Tag Archives: Travel

Travel nightmare of passengers stuck on plane for NINE HOURS, for 30 minute flight

Travel nightmare of passengers stuck on plane for NINE HOURS, for 30 minute flight

Icy weather and multiple mechanical issues turned an American Airlines flight that was supposed to last for less than an hour into a nine-hour nightmare – before the plane even left the ground.

American Airlines flight 382 was supposed to leave Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at 1.45pm on Friday for Oklahoma City, but didn’t take off until 10.48pm.

The plane was originally grounded because it was being de-iced, a process that took five hours because of heavy snow.

But just as the plane reached the end of the runway and passengers thought they were finally getting in the air, it was revealed there was a mechanical issue with the aircraft.

Icy weather and multiple mechanical issues grounded American Airlines flight 382 in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for over nine hours. Passenger Brandon Sullivan tweeted from the scene and said the weather was slowing things down at the airport

Icy weather and multiple mechanical issues grounded American Airlines flight 382 in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for over nine hours. Passenger Brandon Sullivan tweeted from the scene and said the weather was slowing things down at the airport

Sullivan also tweeted a photograph of flight attendants taking care of a sick passenger and wrote that people were 'becoming ill' after being stuck in the plane for over seven hours

Sullivan also tweeted a photograph of flight attendants taking care of a sick passenger and wrote that people were ‘becoming ill’ after being stuck in the plane for over seven hours

Passenger Ryan Eccles told Daily Mail Online the plane had problem after problem.

‘It was frustrating due to just the number of things that were going wrong,’ he said.

‘We had to wait in line to de-ice, wait for take off clearance, then we had a pressure indicator issue and had to return to the gate, and wait for a gate.’

‘Then our parking assist was broken, so then we had to wait for maintenance and start the whole process again.’

Passenger Brandon Sullivan told ABC News the scene on the plane ‘got a little chaotic’ as people started raiding the liquor fridge and pulling out drinks.

Eccles said the captain told the plane he had instructed the flight attendants to provide everyone with whatever they wanted to drink.

Sullivan tweeted that tempers were ‘raging’ after nearly six hours on the plane, and that adults were ‘kicking each other’s seats and shouting’ expletives.

He also tweeted a photograph of flight attendants taking care of a sick passenger and wrote that people were ‘becoming ill’ after being stuck in the plane for over seven hours.

Eccles said he also saw a couple of people feeling unwell, and that the crew was attentive and took good care of them.

Despite the long hours and the snacks running out fast, Eccles said things went ‘pretty well’ and that after awhile he was actually having ‘a pretty good time’ with the passengers near him.

He credits the flight attendants for making the ordeal a little smoother and said they even volunteered to extend their hours so that the plane could still fly.

After eight hours the attendants were up against their daily limit, but no replacement crew was available.

Passengers were given two chances to leave the plane for good, and one chance to leave in order to get something to eat.

A diabetic man was also given a second opportunity to leave the plane and pick up food.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller apologized for the incident and said ‘extreme weather impacting north Texas’ had made for a ‘challenging day’ at the Dallas airport.

‘The safety of our passengers and employees is always our top priority,’ he said.

According to the airline, the nine-hour delay did not violate the Department of Transportation’s three-hour limit because the plane was not actually held on the tarmac.

ABC News aviation consultant Stephen Ganyard said de-icing a plane is extremely important, because any ice on the wing could challenge it’s ability to fly.

But Ganyard noted that the weather had been bad ‘for days’ in Dallas.

‘This was not a surprise to American,’ he said. ‘They should have been better prepared.

Southwest briefly grounds 128 Boeing 737s for inspections

Southwest briefly grounds 128 Boeing 737s for inspections

AP UNITED CONTINENTAL SOUTHWEST F FILE A USA MD

Southwest Airlines voluntarily grounded 128 Boeing 737 jets Tuesday night after admitting it missed a series of mandatory inspections on the planes.

But the grounding was short-lived after federal officials agreed to let Southwest continue to fly the planes as long as they receive the required check in the next five days.

Still, the move resulted in the cancellation of about 80 flights Tuesday night, the Dallas-based carriersaid. The company said it canceled about 20 more flights for Wednesday as it performs the needed inspections.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King told The Associated Press the airline expected to finish “a good portion” of the inspections by Wednesday morning and that more disruptions were not expected.

The inspections were related to scheduled checks of the planes’ secondary hydraulic system used to control the rudder. The system serves as a backup to the jets’ primary hydraulic system in the event of a failure.

Southwest says it immediately grounded the jets after discovering the oversight and promptly notified the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

A high-tech hotel opening in Japan will be staffed by multilingual robots

A high-tech hotel opening in Japan will be staffed by multilingual robots

The Henn-na Hotel will open this summer in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park

By Lizzie Plaugic

This summer, a hotel will open in the Netherlands-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park in Nagasaki, Japan. It will have 72 rooms. Room fees will start at $60 per night. And it will be staffed by 10 humanoid robots.

The Henn-na Hotel’s blinking and “breathing” actroids will be able to make eye contact, respond to body language, and speak fluent Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English, The Washington Post reports. They will check-in guests, carry bags, make coffee, clean rooms, and deliver laundry.

HOW MUCH DO YOU TIP A ROBOT?

The robot staff will be supplemented with a human staff…for now. At a news conference in Japan, Huis Ten Bosch president Hideo Sawada said, “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots.”

henn-na-hotel

The actroids aren’t the only futurist thing about the Henn-na. Guests will be able to unlock their rooms through facial recognition software and radiation panels capable of detecting body heat will monitor and adjust room temperatures.

This isn’t just some futuristic fever dream: the hotel is scheduled to open on July 17th.

Menacing Drawings Found on United Engine, 13 Flight Attendants Fired Refusing To Fly

Menacing Drawings Found on United Engine, 13 Flight Attendants Fired Refusing To Fly

attendants fired

Thirteen flight attendants filed a whistle-blower complaint against United Airlines on Wednesday, alleging that they were fired in retaliation for refusing to fly after discovering drawings on the aircraft’s tail that they found menacing.

On July 14, 2014, United crews departing from San Francisco International Airport bound for Hong Kong found the words “BYE BYE” in six-inch high letters alongside two faces, one smiling and the other one also smiling, but with eye brows drawn in a more sinister expression. The writing was traced in an oil slick from the auxiliary engine in the Boeing 747-4000 aircraft’s tail cone.

In the 26-page complaint, the flight attendants said that the markings constituted a”credible and specific threat to the safety of the aircraft.” The flight attendants informed United officials they were uncomfortable flying unless extra security measures were taken. They asked for deplaning the 300-plus passengers and a safety sweep to ensure that no explosive devices were planted on the plane.
According to the complaint, United refused to comply with their request.

In a statement released Wednesday, United spokeswoman Christen David said that three divisions thoroughly investigated the drawings, including conducting additional security checks, before determining there was no threat.

“All of FAA’s and United’s own safety procedures were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, and the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders deemed the aircraft entirely safe to fly,” David said in a written statement.

The crew said they were already on heightened alert after the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 and a warning issued a week earlier from the Transportation Security Administration about possible phone and laptop bombs.

“Given the gravity of the risk involved — the lives of passengers and crew alike — we were not willing to bow to United’s pressure to ignore an unresolved security threat even though the company made clear that we risked losing our jobs,” Grace Lam, a veteran flight attendant, said in a press statement.

The airline accused the flight attendants of insubordination and fired them.

The complaint was filed with the U.S Department of Labor, which adjudicates airline whistle blower complaints.

Facts about California’s high-speed rail plan

Facts about California’s high-speed rail plan

Train high speed railroad California

California’s high-speed rail project promises to reduce the Los Angeles to San Francisco trip to less than three hours. Some other facts:

Q: How fast will it be compared to other high-speed trains?

A: About average, with top speeds of about 200 mph. That’s similar to trains in Europe, but pokey compared to China’s CRH380A engine, which at 302 mph is the world’s fastest way to travel on land. A Japanese maglev train in development has topped 310 mph in tests. The fastest train in the U.S. is Amtrak’s Acela Express, which reaches 105 mph on a short stretch between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware, but slows elsewhere to make stops between New York and Washington.

Q: How much will it cost to ride?

A: Current estimates are between $81 and $89 one-way from San Francisco to Los Angeles, similar to a discount airline fare and about twice what gasoline would cost to drive there in a typical car.

Q: How does the trip compare to planes and cars?

A: If this train manages to deliver passengers on time, it could beat a direct flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which takes an hour and 20 minutes but involves airport travel hassles. Driving the 400-mile journey takes more than six hours even with little traffic.

Q: How much will it cost to build?

A: The current price tag is $68 billion. California’s High-Speed Rail Authority says that’s cheaper than building dozens of new airport runways and highways to accommodate a state population expected to hit 46 million by 2035.

Q: Who will pay to build it?

A: Voters approved nearly $10 billion in bonds for rail construction and improvements to existing lines. The Obama administration added $3.3 billion in federal financing. Authorities hope private development around stations will help pay for the rest.

Q: Where will it go?

A: The first stretch linking the Central Valley to the Burbank airport should open in seven years. Then it will reach north to San Jose, and south to Palmdale and the San Fernando Valley. By 2029 — 14 years from now — a full 520 miles should link San Francisco’s downtown Transbay Terminal to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

King Obama Holiday: $45 million, Weddings Moved, Kicked Off Beaches

King Obama Holiday: $45 million, Weddings Moved, Kicked Off Beaches

Family has spent $44,351,777.12 in taxpayer cash on travel expenses

Make Way For The King! People Kicked Off Beaches, Weddings Moved For Obama Holiday

“I’m not a king,” President Obama has said more than 20 times recently in an effort to dissuade Americans from revolting against his executive rule phone and pen barrage.

The President’s actions in his downtime might make many take another look, however, as it emerged this week that an entire beach was closed down to make way for the first family, as well as a happy couple having to relocate their entire wedding so his highness could play golf.

On their umpteenth holiday this year alone, secret service agents this week made sure that the Obamas had a Hawaiian beach in Kailua completely to themselves, shooing tourists away and cordoning off areas of water so the president could go for a dip without the riff raff getting anywhere near him.

“The officers could be seen telling different groups at the popular spot to turn around, as they sectioned off part of the water.” reports the Daily Mail, displaying pictures of black helmeted jack boots on jet skis harassing people.

Local police were also called in to surveill the area and make sure the first family were undisturbed.

Another embarrassing incident played out Monday as a couple who planned to get married on the 16th hole of an exclusive golf course were forced to relocate their nuptials so Obama could finish his round.

“It was emotional, especially for her — she’s the bride and in less than 24 hours they had to change everything they had planned,” Jamie McCarthy, the bride’s sister, told Bloomberg.

The couple, both serving members of the military, an institution with which Obama’s favourability is at an all time low, instead moved the wedding to a lawn near the home of their commanding officer.

The President later called the bride to apologize, according to reports – most likely realizing that being exposed as acting like a monarch AGAIN wouldn’t sit too well with the American people.

Senator Rand Paul tweeted out a jibe at the President’s actions, noting that even when he’s playing golf now, he is managing to ruin people’s lives:

The Obamas are no strangers to luxury holidays. Last year independent government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service to obtain details of the cost of such lavish holidays taken by Obama at the tax payer’s expense.

The group found that the Obamas racked up nearly $16 million on one vacation to Africa and on a Christmas vacation to Honolulu last year. An earlier finding In February, revealed that the Obama family’s vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in August 2013 hit taxpayers with an approximate $1.1 million bill for flying expenses.

As of this Summer, the Obamas are said to have spent $44,351,777.12 in taxpayer cash on travel expenses, accruing 31 vacations since the president took office in 2009.

State Department Denies Own Memo of Plan to Bring Non-Citizens to US for Ebola Treatment

State Department Denies Own Memo of Plan to Bring Non-Citizens to US for Ebola Treatment

Department-released memo outlines plan to allow non-citizens infected with Ebola into the US for treatment

 

ebola mystery man airport clipboard protective gear Dallas Texas Nurse CDC
Ebola patient being loading into CDC airplane.

By:

An internal memo from the Obama administration reportedly considered allowing non-American Ebola patients into the United States for treatment, according to Fox News.

The State Department denied the existence of any such plan Tuesday, despite the memo. A Fox source said the memo was prepared by the State Department and marked “sensitive but unclassified.”

The memo says to “Come to an agreed State Department position on the extent to which non-U.S. citizens will be admitted to the United States for treatment of Ebola Virus Disease,” and advocates for the implementation of a plan for “expeditious parole of Ebola-infected non-citizens into the United States as long as they are otherwise eligible for medical evacuation from the Ebola affected countries.”

Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last week, asking whether either department was formulating such a plan. He said he had heard “information from the administration” that a plan to allow Ebola-infected non-Americans into the country was being developed–and that that sort of plan would put the country at risk.

“Members of the media, my office have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed,” Goodlatte said Monday night. “This is simply a matter of common sense that if you are concerned about this problem spreading … we certainly shouldn’t be bringing in the patients.”

The State Department continued to deny the plan’s existence even after the memo was released.

“There are absolutely no plans to MEDEVAC non-Americans who become ill from West Africa to the United States,” the official told FoxNews.com. “We have discussed allowing other countries to use our MEDEVAC capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability. But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment.

“Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

Rwanda to screen U.S. visitors for Ebola

Rwanda to screen U.S. visitors for Ebola

U.S. Embassy Rwanda
(Photo: U.S. Embassy/Facebook)

Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

The East African nation of Rwanda is requiring all visitors from the United States and Spain to self-monitor, fill out an extensive questionnaire and report their medical condition for the first 21 days of their visits because of the Ebola cases that have surfaced in the two Western countries.

Coincidentally or not, the new screening follows an embarrassing uproar in a New Jersey school over the imminent enrollment of two Rwanda children that initially prompted their parents to keep them at home for 21 days.

The order by the Rwanda government to visiting Americans and Spaniards was posted Tuesday on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda:

“On October 19, the Rwandan Ministry of Health introduced new Ebola Virus Disease screening requirements. Visitors who have been in the United States or Spain during the last 22 days are now required to report their medical condition—regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of Ebola—by telephone by dialing 114 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for the duration of their visit to Rwanda (if less than 21 days), or for the first 21 days of their visit to Rwanda. Rwandan authorities continue to deny entry to visitors who traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, or Sierra Leone within the past 22 days.”

The U.S. and Spain have both recorded deaths from Ebola. In Dallas, a Liberian national died of the virus two weeks ago and two nurses who treated him tested positive for the virus. At least two Spanish missionaries died in Spain after contracting the disease in West Africa. One Spanish nurse also tested positive for the virus.

Rwanda is located in East Africa about 2,600 miles east of Liberia, the closest of the three West African countries with the Ebola outbreak. Rwanda has been unaffected by the Ebola outbreak on the other side of the continent and has reported no cases of the virus.

The dust-up in New Jersey involving two Rwanda children took a new turn Monday with an apology by the superintendent of the Maple Shade School District in Burlington County.

The children were supposed to begin classes Monday at Howard Yocum Elementary School in Maple Shade, N.J., but ran into a backlash from other parents, WTXF-TV in Philadelphia.com reports.

The uproar started after a school nurse sent a note to staff members saying that the school intended to take the temperature of the two students three times a day for the next 3 weeks, the normal incubation period for Ebola.

Distance from Liberia to Rwanda
Distance from Liberia to Rwanda(Photo: Julie Snider)

The letter quickly leaked to parents, stirring up fears and prompting the school district to post a note that their parents had voluntarily decided to keep them at home for 21 days.

But on Tuesday, the school district changed course again and apologized for its rash behavior, noting on its website that its schools have “become the unwitting ‘face’ of our nations fears with regard to pressing health concerns.”

“None of the actions that have shined the regional light of media exposure on Maple Shade Schools was mean-spirited or ill intended,” writes school superintendent Beth Norcia.

She says the school next week “will welcome the new students whose parents graciously offered to keep them close this week.”

She adds that the schools will “consider the unintended consequences of our messages more carefully in the future. No matter how well-intentioned, a message that originated within our schools created conflict and concern within the Maple Shade community. We offer our sincere apologies.”

Patient With Ebola Symptoms On Texas-based Cruise Ship

Patient With Ebola Symptoms On Texas-based Cruise Ship

Carnival Freedom Cruise Ship
Carnival Cruise Ship

An individual possibly infected with the Ebola virus were in Belizean waters.

Local TV station Channel 7 reported having credible reports that a couple from a Texas-based cruise ship presently anchored off Belize City, is on a ship tender, unable to return to the cruise ship, while being refused entry to Belize City to catch an air ambulance awaiting at the International Airport to take them to the their country of origin, the U.S.A.

The television station in its broadcast tonight said Belize health authorities contacted tonight have so far refused to deny or confirm the report. The patient exhibiting Ebola symptoms has been confirmed to be a nurse at a Dallas hospital traveling with her husband.

Channel 5 Belize reported that it has:

According to officials, the person exhibiting the symptoms did not come ashore. The ship is reportedly carrying 3652 passengers and a total population of 4633 persons.

The Belize Coast Guard was deployed to prevent anyone from leaving the ship; including the Belizean pilot on board.

Last weak Belize’s Ministry of Health stated that in the event of an outbreak of Ebola in Belize, no patient would be allowed into the commercial capital Belize City, where most of the Belize government cabinet officials reside.

The Texas-based cruise ship is carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of Ebola.  It returned to port early Sunday.

Company and federal officials have said the woman being monitored for Ebola poses no risk because she has shown no symptoms and has voluntarily self-quarantined.

Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard crew flew in a helicopter Saturday to meet the Carnival Magic and retrieved a blood sample from the woman. He said the blood sample was taken to a state lab in Austin for processing.

Kendrick had no further details about how the sample was taken. He said the decision to take the sample was made in coordination with the federal, state and local health authorities.

Obama administration officials said the passenger handled a lab specimen from a Liberian man who died from Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital earlier this month. Officials said the woman poses no risk because she has shown no signs of illness for 19 days and has voluntarily self-quarantined on the cruise ship.

U.S. officials had been seeking ways to return the woman and her husband to the U.S. before the ship completes its cruise on Sunday.