Trump plans ban on laptops in the cabins of flights from Europe

Unnamed "officials briefed on the matter" told Reuters that the Trump administration is planning to ban travelers from bringing their laptops -- and possibly tablets -- in their hand-luggage on flights from Europe, expanding an existing ban that covers 10 middle-eastern airports. Read the rest

The Chicago airport cops who beat David Dao unconscious totally lied about it on their report

Chicago's Department of Aviation finally replied to the LA Times's Freedom of Information request for the police report on the public beating Chicago airport cops dealt to Dr David Dao when United Airlines decided to give his confirmed, paid seat to a crewmember and ordered him to vacate it. Read the rest

United's CEO just lost out on the Chairmanship of United's board

When United CEO Oscar Munoz lied about Dr David Dao, slandering the passenger that was beaten unconscious as a direct result of his employees enacting the policies he put in place, he was acting in the knowledge that he would shortly be elevated to the Chairmanship of United's board of directors. Read the rest

David Dao's injuries: concussion, two front teeth knocked out, broken nose

Dr David Dao's lawyers have revealed the extent of his injuries as part of his pending lawsuit: "a broken nose and concussion and lost two front teeth." Read the rest

United's passenger-beatings are a feature of its business, not a bug

In a world where the airlines record-smashing profits comes from a small number of increasingly luxurious first-class seats, the entire focus of the industry is on figuring out how to convince just a few marginal customers to spend more for one of those profit-centers instead of deadheading in coach. Read the rest

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for "higher-priority" traveler

United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.

Snip:

[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.

Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.

...

“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”

“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”

Read the rest

Oversold, understated and authoritarian: debullshitifying the reporting on United's "removal" of Dr David Dao

As the scandal over a United passenger who was beaten unconscious and dragged off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a deadheading crewmember unspools, there's a predictable torrent of bullshit about how United was in the right because something something private property, and let us not forget the great American sport of victim-blaming. Read the rest

For sale, one of the CIA's extraordinary rendition torture-jets

For four years, N313P, a modified Boeing 737 bizjet, flew people who'd been kidnapped by the CIA to secret torture-camps; it's only got 5,942 hours on it, and sports a customized seven-tank fuel reserve for long-haul flights. It's yours for a mere $27.5M. Read the rest

Your word of the day

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DHS bans laptops in the cabins of flights from 10 airports

The DHS has advised some airlines that flights originating from some overseas airports will only be allowed to land in the USA if passengers are required to check any electronic device bigger than a phone (excepting medical devices) in the hold. Read the rest

Chris Christie's Port Authority boss blackmailed United into scheduling a flight to bring him to his weekend place

Former NJ Port Authority Chairman David Samson -- a "staunch ally" of Chris Christie -- got United to schedule an extra, largely empty Friday night flight from Newark airport to Columbia, SC, where he had his weekend place (the flight returned early Monday in time for him to go back to the office). A court has now accepted his guilty plea for accepting bribes and sentenced him to one year of house arrest and four years of probation. Read the rest

TSA's new "pat-downs" are so invasive, airports are pre-emptively warning cops to expect sexual assault claims

If the TSA thinks that you're suspicious -- or if you opt out of the "optional" full-body scanner -- you get a junk-touching "secondary screening" in which the screeners "pat you down" by rubbing the backs of their hands on your genitals and other "sensitive areas" (they can be pretty rough -- a screener at ORD once punched me in the balls to retaliate for me asking him not to rest the tub containing my bags on top of my unprotected laptop). Read the rest

Customs officials refuse to allow passengers to debark a domestic flight unless they show ID

Two CBP officials boarded a Delta flight from New York to SFO after it landed on Wednesday and demanded that passengers show government-issued "documents" before they would be allowed to debark. Read the rest

Harrison Ford has near miss with passenger plane

Movie star and aviation buff Harrison Ford had another close call in one of his private planes. Landing his Husky at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA he mistakenly landed on a taxi way, and nearly missed a passenger plane.

Via NBC:

Ford, 74, was captured on air traffic control recordings asking, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?"

Air traffic controllers then informed Ford that he had landed on a taxiway rather than the runway.

Landing on a taxiway is a violation of Federal Aviation Administration safety rules.

The FAA told NBC News that controllers gave Ford the proper landing instructions and that he read them back.

The incident has prompted an FAA investigation — which could result in anything from a simple warning letter to a suspension of Ford's pilot's license.

Read the rest

Trump to meet aviation leaders to discuss aging airports and whatever else pops into his head

Executives from the U.S. aviation industry will meet with so-called President Donald Trump on Thursday to talk about the declining infrastructure at airports around the country, maybe reforming our air traffic control system, how to destroy labor unions, trade agreements with foreign-owned airlines, and whatever other crazy shit pops into Trump's head while his lips are moving.

Read the rest

Almost half a million bucks worth of cocaine stuffed up nose of American Airlines plane from Colombia

Authorities say Tulsa maintenance base workers workers for American Airlines found seven bricks of cocaine weighing 31 pounds with a street value of about a half a million dollars hidden in the nose of an AA aircraft.

Read the rest

Small, sharp knife disguised as a housekey

SOG make excellent knives: I know because I had many of them confiscated by the nascent TSA in the early days of the Global War on Terror, that liminal moment when I was still kidding myself that I would remember to empty my pockets of useful tools before boarding a flight. Read the rest

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