Bailed Out Citigroup Stimulates French Economy By Purchasing $50 Million Corporate Jet

Bailed Out Citigroup Stimulates French Economy By Purchasing $50 Million Corporate Jet

With $45 billion in taxpayer funds burning a hole in its pocket, Citigroup is purchasing a $50 million Dassault Falcon 7X, according to the New York Post. Apparently none of the existing jets that ferried execs to Washington to ask for bailout funds was ironic enough.

Flight 1549 Passengers Get $5K Checks For Drowned Baggage

Flight 1549 Passengers Get $5K Checks For Drowned Baggage

Turns out they won’t have to file written requests after all, each passenger of US Airways Flight 1549 that downed in the Hudson River last week got a $5k check from the airline to compensate them for lost baggage.

U.S. Airways Flight Makes Surprise Landing In The Hudson

U.S. Airways Flight Makes Surprise Landing In The Hudson

So, that plane floating in the Hudson near the Intrepid, it’s U.S. Airways flight 1549. Nobody is really sure why the plane is floating in the Hudson, but CBS speculates that “a bird strike may have caused the plane to go down, meaning a bird may have entered the engine, causing a malfunction.” The flight carrying 148 passengers and 5 crew members was destined for Charlotte, North Carolina. Everyone is reported to have survived, and a photo uploaded to Twitter shows people evacuating the A320 onto the plane’s wings and inflatable rafts. The AP reports that New York City firefighters are on the way to pluck the passengers out of the river.

http://consumerist.com/2008/12/26/heres-a-bittersweet-elegy-on/

Here’s a bittersweet elegy on airline travel. [New York Times]

Melissa & Doug's Sky High Customer Service

Melissa & Doug's Sky High Customer Service

The Melissa & Doug toy company helped Tracey’s daughter pick up the pieces after she accidentally crashed her month-old block plane into the ground, breaking off the metal pin that held the wheels together. Tracey emailed Melissa & Doug to warn them that the broken pin could potentially cause a choking hazard. She quickly heard back from Chris, who told her that she could either receive a replacement toy or pick out a new one. Just in case something wasn’t in stock, he said, Tracey should pick out two toys…

Southwest's "Credit Cards Only" Policy Increases Sales By 8%

Southwest's "Credit Cards Only" Policy Increases Sales By 8%

Here’s the real reason for an airline to switch to credit-card-only sales on board its flights: people spend more. Southwest Airlines’ customer service veep, Daryl Krause, told the Dallas Morning News that “since Southwest began accept credit cards (and no longer taking cash) on Sept. 9, its drink sales are up about 8 percent.” Since in general “the goal was one more drink sale per flight,” we wonder whether that wasn’t the real reason for going cashless all along.

Please Don't Watch Porn On Planes

Please Don't Watch Porn On Planes

Yes, it needs to be said because flight attendants are worried that some people don’t know not to watch porn while flying next to strangers. American Airlines flight attendants even want porn sites blocked on flights offering WiFi access.

This Apology Letter From Southwest Is Refreshingly Honest And Informative

This Apology Letter From Southwest Is Refreshingly Honest And Informative

A fluid leak forced Deepak’s Southwest flight from Oakland to Seattle back to the airport. Southwest shifted passengers to a waiting plane, and everyone made it to Seattle about two hours late. Within a week, Southwest sent passengers an extraordinarily honest and informative letter detailing exactly what went wrong, and by way of apology, tossed in a $175 voucher.

Whiney Pilots Complain That Stingy Airlines Are Forcing Them To Fly "Uncomfortably Low On Fuel"

Whiney Pilots Complain That Stingy Airlines Are Forcing Them To Fly "Uncomfortably Low On Fuel"

Ugh, those selfish pilots can’t be bothered to help their airlines return to profitability. No, instead they’re whining to NASA that they’re being forced to fly “uncomfortably low on fuel” and that “safety for passengers and crews could be compromised.”

Pentagon Looking To Invent "Kill Switch" For Airplanes

Pentagon Looking To Invent "Kill Switch" For Airplanes

It has been nearly 7 years since 9/11 and the government is still pulling ideas out of its ass to help keep us safe. Wired reports that in a request for proposals issued this week, the Pentagon announced that they are looking for ways to “safely divert an aircraft in the air or stop and/or disable an aircraft on the ground,” i.e., a kill switch. More, inside…

Delta Tries To Get On Board Train Craze By Hijacking Google

Delta Tries To Get On Board Train Craze By Hijacking Google

With all the talk about trains in recent days, reader Zach decided to do some quick Googling to check out some train ticket prices. He typed in “cheap train tickets” and what do you know? Oh, hello Delta! We didn’t know you were in the train business now. Let’s click on your link on the small hope that maybe there’s a train ticket discount or some sort of…nope, same old Delta. Zach’s letter, inside…

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/25/faa-orders-more-inspections-of/

FAA orders more inspections of potentially sketchy older “Boeing 737 jetliners after numerous reports of fuel leaks caused by a potentially faulty bolt,” says the Associated Press. [AP]

The Final Word On Rule 240

The Final Word On Rule 240

Reader Laura was nearly stranded in Manchester when Continental canceled her flight two days before a major college test. She politely asked to be rebooked; she begged for another flight; when that failed, she invoked Rule 240. Laura’s experience presents the perfect opportunity to clarify once and for all what Rule 240 is and isn’t. First, her story.

JetBlue To Charge For Extra Legroom

JetBlue To Charge For Extra Legroom

JetBlue announced yesterday that they’ll be reconfiguring their Airbus A320 fleet to include several rows of seating with 38″ of pitch. These “Even More Legroom” seats will be available to you—for a small fee.

FAA: New Planes Are Held Together With "Substandard" Parts

FAA: New Planes Are Held Together With "Substandard" Parts

Terrible news for anyone afraid of flying: the FAA is reporting that the newest passenger planes are held together with “substandard” parts. The oversight at several supplier factories was so shoddy that workers were caught using rulers made of scotch-tape and paper.

What Airlines Do In The Event Of A Medical Emergency

What Airlines Do In The Event Of A Medical Emergency

Yesterday’s story of the death of a passenger on board an American Airlines flight continued to unfold throughout the day, and now CNN has posted an article that addresses some of the questions people were asking about in-flight emergencies in general. CNN spoke with several experts in the area where medicine overlaps with the airline industry to find out how airlines prepare for the inevitable really sick passenger.

Airlines Dropping Child Discounts

Major airlines are dropping child discounts faster than you can say “screaming toddler.” The discounts, which generally apply to children younger than 2, were “rarely used” according to a spokesperson from American Airlines.