The Week: Most Recent Air Travel:Air Rage recent posts.en-usWed, 26 Sep 2012 13:12:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Air Travel:Air Rage from THE WEEKWed, 26 Sep 2012 13:12:00 -0400Coming soon: Adults-only sections on airplanes<img src="" /></P><p>It's no secret that frequent fliers and crying babies are a volatile mix. One low-cost airline, AirAsia, is trying to keep these incompatible groups of passengers apart by offering an adults-only "Quiet Zone" on long-haul flights. Is this a sensible way to keep everyone happy, or a form of anti-baby discrimination that unfairly makes life harder for already frazzled parents? A closer look at the no-baby policy:<br /><br /><strong>How will this program work?</strong><br />AirAsia, which is based in Malaysia with additional hubs in Thailand and Indonesia, will set aside the first seven rows of its economy class as a "Quiet Zone."...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 26 Sep 2012 13:12:00 -0400Smaller seats, more passengers: Inside United Airline's painful new plan<img src="" /></P><p>As rising fuel costs erode profits, United Airlines has come up with a claustrophobia-inducing way to boost income: Installing thinner, lighter seats onto some of its planes so it can cram in more passengers. Here, a brief guide we've managed to squish into less than a page:<br /><br /><strong>How many more people is United packing in?</strong><br />The seats, which United will begin installing next year, use a polyester padding &mdash; supposedly ergonomically superior to bulkier traditional foam cushioning. The new smaller seats let United add one row to the 12 to 15 rows in the economy sections of its 152 narrow-body Airbus jets...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 24 Aug 2012 12:52:00 -0400Pedophilia panic: Barring single men from sitting next to kids on planes<img src="" /></P><p>An Australian man, Daniel McCluskie, is lashing out at Qantas Airlines, saying the company humiliated him by forcing him to move because he was seated next to a 10-year-old girl traveling without her parents. The story surfaced days after reports that another man, a firefighter named Johnny McGirr, had been forced to trade seats with a woman on another carrier, Virgin Australia, because he had been seated next to two unaccompanied boys, ages 8 and 10. Is it wrong to treat passengers as if they're a potential sexual threat to kids simply because they're men? Here, a brief guide:<br /><br /><strong>Why is McCluskie...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 14 Aug 2012 14:22:00 -04008 passengers dubiously booted off Southwest flights<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">When passengers are kicked off planes, it's usually for aggressive or offensive behavior, like being drunk or berating the flight attendant. But Southwest Airlines "has become synonymous with people getting kicked off flights for ridiculous reasons," says Katie J.M. Baker at <em>Jezebel</em>, picking on passengers with low-hanging pants, exposed cleavage, and politically opinionated T-shirts. Here, a look at eight cases of passengers who have been escorted off Southwest flights for questionable reasons:&nbsp;</p><p class="p1"><strong>1. Showing too much cleavage </strong><br />In June, Southwest told a customer wearing a loose cotton dress and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:35:00 -0400Should airlines charge a fee for oversized carry-ons?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Everyone knows that sinking feeling of boarding a flight to find that all the overhead bins are bursting with huge bags, many of which are suspiciously larger than regulation size. And then there is the bottleneck at the gate-check, where airline agents identify oversized bags and then drag them into the belly of the plane. Well, it appears that airlines are finally preparing to do something about oversized carry-ons. "Some domestic airlines are weighing the idea of discouraging passengers from lugging oversize carry-on bags onto planes by imposing a $25 charge," says Joe Sharkey at <em>The New York...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 07 Jun 2012 07:33:00 -0400The latest outrage-inducing airline fee: $25 for a window seat?<img src="" /></P><p>Everyone knows airplanes' middle seats are the worst. And of course, the airlines realize it, too &mdash; and are looking to profit off of our reluctance to be sardined. An increasing number of carriers are reserving window and aisle seats for frequent fliers or passengers willing to shell out an extra $25 or more&nbsp;each way. This makes it harder, or at least more expensive, for families, friends, and couples to sit together. Here, a guide to what could be your next summer travel headache: <br /><br /><strong>Why charge for window seats?</strong><br />Airlines have become shameless when it comes to wringing extra cash out of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 23 May 2012 13:59:00 -0400Ryanair's 7 most ridiculous cost-saving ventures<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Dubbed "the Walmart of the skies," Ryanair embodies the once-glamorous airline industry's new reality as a cattle-car delivery system. Searching high and low for any way to undersell its competitors, the Irish airline, led by outspoken CEO Michael O'Leary, takes a no-frills approach to the extreme. And judging by Ryanair's&nbsp;popularity, fliers are willing to tolerate a little hardship, and perhaps sacrifice a smidgeon of dignity, in exchange for cheaper tickets. Here, Ryanair's seven craziest tightwad proposals:</p><p class="p1"><strong>1. Urging flight attendants to lose weight</strong> <br />With fuel costs rising, Ryanair is&nbsp...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 05 Apr 2012 16:23:00 -0400Petty controversy: Alec Baldwin vs. American Airlines<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The petty controversy:</strong> Call it "Words with Friends-gate."&nbsp;On Tuesday,&nbsp;<em>30 Rock</em> star Alec Baldwin said via Twitter that an American Airlines flight attendant had "reamed" him out for playing the popular Scrabble-like game on his smartphone while his plane sat at the gate. The airline&nbsp;said on Facebook&nbsp;that an indignant Baldwin refused to turn off his device, got up and&nbsp;"slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed." Baldwin, who was kicked off the flight, "was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 07 Dec 2011 18:32:00 -0500The airline passengers forced to pay $31,000 extra for fuel<img src="" /></P><p>Air travelers have been forced in recent years to pay extra for everything from pillows to leg room to assigned seats. Now, two charter flights from India to England have taken things to a new low. Twice in the last week, Comtel Airline customers have been forced to cough up cash to pay for fuel and landing fees. In one instance, a flight from India to England stopped in Austria, where it was stranded until travelers raised $31,000, supposedly for fuel. Here, a brief guide:</p><p><strong>Passengers were asked to chip in for gas money?</strong><br />Yep. On Tuesday, a flight by charter airline Comtel took off from Amritsar...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 18 Nov 2011 17:58:00 -0500Should porn be allowed on airlines?<img src="" /></P><p>Airlines already charge for blankets, legroom, food, and booze. Now one European carrier wants to expand those offerings to include porn. The chief of Irish discount airline Ryanair tells Britain's&nbsp;<em>Sun </em>that the company is considering offering titillating in-flight entertainment. The porn would be available via a Ryanair app for tablets and smartphones, which passengers could also use to gamble or play games. Does porn really have a place on crowded, irritant-packed airplanes?</p><p><strong>This is a terrible idea: </strong>"If you thought sitting next to someone with a baby or a large person spilling over into...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 10 Nov 2011 18:12:00 -0500The 'hilarious' TSA note about a woman's vibrator<img src="" /></P><p>The TSA's full body scanners have prompted privacy and modesty concerns, but one woman alleges that the TSA violated her privacy in a far more overt way. Feminist blogger Jill Filipovic says that after flying from Newark to Dublin, she opened her suitcase to find a special note from the TSA. Scrawled across the agency's official search form was a message: "GET YOUR FREAK ON." (See a picture of the note here.) I "guess they discovered a 'personal item' in my bag," Filipovic tweeted. "Wow." The item in question was a small, inexpensive silver bullet vibrator from the sex toy chain Babeland, chosen...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 25 Oct 2011 14:22:00 -0400The fastest way to board an airplane<img src="" /></P><p>Airlines have devised a number of ruthless cost-cutting strategies, from surcharges for extra bags to "standing seats" that force passengers to lean into a saddle-like chair. (Following a storm of complaints, that last idea never got off the ground.) The latest innovation, from American Airlines, is more about speed than cost, however. American has decided that boarding passengers in a random fashion is faster than its former policy of boarding passengers sitting in the back of the plane first, before those in the front. Here, a guide to this new seating scheme:</p><p><strong>How does random boarding work...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 22 Jul 2011 10:30:00 -0400The woman who allegedly 'molested' a TSA agent<img src="" /></P><p>Phoenix police have arrested a Colorado woman, Yukari Mihamae, and accused her of "squeezing and twisting" a Transportation Security Agency employee's breast. Mihamae was charged with felony sexual assault. Though early reports said Mihamae, 61, admitted groping the unidentified agent, the <em>New York Post </em>says she denied it in an interview. Is Mihamae's alleged treatment of the agent fair payback for the TSA's hands-on history, or just plain wrong?<br /><br /><strong>Mihamae should get a medal, not jail time:</strong> The only rational reason to do such a thing, says Lauri Apple at <em>Gawker</em>, is to make a heroic stand against the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 18 Jul 2011 14:48:00 -0400Should kids be banned from flying first-class?<img src="" /></P><p>Malaysia Airlines has banned babies from flying first class on its jumbo jets, after receiving complaints from passengers who shelled out extra money for premium seats, only to be kept awake by crying infants. Facing protests from some parents, the company has since tried on a different explanation: A redesign of its first-class cabins left no place to fit carry-on bassinets, and babies can fly more safely and comfortably in business class and coach. Is this fair to families looking to fly in style?<br /><br /><strong>Yes. First class passengers deserve the peace:</strong> This might sound "harsh, reprehensible, and completely...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 29 Jun 2011 13:39:00 -0400A Delta passenger's urine-soaked-baggage nightmare<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video</strong>: The airlines losing your luggage&nbsp;&mdash; it's every traveler's nightmare. Unfortunately for Sy Haze of Britain, a missing bag was just the beginning of his particular travel hell. While Haze settled into a Delta flight on Father's Day, his bag &mdash;&nbsp;packed for his week-long trip to Minneapolis &mdash;&nbsp;was inexplicably on its way to Boston. By the time Haze arrived in the U.S. and inquired about the missing luggage, his bag had already been head-scratchingly sent back to London. The bag then came back to America, and, after "dancing its way around the U.S." for four days...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 23 Jun 2011 18:27:00 -0400The 'staggering' $5.7 billion in airline fees: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>U.S. airlines collected $5.7 billion in fees for checked luggage and changed reservations last year, according to data released by the Department of Transportation&nbsp;on Monday. Here, a by-the-numbers guide to the airline industry's "staggering" haul:<br /><br /><strong>$3.4 billion</strong><br />Baggage fees collected by U.S. airlines last year. The practice of charging $25 for the first checked bag and more for a second "began as a revenue bridge when travel fell sharply during the 2008-09 recession and fare increases were hard to pull off," says John Crawley at <em>Reuters</em>. Those "ancillary fees" remain, "and are now an important...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 14 Jun 2011 11:32:00 -0400