Some Of The Many Ways To Get Kicked Off A Plane

planeWhen getting ready for take-off of any flight, we can take our seat promptly upon boarding the plane, stow our gear, be courteous to our fellow travelers and use electronic devices until instructed to power them down. Those activities are all just fine. On the other hand, smoking in the lavatory, joking about bombs or otherwise disrupting operation of the aircraft are serious matters that can get us kicked off the plane. But what other actions taken on board a commercial airliner can get us in trouble?

Checking in with Law.com‘s legal blog watch, the list is long.

  • Stripping naked or saying the F-word can get you escorted off the plane.
  • Get into a fist fight with the passenger in front of you who reclines their seat in the air and the pilot may turn the plane around and return to the airport, escorted by a pair of F-16 fighter jets
  • Pretending to be a soldier to get a complimentary upgrade to first class can not only get you kicked off the plane, but result in being arrested. The charge: second-degree impersonation.
  • Inhaling from an electronic cigarette or throwing bags of snacks at flight attendants can result in a charge of “interference with the flight crew,” a federal offense that will cause the FBI to greet you when the plane lands.
  • Take a photo of the name tag of a less-than-helpful flight crew member can get you on the No-Fly list, if not arrested.
  • Dress code violations like wearing short denim shorts that make it unclear whether ladies are wearing panties, especially when those shorts are worn with a baggy T-shirt can get you kicked off the plane.
  • Breastfeeding and children can be a problem. Breastfeeding without being covered up can result in public humiliation and threats of removal from the plane. In the same folder we find that children must behave. Throwing a fit on the plane may result in a return to the gate and the child’s entire family being removed from the plane for the safety of all customers and crew members on board.
  • Be careful what you watch on electronic devices. Passengers are not allowed to view what might be deemed “horrific” child pornography on their laptop during the flight. Do so and be apprehended by police upon landing and charged with possession of child pornography.

“You might think that after (21 volumes) of Things You Can’t Do on a Plane, that we’d have exhausted the list of things you can’t do on a plane,” says Legal Blog Watch. “Nope! The list grows daily.”

American Airlines, U.S. Airways $11 Billion Deal



[Photo credit - Flickr user Nigel Horsley]

Remembering 9/11 ten years later: Where you can pay respect




Everyone remembers what he or she was doing on September 11, 2001. From the moment American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center (8:46 a.m. EDT) to the horrific realization that the United States was under attack, every person has a story to share, whether of what they were doing on that fateful day to memories of personal survival or tragic loss.

Ten years have passed since the terrorism attacks of September 11 changed the world forever. From the war in Afghanistan to airline regulations, we live with the legacy of 9/11 on a daily basis. But while 9/11 is at the forefront of our minds, many of us have lost sight of the thousands of lives that were lost on that fall day. A decade later, there are three memorials – at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – where we can remember the dead, honor the survivors, and reflect on the events of September 11, 2001.National September 11 Memorial and Museum
New York City

Located at Ground Zero, where the two towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed and 2,753 lives lost, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, known simply as the 9/11 Memorial, will be inaugurated in an official ceremony on September 11, 2011. The 9/11 Memorial will not open to the public until September 12, 2011, and its museum, to be located in a plaza underneath the memorial, is not scheduled to open until September 2012.

Like the Twin Towers, the 9/11 Memorial is huge in scale. Set on eight acres and filled-in with 415 trees, the memorial is comprised of two fountain cascades that are the exact size of the footprints of the two buildings. Lining the edges of the fountains is a bronze strip engraved with the names of the victims from the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Flight 93, as well as the names of the seven people who died in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993.

Admission to the 9/11 Memorial is free, but visitors must reserve a time to visit. You can request visitor passes here, but note that as of this writing, the first available time available is on September 14. There are also 9/11 family member visitor passes for those who are related to victims listed on the memorial.

Pentagon Memorial
Arlington, Virginia

Open since September 11, 2008, the Pentagon Memorial is a quiet reminder of the 184 men, women, and children who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the southwest edge of the Pentagon. The memorial contains a series of benches, each etched with a name, laid out on the western side of the Pentagon Reservation. Benches pointing towards the Pentagon refer to those who were inside the Pentagon when the plane struck; benches pointing in the opposite direction represent the airline passengers and crew who perished. The Pentagon Memorial is free and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guided tours are not available.

Flight 93 National Memorial
Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Maintained by the National Park Service, this memorial to the victims of Flight 93 is located in the field where the hijacked plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001. The Flight 93 National Memorial has had several temporary memorials and is still under construction. But the official dedication ceremony of the first phase of construction for the permanent memorial will take place on September 11, 2011. Similar to the other two memorials, the Flight 93 memorial will contain a Memorial Wall of Names inscribed with the names of the 44 people who died. Admission to the Flight 93 National Memorial is free and the memorial will officially open to the public at 2 p.m. on September 12, 2011.

Image from Wikipedia

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China Airlines fined for price fixing

China Airlines is the latest carrier to get fined for price-fixing air cargo rates. The Taiwan-based airline plead guilty and now faces a $40 million fine. Northwest Airlines has also plead guilty.

A total of 18 airlines have been snared by the Department of Justice in an ongoing investigation. Eight airline executives have also been charged. The Department of Justice has imposed a total of $1.6 billion in fines and given four executives jail time for a conspiracy that reaches back to early 2000. China Airlines was conspiring with other airlines to fix cargo rates to and from the United States, a violation of antitrust laws. Rates are supposed to be subject to the free market, but the airlines secretly agreed to set a rate in order to maximize profits.

For a complete list of the airlines and executives involved, click here.

Open skies agreement between EU and US signed

The United States and the European Union have signed an open skies agreement that makes it easier for airlines to buy one another.

This is the second open skies agreement between the two governments. The first open skies agreement took effect in 2008 and opened up transatlantic routes to all carriers. Previously some routes were limited to specific carriers.

This new agreement will allow foreign owners to have a majority stake in an airline. Until now, European airlines could only own 25% of a US carrier, and US airlines could only own 49.9% of a European airline. The new limits have yet to be set and the move still has to be approved by Congress.

The deal also equalizes rules on emissions, fuel, and noise, and establishes a closer cooperation with the carbon trading scheme. European airlines will also now be able to fly in and out of the U.S. without first landing or taking off in the EU. Expect more services to non-EU destinations by EU airlines in the near future.

Passenger thoughts on carry-on bags: Wear a helmet

In yesterday’s article “Travelers Weigh in on Policing Carry-ons” in the New York Times, Joe Sharkey said that he received 300 e-mails with complaints about overhead bins and carry-on bags. According to Sharkey, people are fussing right and left regarding other people’s carry-ons.

Reading the responses that Sharkey highlighted reminds me a bit of people’s complaints about other people’s driving. Instead of grousing about the lack of blinker use, people driving too close, people driving too slow in the fast lane, or too fast in the slow lane, or talking on a cell phone instead of paying attention to the road, people are turning other people’s carry-on bags into modern day travel hazards and symbols of human rudeness.

For example, one person suggested that with the amount of stuff people are cramming into overhead bins and the dangers of falling objects, wearing a helmet while flying isn’t a bad idea. He might have a point.

Here’s an idea. Like Sharkey also mentioned, maybe the airlines could rent helmets as a way to make more money. Hard hats, for that matter, could easily be decorated with an airline’s logo.