Media

Horrible: Allegiant Flight Attendant Power Trip Prevents Sisters From Seeing Dying Father

Allegiant-A320

Ugh, here’s a sad story. We hear all of the time of people getting kicked off planes for a variety of reasons. Some of them are valid, some of them aren’t valid, and some of them are somewhere in the middle. For better or worse, flight attendants have virtually unlimited authority since 9/11. If they don’t feel “comfortable” with someone aboard, they can have them removed from the plane.

I support that concept in theory, because situations have a tendency to only escalate more once a plane is in the air. The problem is that it assumes all flight attendants are level headed, compassionate people, and sadly that’s not the case (a vast majority are, but like every industry, there are bad apples). Sometimes I can’t help but shake my head at what goes down, like this story.

Two sisters were flying Allegiant Air from Orlando, Florida, to Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday, to visit their father. Shortly before the plane left one sister received a text saying that the father had only hours left to live, and wanted to console her sister. They were understandably an emotional mess.

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Southwest Companion Pass Has A Very Bad Week

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Southwest Rapid Rewards started the year on a bad foot, when as of January 1 they changed the qualification criteria for Companion Pass without any advance notice. In order to earn Companion Pass (which lets you take a companion with you on all Southwest flights for free) you need to earn 110,000 qualifying points per year, though Southwest changed what type of points qualify towards that total.

Specifically, with this change, points transferred from hotel and car rental partners no longer qualify towards Companion Pass. The change as such was reasonable enough, though I think Southwest should do better than to make a change like this without notice, especially since some people had already transferred points in anticipation of earning Companion Pass in 2017.

Well, that hasn’t been the only Southwest Companion Pass drama this week. Earlier today Southwest sent out an email to Rapid Rewards members with the subject line “Congrats! You earned Companion Pass.”

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Lufthansa Cuts Magazines & Newspapers In Favor Of eJournals

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Airlines are always looking for ways to cut costs, and it looks like Lufthansa has a unique way they’re hoping to do so, without impacting the passenger experience too much. While Lufthansa has long offered onboard reading materials to all passengers, they’ve recently changed their policies a bit, presumably to cut costs.

Lufthansa is no longer offering magazines and newspapers in economy, but rather is giving passengers access to eJournals, which can be downloaded to your personal device.

To take advantage of this, enter your Lufthansa record locator and last name on this page and you’ll get access to hundreds of titles. You can download them starting three days before departure, all the way until the end of your journey.

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PSA: You May Get Bitten If You Try To Take A Selfie With A Crocodile

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Taking selfies is becoming seriously dangerous. We’ve heard story after story of tourists dying while trying to take selfies on vacation, which most commonly seems to happen when people take them near the edge of something, and then lose balance and fall over. That’s tragic and avoidable, though I see how it happens.

This story, on the other hand, makes me shake my head to no end. A French lady was bitten by a crocodile in Thailand after she and her husband tried to take a selfie with it on New Year’s Day.

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How Much Airplane “Networking” Is Too Much?

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All Nippon Airways has an article that’s a paid advertisement on CNBC entitled “The 3-3-3 Challenge: How a frequent flyer networks from Asia to the U.S.” In general ANA’s approach to this “article” is smart, as a paid advertisement is much more interesting to read if it’s about an engaging topic rather than just about the airline. So they’re writing about networking planes, though I’m curious if you guys think the premise of it is taken a bit too far:

“In-flight networking is a growing trend among the business set. How does traveling make it different from networking on terra firma? All Nippon Airways (ANA) invited Karl Chong – angel investor, co-founder of Groupon (Singapore) and a seasoned networker – to discern the differences.”

Let me start by saying that I’m generally pretty introverted, and am someone who will almost never initiate a conversation on a plane or in a lounge. It’s not necessarily that I’m opposed to having a conversation with someone, as I’ve had plenty of fascinating conversations with seatmates.

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Delta’s Latest Statement Regarding The #BoycottDelta Situation

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The biggest airline story of the day has been about a YouTube prankster who got kicked off a Delta flight from London to New York this morning. I shared my initial impressions of the situation, and then wrote a follow-up post about why I think it’s too soon to point fingers at/boycott Delta, given this guy’s history.

The prankster who was kicked off the plane has a history of lying about what happened on planes, and even of lying about being discriminated against.

Earlier today Delta issued the following statement regarding the situation:

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Surprising Life Advice From The “Miracle On The Hudson” Pilot

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Almost everyone is familiar with “the miracle on the Hudson,” where back in 2009 US Airways 1549 had a double engine failure shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia. They ditched the plane in the Hudson, and amazingly enough everyone survived. There has been even more press about the incident the past few months, given that the movie “Sully” was released in September, which documents the incident.

While Sully Sullenberger (the captain) has become a household name, not as many people could name the first officer of that flight, who was Jeff Skiles. Anyway, a Reddit user recently emailed Jeff, and received a fascinating response that I can’t not share.

Here’s the question that the Reddit user asked Jeff. The user is training to become a CFI (and presumably eventually wants to be an airline pilot), but has anxiety about having an engine failure after takeoff, and how it may inhibit his ability to think clearly:

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Horrible Injustice: Singapore Airlines Refuses Someone A Free Upgrade

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It’s not often I check the comments section of airline Facebook pages, because they seem to be a dark, dark place. Come and think of it, I couldn’t imagine working in social media for an airline, given all the complaints they get.

However, one complaint from Singapore Airlines’ Facebook page is getting a lot of attention. This customer says that Singapore Airlines just lost a client and did something totally unacceptable that a world class airline wouldn’t do.

What did the airline do, you ask?

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Remember That Trump-Tirade Flight? Culprit Is Banned From Delta, Everyone Else Gets A Refund

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As I wrote about yesterday, last week video footage emerged of a Trump supporter getting up and yelling at passengers, calling them “Hillary Bitches,” and saying that “Donald Trump is your president, every goddamn one of you.”

Yesterday Delta responded to this incident, apologizing for not kicking off the passenger. I gave Delta kudos for acknowledging what happened and apologizing.

Well, it looks like they’re taking it a step further. Today Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, sent out a letter to employees indicating that the passenger in question is banned from Delta, and Delta will be refunding the cost of tickets for passengers on that flight, and asking employees to ensure “civility on [their] planes.” Here’s the letter:

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The Strangest Hotel Ad I’ve Ever Seen

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While we try to sell some ad slots to specific advertisers here on OMAAT, you’ll notice that sometimes ad blocks are filled in with more random ads, provided through an ad network. We try to keep them travel or credit card related, given that those are the primary topics we talk about here. Sometimes these ads can get a bit strange, especially outside the US.

However, several readers have now pointed out a specific ad for the Hilton Anchorage, which seems to be making quite a few appearances on the site. I just had it appear for myself the first time, and couldn’t help but laugh.

Here it is:

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Royal Jordanian Gets Political With Latest Fare Sale

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Happy election day to those in the US!

Aeromexico has been having some fun with this election, and in particular with Donald Trump. In May they published an ad about borders, and in particular about the impact of building a wall. Then just last month they had a Donald Trump-themed fare sale, called “Bad Hombres, Great Deals.” They promised not to “leave [us] in suspense” with a “YUGE” fare sale.

Well, now another foreign carrier is capitalizing on the election, and this time it’s Royal Jordanian on their Facebook page. Specifically, they have a fare sales to the US:

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Coming Soon: World Of Hyatt Reddit “Ask Me Anything”

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Last week we first learned about World of Hyatt, which will replace Gold Passport as Hyatt’s loyalty program as of March 1, 2017. The new program has gotten a mixed reaction from people — while Hyatt will be offering more benefits to their top tier elites, they’re also increasing the qualification criteria. So some people will come out ahead, while others some will come out behind.

A lot of people have had a lot of specific questions about all of these changes, so it’s worth pointing out that Jeff Zidell, the head of Gold Passport (and soon to be head of World of Hyatt) will be hosting a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 12PM CST. Next week exact instructions will be shared on how to participate.

For those of you not familiar with AMAs, it’s basically an opportunity for anyone to ask questions, and then the person hosting the AMA can respond in a forum-style format. While all questions will show, the most popular ones will appear at the top, and are typically most likely to get answers. So it’s a bit different than a traditional forum, in the sense that questions are prioritized based on popularity.

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British Airways Pilot Suspended After Kinky Cockpit Pictures Emerge

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The Sun has the story of a 51 year old British Airways 777 captain who has been suspended after allegedly taking some very explicit pictures of himself in the cockpit of a plane full of passengers. You can find all the pictures with the story.

In the pictures, the pilot is shown wearing stockings while pleasuring himself, with his legs spread over the plane’s yoke and even over the engine throttles. On top of that, there are pictures of him having placed all kinds of porn over the plane’s instruments.

Per The Sun:

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Vote For Your Favorite Miles & Points Blog!

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USA Today is running a “10 Best” poll, where they’re letting people vote on what they consider to be the best across many categories. One of those categories is miles & points blogs. I’m flattered to have been nominated, along with nearly two dozen other great blogs.

Ultimately I don’t place too much value on polls like this. I consider myself to be insanely lucky to make a living doing what I love every day, which is plenty enough of a reward. So certainly nothing will change whether I rank in first place or last place, since I’ll love what I do just as much.

However, if you are inclined to vote, you can vote for your favorite miles & points blog here (if you’d like to vote for another blog), or you can vote for One Mile at a Time here. The contest runs through November 7, 2016, and you can vote once per day. Voting takes just a few seconds, as you just have to hit the “VOTE” button, without sharing any personal information.

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