Flying used to be a great experience, at least for the most part. Air travel was a luxurious treat, and airline staff treated travelers as honored guests. Anyone who has traveled by plane lately knows that those days are long past, having gone the way of in-flight meals on most trips and enough leg room to avoid being crippled while on the way to your destination. Airline issues make the news regularly these days, for about as many reasons as you can imagine.
Airline issues were headline news across the world on August 8 as Delta experienced an outage in its control center in Atlanta, Georgia. The control center, which is modeled after the NASA mission control center, keeps track of the entire fleet of planes, crew members, passengers, weather, meals (for those rare flights that still offer something resembling dinner), and maintenance. Delta was forced to cancel hundreds of flights and delay an unknown number of additional flights in the U.S. and around the world.
Delta is far from the only airline to be grounded by a computer glitch. Southwest experienced a similar situation in July when a computer problem forced the airline to cancel thousands of flights in four days. That single fiasco cost Southwest more than $10 million. Jet Blue was forced to check travelers in by hand in May because a computer problem. If all were told, the list of airline fiascos could probably fill an entire shelf of books.
How about being forced to sit next to a deceased man on a plane for 10 hours? A Kenya Airways plane departed from Amsterdam with a passenger who was convulsing and sweating. He died after the plane left for Tanzania and the woman sitting next to him was told that she needed to continue sitting next to the deceased man because there were no other seats available.
People like to complain about not getting meals on airplanes anymore. Well, one passenger on a Qantas Airlines flight probably wishes she did not even take the snack pack of trail mix. As she sat munching her miniature snack, the woman noticed that the bag contained more than peanuts and raisins. It was also full of maggots.
Children on airplanes can be a challenge – for the parent, nearby passengers, and even the airline crew. Of course, air travel may be pretty challenging for young children too. An Alaska Airlines crew apparently found one toddler to be so out of control that they kicked the family off the plane before it departed from Seattle.
A 66-year-old woman flying from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii was quietly watching a movie when a man stood up and began to urinate on her. The line for airplane bathrooms can be long, but peeing on another passenger?