It was lucky I was even able to write here this week, with all the excitement from the Paris Air Show. I have to give a shout out to my colleagues at Aviation Week who covered the show like white on rice. You can see our complete package of stories, blog posts (including my contributions), videos and photos from the show here. So let’s get started, shall we?
- I’m not a fan of the trend that has young black men wearing their pants so low that their underwear shows. On June 16, University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman was arrested at San Francisco International Airport after refusing a US Airways crew request to pull up his pants led to a scuffle, reports ABC7. But six days earlier, the airline had no problem allowing an older caucasian man to take a flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Phoenix wearing nothing but women’s undergarments despite complaints from his fellow passengers, reports SFGate.com. So my question to my friends at US Airways is why are baggy pants unacceptable, but women’s undergarments are OK?
- Aviation Week International Editor Robert Wall’s Things With Wings blog post gives the inside scoop on exactly how Air Asia’s record-breaking order for 200 Airbus A320NEOs. Let’s just say Airbus COO for customers John Leahy boogied down to make the deal happen.
- The Gothamist (and several other news/blog outlets) are unhappy with Spirit Airlines’ decision to charge passengers $5 if they decide to print their boarding pass at the airport. I hate to do this, but I have to side with Spirit Airlines on this one, even though I’d never fly them. Spirit makes it clear that they charge ultra-low fares and charge fees for just about everything else. If you can’t print your boarding pass out at home, then you need to pay the fee, kids.
- As the mother of a 5-year-old who travels regularly, I was happy to see this ABC News story, “Change Made to Airport Screenings for Young Kids.” My daughter has been flying since she was 10 days old, and is an old pro when it comes to preparing herself at the airport security checkpoint. She’s never had to endure an enhanced pat-down, and thanks to some common sense from the Transportation Security Administration, she’s much less likely to be chosen for one. Instead, screeners will do repeated attempts to screen children before resorting to pat-downs.
- I’m a bit late, but I loved this profile of Delta Air Lines’ Social Media Lab by Tnooz writer Dennis Schaal. I got my own tour of the lab back in April (they have a genuine DC-3 propeller as a decoration their space!), and I’m a big fan of my former employer’s social media efforts.
And we have some real gems in this week’s Strange But True Aviation News, including a baggage tale that went horribly wrong, TSA screeners missing some large chef knives in a carry-on bag and more tales of TSA screener thefts. And check out the Airplane Geeks’ podcast episode 152, where the boys recorded live from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for the seventh annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Fly-In. My daughter and I actually made the cut and appear briefly on the show.
I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today, so enjoy this classic Pan Am video from 1958 on the introduction of Boeing 707 jet service. Passengers lighting up cigarettes, four galleys cooking rolling carts of food (which my friend @fieldsix just loves) and happy flight attendants — ah…those were the days!