Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200
Nothing like a good ‘ol fashion false alarm hijacking to get the heart beating! A Delta Air Lines flight left from Northwest Florida Regional Airport bound for Atlanta last Wednesday. Shortly after takeoff, the plane was ordered by the TSA to return to the airport. Apparently a TSA employee who was on the flight was not properly screened.
This would have turned out to just be an annoying time delay, but no one informed the Air Force base near by for the flight change. When the military noticed the plane was altering its filed flight path, they were afraid it might be a highjack situation.
The USAF base sent word to the local Sheriff’s office stating, “at this time advising that there is a poss(ible) hijacked airplane in progress.”
Further communication states: “Okaloosa airport cannot make contact with the plane at this time and this is considered a security breach.”
It took about 20 minutes for the situation to get cleared up. The plane landed, the TSA employee successfully was screened and the flight was on its way back to Atlanta.
Currently, the TSA is, “reviewing the incident and will take appropriate action if necessary”, Sari Koshetz, spokeswoman for the TSA said. “If necessary?” They don’t see that maybe this is not the best practice? The simple solution is making sure TSA employees are screened properly, but if that solution doesn’t sound right, then maybe informing the USAF base next time a flight is diverted? Just my two cents.
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Maybe Delta Air Lines should have the special Falcon livery
On Saturday, I blogged about how AirTran is the official airline of the Atlanta Falcons. To celebrate, AirTran made a special livery for the airline. Today, I was interested about the arrangement and did a little research and found that even though they are the official airlines, when traveling, the Falcons fly on Delta Air Lines.
The deal between the Falcons and AirTran allows the airline to put signs up in the Georgia Dome, use of the Falcon players in advertising, and of course the special livery Boeing 717.
The Falcons are not the only ones. The Phoenix Cardinals and US Airways had an arrangement, although the team flew on Northwest Airlines (which is now Delta Air Lines).
Even though this can be mis-leading, it is business. In fact, with AirTran flying only Boeing 737’s and Boeing 717’s, they have no aircraft able to fly a whole NFL team and staff. It just shows that just because an airline is the official carrier of a team, doesn’t mean the team gives their seal of approval. Personally, I don’t consider what sports team is endorsing the airline I fly when booking my travel.
Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777 being towed at Frankfurt
American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and UPS have agreed to use up to 1.5million gallons of synthetic diesel made from plant waste per year. The fuel would be used to fuel their ground service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport.
Rentech Inc. will be supplying the alternative fuel starting in 2012, made mostly from urban yard waste and clippings. Image: Thomas Becker
Most people only think about aircraft causing much of the pollution in air travel, but there are thousands of support vehicles at each airport that also cause harmful emissions. Rentech is currently in talks with other airlines and airports to increase the fuel’s usage.
Delta Boeing 767 - taken after landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
This new segment looks at the airline industry head-on, reporting first-hand experiences of air travel.
Date: June 21, 2009
Airline: Delta Air Lines
Flight: 1059 Atlanta to Seattle
Plane: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 17A/17B (flying with girlfriend)
Extras: $2 for ear phones, $5 for beer, $8 for salad
I was a little excited since I haven’t been able to fly in a Boeing 767 for sometime. I was flying with my girlfriend and it was nice knowing we would have two seats together (this plane was configured in 2-3-2 layout).
Folks loading up on the Delta Air Lines Boeing 767
Had a little issue with checking in. I love using the e-podiums for speed and efficiency, but took about five minutes to have someone come to get the bag and to tell me it weighed 53lbs (3 lbs over the 50lb limit). She said they would have to charge me $90 for the 3lbs. Sigh. I got to play the “Let’s Re-Pack in Line” game. After getting the weight down to 47lbs took another 5 minutes for the lady to come back.
After that, it was easy getting to the gate. The flight was on time and boarded very quickly (I was impressed since it was almost a full flight).
I was hoping the flight would have WiFi (it didn’t), but it did have the Delta on Demand in-seat entertainment system.
I am dpb. And I am not doing well.
It has movies, satellite tv, real-time airplane location, and games…yes games. The movies and games cost money ($6 for a movie and $5 to play all the games), but on a long trip, this can be worth the money. There is a free trivia game, where one can play against others on the plane. Argh. I did not do well and since it shows my score and seat #, people walking by could see who the idiot was who got 0/11 questions right. I stopped playing at that point. I swear I am not that dumb, but there were questions I just didn’t get. Found it interesting that people in first class kept winning. Still, this is quite a cool feature and I hope airlines expand on this concept (like Virgin America) where passengers can interact with one another.
Then I was excited to catch up on some Mythbusters on Discovery Channel, but my sound didn’t work. Turned on my call light and no one came to assist for 10min (it happens, I know), but I finally caught someone while the drinks were being served and they had to reset my seat. Ah, they run linux — neat. And sound worked fine after reset. I am going to say I was able to crash Delta’s on board system!
That is Bellevue, WA (right out side of Seattle) seen before landing. My window was oddly dirty.
It was a long flight and I wanted a (grown-up) drink and my girlfriend was hungry. I got a nice cold beer and she got a pretty good salad. Delta is still accepting cash, but prefers credit cards, so it is nice to have a choice still (although, had to watch the flight attendants try to make change which is always a pain).
About 2 hours into the flight the TV started to go out. After about 15 minutes about 8 channels started working again (there are only 18 channels to begin with — 4 of which are sports). Luckily the channel I was watching was one of the ten that worked. I have to say being able to watch TV while in flight sure makes the flight seem VERY short.
The rest of the flight went smoothly. I was able to do some work (no wi-fi, but offline work is better than nothing).
Was able to check out Bellevue, WA while landing and some sun was popping out of the sky. Yes, it was cloudy and a bit rainy, but that was ok. We had just spent 10 days in sunny, humid Tampa, FL and we were looking forward to the clouds.
My two favorite moments of the flight come at the end. #1 having to sit there, waiting for the plane to unload and #2 waiting for bags. Had a close friend come to pick us up and back home to blog!
Overall very good flight. The only downsides were some customer service difficulties. Mostly dealing with having to wait for someone to take our checked bags and no one coming when I called the flight attendant. The lure of technology let me forget the service issues, but this might have been a different story if my seat reset wouldn’t have worked!
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