Air Canada ordered to offer a no-nuts option for allergic flyers

The Canadian Transportation Authority has ruled that Air Canada needs to create a “nut-free” zone on all of its flights, to accommodate those passengers who are severely allergic to nuts. The order came after two passengers complained that the airline had failed to properly accommodate their allergies, which the CTA ruled should be treated as a disability.

According to Toronto’s National Post, the airline has “30 days to come up with a plan to create a ‘buffer zone'” to separate those who have nut allergies from the rest of the passengers, who may receive a snack with nuts in it.

I feel for people who have severe nut allergies, really I do. The constant worry that something you eat may contain nuts, the fear that someone may eat a nut near you and cause you to have a bad reaction, the pain of not being able to enjoy all the delicious nuts out there in the world. I mean, have you ever had a macadamia nut? Those things are pure heaven.

Should passengers be denied the right to eat something delicious because there is a chance that another person on the plane might be allergic to it? It’s tempting to say no, but really, when you think about it, is offering a peanut-based snack so important that it is worth risking someone’s life? Some allergies really are that severe and there are plenty of other snack options out there that don’t involve nuts. I actually have to side with one of the complaining passengers on this one – it just makes more sense to get ride of nut-based snacks altogether.

[via USA Today]

Argument over elbow room results in flight diversion and 30 day prison sentence

We’ve all been there – you get to your seat, and someone else has already taken ownership of the armrest, which includes part of your space. In most cases, a quick smile and “hi” is enough to create a mutual understanding on sharing the one and a half inches of precious space.

Sadly, not everyone shares that concept – like 31 year old Khodar Ahmad. This Toronto man was on his way to Frankfurt when he got into a fight with his seatmate. His attitude was apparently aggressive enough to warrant a flight diversion to Montreal, where he was kicked off the plane.

This is where the story takes a really interesting twist – Ahmad was lucky, because even though he caused a flight diversion, the cops were not waiting for him in Montreal. So, instead of being arrested and forced to pay a fine for the flight diversion, he was simply left on his own. At that point, this idiot should have counted himself very, very lucky.

Instead, he waltzed over to the Air Canada ticket desk, and demanded that the airline put him on another flight, or even a bus back to Toronto. His scene caught the attention of the local airport police, who arrested him. He’s now in a Montreal detention center where he’ll spend the next 30 days. It is pretty impressive to do something so monumentally stupid once – but twice in one evening takes a very special kind of stupid.

Airplane passenger catches Space Shuttle launch on camera

I recommend turning the audio down on your computer if you plan to watch this at work, or around children, as the narrator tends to swear a lot

Here is a video of something you don’t see every day out the airplane window – the launch of a Space Shuttle. The video was captured by a passenger on Air Canada flight 981 from Toronto to Nassau, and shows the Shuttle right after take off, on its way into space.

Thankfully, someone on the plane used the PA system to tell passengers about the launch, though I’m sure the 50% of people on the wrong side of the plane were pretty miffed they missed this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.%Gallery-76818%

ALSO: For up-to-the-minute news on possible new TSA rules resulting from Friday’s foiled terrorist attack, click here.

Dumb Dutch duo flies 4000 miles in the wrong direction, to the wrong Sydney

Every year, at least one idiot makes the news by proving their total lack of basic geography knowledge.

Such is the story of Dutchman Johannes Rutten and his grandson.

Mr. Rutten had booked tickets for his dream trip from Amsterdam to Sydney, Australia.

After an 8 hour flight on Air Canada, he made his stopover in Halifax, for the final leg to Sydney.

By now, 99.99% of readers will most likely know something is wrong – not Mr. Rutten. He got on the final segment, and landed about an hour later. When he got off the plane, the cabin crew alerted the local Air Canada rep that they had 2 passengers arriving at the wrong Sydney.

To make matters worse, the duo arrived with no money (except for some Australian Dollars). Thankfully, Air Canada has a warm place in their heart for stupid people – so they put them up in a hotel (for free) and are working on arranging an earlier return for them as soon as possible.

The worst part? The duo booked their flights through a travel agency – which obviously invalidates the whole argument that it pays to use an expert to book your flights. It boggles the mind how someone can board a Canadian airline, transit at a small Canadian airport to an even smaller airport, and not sense something is really, really wrong.


Foal Eagle protests divert air traffic around North Korea

Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are followed by Air Canada and Singapore Airlines in routing flights around North Korean airspace. The change comes as a result of North Korean warnings that it “cannot guarantee the safety of South Korean passenger jets” if the United States and South Korea move forward with annual joint military maneuvers. This annual event yields an annual complaint.

The exercise, called Operation Foal Eagle, is one of three remaining joint exercises left on the Korean peninsula. North Korea is notified every year of the operation, which tends to involve a large number of U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea. This year, participation is expected to reach 26,000. The countries involved have engaged in high-level talks on the matter.

The communist regime did not indicate the specific problems that would befall South Korean flights that came to close to their neighbor’s airspace, though two flights were downed in the 1980s: one by a Soviet-made fighter jet (1983) and one by bomb-toting North Korean agents (1987).

Of course, North Korea may have issued the warning because it has its own plans for that airspace, with MSNBC reporting that “Kim [Jong Il, North Korea’s leader] hinted the threat could be a way to clear airspace before a possible missile launch.”

[Photo via Gawker]