Please Enjoy a Complementary Change of Underwear

“British Airways apologized to passengers after an emergency message warning they were about to crash into the sea was played by mistake… A spokesman for British Airways said an investigation was under way to discover whether it was human error or a computer glitch.” [AFP/Raw Story]


“This is your captain speaking: I’d just like to take this time to apologize for the erroneous message that was just broadcast throught the cabin. As passengers sitting next to the windows can clearly see, we are flying over the Rocky Mountains, not over an ocean. So that message you just heard warning passengers to brace for a crash landing on water was an unfortunate mistake on the part of our cabin crew. Truth is, we will shortly be crashing into a mountain. Thank you, and enjoy what little is left of your flight.”

Nothing says “I’m sorry” like free liquor for the duration of the flight.

@Mistress Cynica: I was on a TWA flight some years ago where we had to brace for a crash landing at JFK, foam on the runway, fire engines lined up etc. They kicked everyone out of first class so they could try to land nose-high; Mel Brooks wound up sitting next to me. The landing went fine, no one was hurt, and TWA found another plane to take us to L.A. And, on that second flight — free drinks for everyone, the whole damned flight.

@Dodgerblue: I miss TWA – they were a good airline.

My scariest flight experience was as a kid – probably about 8 – when flying with just my sister on Southwest, and we hit a thunderstorm and got to experience a down draft that made us lose about 10,000 feet in what seemed like five seconds, and then after the pilot got on to reassure the hysterical and vomiting plane, we were climbing back in altitude to get out of the storm and the plane got struck by lightning, which was freaky since we were sitting over the wing and pretty much saw the bolt come down and hit the wing closest to us. Never understood why it hit the wing and not the top of the plane.

@SanFranLefty: Modern commercial aircraft are built to handle lightning strikes and it’s vanishingly rare for one to crash because of a high-altitude storm. Where it’s worth a prayer to the Wind Gods is during potential wind shear events while landing — like the one I was in in Tucson a couple of months ago. Holy Jesus.

@Dodgerblue: Or every flipping time I have to go to Vegas and land at that airport. Even atheists pray landing there with those desert winds.

@SanFranLefty: Yep, my SW flight made a stop there yesterday on the way back from Kansas City. It’s an E-ticket ride. I believe that the Vegas airport is populated by the ugliest people in the U.S. of A., by far.

@Dodgerblue: Not to mention the eternal, infernal racket of the slot machines and the truly disgusting food choices. Hell, utter hell.

You mean they weren’t on strike? That’s a first.

@Mistress Cynica: Memphis and Vegas are the two worse airports I’ve been to in the US in terms of disgusting food choices. Both of them have multiple Cinnebon outlets, so bad that the reeking smell of cinnamon buns permeate the entire terminal, almost as bad as the corpulent people dining on said cinnamon buns.

New Orleans, SFO, and Austin have the best food choices at their airports, IMHO. It’s a little frightening how well I know the food options (and the bars) in airports thanks to my work travel.

@SanFranLefty: The pretzels at the Philly airport are good.

@SanFranLefty: lordy, SFO has very good food choices, but I dread hunger pangs on any stopover there because there’s no way to buy anything good and a soda for under $10.

If there is a hell, it will look like either Kansas City’s airport or Chicago Midway prior to its redesign.

@Signal to Noise: Gahh! God help you in KC if you have to change concourses.

@SanFranLefty: I actually have a book called Stuck at the Airport from my frequent-travel days. It tells you where the (comparatively) good eats and bars are at major airports, and offers shopping tips and advice on places to stay if you’re stuck overnight.

@Mistress Cynica: Heathrow is my vision of Hell. Plus they lose your bags.

Honolulu Airport amenities are terrible. Starbucks is probably the best, overpriced, food option. The views on takeoff and landing are quite nice.

I can only hope that there was no panic like in Airplane! the movie.

As for airports… Abbotsford in BC is the scariest. I think I felt what it was like to land on an aircraft carrier except it was the plane pitching and yawing (from the turbulent mountain air) not the carrier’s flight deck.

Juneau Airport was my scariest landing – serious turbulence as we were coming in over the glacier to land. The pilot was, fortunately, extremely good and our ultimate touchdown was smooth as the proverbial baby’s behind.

@Walking Still: But you have to love that garden courtyard in the middle of Honolulu’s airport. I have a similar soft spot for Long Beach’s airport, the first time I landed there I felt like I was in the Caribbean.

BTW, I spent $60 on lunch and one beer each for me and Mr SFL the last time we flew out of HNL. Talk about gouging passengers.

Not the MSNBC Ad: “Ever Wonder What Owls Are Thinking?”

Me: “Um, no?”

@mellbell: I’m getting a Meg Whitman for Governor ad. I’d rather wonder about owls.

Coming back from Europe after studying for a semester abroad and then backpacking around for three weeks, I got stuck for six hours in the Detroit airport. It’s since been remodeled, but at the time it was the shittiest airport I’ve ever seen, with the ugliest, fattest collection of Americans I had ever seen in it. I quickly realized that I never, ever should’ve returned.

@mellbell: Here’s the answer (courtesy of Jaime, who posted it a few days ago).

I have waited literally months to use this.
you can never be TO prepared.

On a biz trip to New York, I was coming into/out of LaGuardia. The flight home was delayed two hours. THEN, as we begin to roll down the runway… plane comes to dead halt, about 2000 feet short of Long Island Sound.

Untied gave us all $150 in free credit for another flight, and a wink-and-nod free drink. Not awful, but woulda preferred not almost dying.

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