was seen as a dead give-away for the fine hand of a professional PR man. It was called “Wow. We’re Going to Work a Press Trip!” and it was the stewardesses account of how the airline’s PR staffers handled pressures to promote the debut of some new service.

The promotion centered on a boozy flight set up for the press, so they could write glowing reviews of the new service and the airline. True, a lot of “reporters” showed up, but about the only writers the PR people could talk into going were hardly the media “A” list. So the two stewardesses were somewhat puzzled when they learned the mob of media guzzling drink after drink on the flight included a writer for Turtle Breeders Quarterly, the cartoon editor of Welfare Weekly, someone from a weekly paper in New Jersey, a writer for a little-known makeup magazine and several secretaries from the TV networks (so CBS, NBC and the like would show up on the sign-in-sheet passed to top management).

“What a sick way to make a living,” one of the stewardesses says of the PR staffers’ ploy.

Disclosure: The writer was a PR exec for five airlines over a 30-year span.

All photos by Bob Schulman.

Mid-air terror on Wizz Air flight as passenger tries to kick down cockpit door

Passengers disembark after the Wizz Air plane finally landed at Norway’s Torp Sandefjord Airport
Passengers disembark after the Wizz Air plane finally landed at Norway’s Torp Sandefjord Airport

By CHRIS KITCHING FOR MAILONLINE – Unruly passenger tackled and tied to his seat by fellow travellers after trying to kick down cockpit door on flight over Sweden

  • Scary incident occurred as a Wizz Air plane flew from Romania to Norway
  • Unruly man tried to open two emergency exits and kicked the cockpit door
  • He was tackled and overpowered by male travellers, then tied to his seat
  • Man was arrested when the plane made an emergency landing in Malmo
  • Police said there were no indications the incident was terror-related 

A commercial flight descended into chaos when an unruly passenger suddenly charged towards the front of the plane and tried to kick down the cockpit door.

The Wizz Air plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Malmo, Sweden, after the incident sparked fears of a terror attack.

It left passengers frightened at a time when airlines are in a heightened state of security following the crash of a Russian Metrojet passenger plane, which left all 224 passengers and crew dead.

Wizz Air flight 3215 was flying from the Romanian capital of Bucharest to Norway’s Torp Sandefjord Airport, about 70 miles south of Oslo, when the mid-air drama unfolded.

Sweden’s Expressen newspaper said the man got out of his seat and began shouting before he ran up the aisle to the cockpit door.

He kicked the door twice before he was tackled and overpowered by several male passengers, the newspaper reported.

He was also accused of trying to open two emergency exits while the plane was flying at about 10,000ft.

The man is a 43-year-old Romanian citizen who lives in Norway, Expressen reported.

Passengers said the incident was over within five minutes and calm was restored after the man was overpowered and tied to his seat.

Passengers were left frightened after the man tried to open two exits and kicked the cockpit door (file photo)
Passengers were left frightened after the man tried to open two exits and kicked the cockpit door (file photo)

He was taken into police custody when the Budapest-based budget airline’s Airbus A320 diverted to Malmo last night. No injuries were reported.

Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of violating aviation laws by endangering passengers during a flight.

Police spokesman Stephan Soderholm said there were no indications that the incident was terror-related.

He said a second passenger was taken into custody in Malmo for drunkenness.

Police were alerted by air traffic controllers at Malmo Airport after the Wizz Air captain reported problems with two unruly passengers.

Both men were not on board the A320, which has a passenger capacity of 180, when it left Malmo and arrived in Norway behind schedule.

[via MailOnline]

6 Awesome Aviation Games

If you love aviation, chances are you’ll also love aviation games. But what are the best, coolest mobile games with planes out there? Let me put my expertise to everyone’s use. Here is a list of my favourite aviation games.

6. Aviation Empire & Jets6. Aviation Empire & Jets

OK, maybe you saw it coming, but we can’t make a top-six airline game list without including our own games. We have something for everyone. There’s Aviation Empire, a challenging airline strategy game in which you build your own airports and manage a fleet, and Jets, a cool, relaxed game in which you fly your paper airplane through Amsterdam and New York. But we’re willing to bet you’re playing one right now (Right? Right??).

Available on iOS & Android

5. Airport Scanner5. Airport Scanner

Security is extremely important to us. So in our free time we train using Airport Scanner. Which items are prohibited? It’s your job to scan luggage and find the illegal items so the flights can depart on time.

Available on iOS & Android

4. Candy’s Airport4. Candy’s Airport

Wow, a lot of bright colours! Help Candy run her airport in a lot of mini-games. Find out what the waiting passengers need, see if their luggage is correct, and stamp their passport. This one’s a hit with our KLM ground staff during lunch break!

Available on iOS, Android & Amazon

3. Air Control (Lite) & Air Control 23. Air Control (Lite) & Air Control 2

There are a lot of games that let you land an airplane safely. They range from 3D simulators that require you to park your Boeing in a hangar to classic air control games. But Air Control is the best by far! Ok, maybe its competitor Control Tower (which we mentioned before) is visually more attractive, but Air Control is so addictive!

Available on Android

2. Pocket Planes2. Pocket Planes

The idea is a simple one: Earn money by filling planes with people and cargo. (If only running an airline were that easy!) But Pocket Planes is as addictive as its predecessor TinyTower, which required you to manage a skyscraper. The pixel art style is beautiful!

Available on iOS

1. Airport City1. Airport City

Could it get any bigger? In Airport City you not only manage an airport, but a whole city. (It’s right there in the name.) The aim is to expand your fleet while building world famous historical monuments such as the Coliseum and Louvre. Another cool feature: you can even start up your own space exploration programme.

Available on iOS / Android / Windows / Facebook / Amazon

[CP_POLLS id=”5″]

Sudanese Muslim Attacks Israeli on Ethiopian Airlines Flight

Sudanese Muslim Attacks Israeli on Ethiopian Airlines FlightBy – Barak Ravid – Sudanese national shouting ‘Allah Akhbar’ reportedly attempted to strangle the Israeli on a flight from Chad to Ethiopia.

An Israeli citizen was attacked by a Sudanese Muslim on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Chad to Ethiopia last week, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday night.

“The Sudanese attacker was detained by the Ethiopian police when the plane landed in Addis Ababa and remains in custody,” the ministry said.

Ethiopian Airlines identified the attacker in a statement as Ahmed Alsheikhidris Mohamed

The Israeli embassy in Addis Ababa has been notified by the local authorities.
The incident was first reported by the Ynet website.

The 54-year-old Israeli, who was identified as Arik Zenouda, said that the Sudanese national attacked from behind and tried to strangle him when the plane began its descent into Addis Ababa.

“He hit me on the head with a metal tray, shouting ‘Allah Akhbar’ amd ‘Itbach al Yehud,'” Arik told Ynet.

“In the beginning I was unable to make a sound or call for help. It was only after a few seconds, when I was on the verge of losing consciousness, that I managed to scream. A stewardess saw what was going on and called other members of the cabin crew.

“Even after they distanced him from me, he tried to hit me and shouted in Arabic. Some of the cabin crew took me to the back of the plane while others guarded him in the front.”

Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement that the attacker didn’t show any signs of violence prior to boarding the flight. “He didn’t only attack the Israeli passenger, but other passengers and crew members as well,” the statement said, adding that the attacker has been banned from flying with the company again.

Ethiopian Airlines apologized for the incident, and noted that since it started its activities in Israel, no Israeli passengers have been subject to violence on its flights.