United Cops Record Fine for Stranding Passengers on Tarmac

newark  nj   oct 5  united...
Shutterstock / Songquan Deng

United Airlines has received a hefty penalty for keeping passengers waiting on airplanes for hours on end while their flights were delayed. The Department of Transportation fined the carrier $1.1 million-the biggest fine of its kind so far-for tarmac delays that happened at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport last year.

Rules that were put in place in 2010 state that airlines will be penalized if they keep passengers waiting around on the tarmac for more than three hours. In United’s case, all the rule breaking happened on one particularly stormy day when 13 separate United flights were delayed because of thunder and lighting. According to the rules, United was meant to give passengers the chance to get off the plane as it was obvious flights would be held up. But the carrier didn’t. And to top it off, bathrooms on the some of the delayed planes weren’t working, leaving passengers in the lurch.The Department of Transportation says United didn’t do a very good job handling the situation and didn’t reach out to other airport personnel for help. The Department of Transportation also slammed the airline for not having a good plan in place to deal with weather-related problems in general. Some of the money from the fine will go to passengers affected by the delays, while another portion will go towards creating a tracking system at O’Hare so United can better monitor its planes.

Might TSA Be Replaced By, Um, You?

Qylur's self-serve security scanner
Photo: Courtesy Qylur

A start-up called Qylur said it would begin offering automated security checkpoints next year in which people scan themselves, Business Week reports.

Airports are a distant goal though, with the company focusing on starting at amusement parks and arenas. While five scanners will be deployed at first, Qylur wouldn’t reveal where they’re going. Been asked to scan yourself recently? Tell us about it in the comments.Here’s how Qylur’s machines work:

The machines, which are made of a series of honeycombed cells surrounding a sensor, automatically check for dangerous-looking items and sniff for chemicals and nuclear material. A person puts a bag into one side of the machine, scans a ticket or a boarding pass, and closes the door. The machine then scans the contents and compares their characteristics to those of every item it has ever scanned.

Whether the machines are smart enough to know that the coffee smell they’re picking up is because you used grinds to mask your doobie, however, remains to be seen.

Heathrow is Now the Most Family Friendly European Airport . . . After Being the Least

srv007, Flickr

Rethink your travel plans families: if you’re adventuring with children, the best airport you can travel to, from and through in Europe is London Heathrow.

That’s a big deal if you consider the fact that only last year it was ranked as the worst.

The rankings come via Skyscanner, which did a study focusing on families with children under 4 years old and looked at travel from June to September 2013.Thirty five European family travel experts and travel bloggers judged 20 different airports based upon their baby-changing facilities, security levels and food options, as well as the general check-in process. We all know how a long line can affect a tired child.

According to Skift, here are the top 10 family-friendly airports across Europe:

1. London Heathrow
2. Zurich and Vienna
3. Dusseldorf
4. Madrid-Barajas
5. Munich and Frankfurt
6. London Gatwick
7. Moscow Sheremetyevo
8. Paris Charles de Gaulle
9. Oslo
10. Copenhagen

But not everyone loves a child-friendly space. Some airlines are even offering kid-free zones on-board for those trying to avoid the younger crowd. Ultimately, it all goes to show that traveling with children is becoming more and more the norm, whether you like it or not.

Dry Ice Bombs at LAX Bring Increased Security, Quick Arrest

dry ice
Flickr/ oskay

Regardless of how it happens, who made it or where it came from, when something explodes in an airport, it’s serious business. After not one but two dry ice explosions occurred on consecutive days at California’s Los Angeles International Airport, police are increasing securlty.

They are simple enough to make; add dry ice to a 20 ounce plastic bottle and wait. There is plenty of dry ice in the area, food service vendors use it daily.

Finding out who did it, apparently, might not very difficult either; police arrested an airport employee Tuesday night. Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was charged with possessing and exploding a “destructive device near an aircraft,” according to a statement from police, reports CBS News.

The exploded bombs did not cause any injuries or damage.Bennett apparently took the dry ice from a plane and placed it in an employee restroom Sunday night where it exploded about 7pm, locking down terminal 2. Another device exploded in a restricted area outside the international terminal on Monday.

Second Dry Ice Bomb Explodes at LAX

Injured Kangaroo Hops Into Airport Pharmacy, Receives Treatment

Kangaroo Hops Into Shop at Melbourne Airport

We see a lot of strange things in airports around the world. But a kangaroo in the airport pharmacy?

At Australia’s Melbourne airport, an injured kangaroo made its way into a pharmacy, surprising travelers. It then received care, after being tranquilized and turned over to a veterinarian.

The area is frequented by kangaroos, so it’s not unusual to see them around the airport. But how “Cyrus” the hopping would-be air traveler made it into the Qantas Airways domestic terminal is still unknown.Unlike the 9 year-old who made it past security and on to Las Vegas-bound flight, Cyrus the kangaroo never breached airport security. Thoughts that this was a publicity stunt by Qantas Airlines (the airline with kangaroo on their tail) are apparently false.