Sometimes, it’s the unexpected details that can lighten up a long day of travel. Take, for instance, this bright green door in Conil de la Frontera, a seaside town in Andalucia, Spain. Wearing a whimsical lopsided smile thanks to some conveniently placed locks and handles, this door probably causes passersby to stop, grin and continue along their ways with lighter springs in their steps. I imagine that Flickr user AlexSven had a similarly amused reaction.
The man had finished an entire liter of vodka and a couple of beers, and it took two professional boxers to get him away from the door and pin him to the ground.
The plane ended up making an emergency landing in Sweden to dispose of their drunk cargo, which means it was up to a Swedish judge to sentence the drunkard. The judge handed him an 8 month sentence, and a substantial fine, payable to Ryanair.
The man claims he can’t remember any of the incident, and blames it all on his fear of flying. The Swedish prosecutor didn’t buy it, and is actually appealing the sentence as he feels it is too light. Similar cases ended up with about 18 month sentences.
The good news is that aircraft doors are virtually impossible to open midflight due to the pressure difference between the outside air and cabin.
Much of my apartment is decorated with travel souvenirs. The ceramic wine carafe I bought in Cinque Terre sits on the bar. Pictures I found at the Buenos Aires San Telmo Sunday market line the wall. Postcards bought in Iceland are propped on the fireplace mantel. I love being surrounding by reminders of my adventures, so I was intrigued and inspired when I saw this collection of vintage hotel room door hangers.
Michael Leibowitz says on his website that the collection belonged to his recently deceased grandfather, who had covered a wall of his study with “do not disturb” signs from hotels around the world. Locations represented in his collection range across the globe and include Athens, Bangkok, Budapest, Hawaii, Paris, New Zealand, Florence, Tasmania, and Tokyo.
There are signs from hotels like the Beirut Phoenicia Intercontinental, and from countries such as Yugoslavia, that no longer exist, and there are hangers from iconic hotels like the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok that have been around for over 100 years. It’s a beautiful set with designs ranging from simple to elegant to totally retro. And it’s inspired me to start my own collection. While I’m not going to start displaying them on my wall just yet, I think that years from now they’ll be interesting to look at as a memory of my travels.
What’s your favorite travel trinket to collect and how do you display your memories? Whether you collect matchbooks you store in a jar or or postcards you display on a wall, tell me about your favorite travel souvenirs in the comments below.
Welcome to Gadling’s feature, Plane Answers, where our resident airline pilot, Kent Wien, answers your questions about everything from takeoff to touchdown and beyond. Have a question of your own? Ask away!
Hi Kent –
Two items, please…
Silly question here, but I’ve always wondered, does a typical jetliner have “keys”? You know, like you have keys to the car. And is the same true for a 757 or 767, whatever?
Believe it or not, Lee, they do have keys, but only for the cockpit door. Fortunately they’re standardized, so we only need to carry one key. For security reasons, this key doesn’t open our ‘bank-vault’ style door inflight.
Also, do you remember your first REAL solo? You know, when they handed you the “keys” (maybe) and said, “you’re the man today.”
And not in some Cessna or tree-topper. When you got that big break after you were hired by one of the big name commercial airlines. You were behind the wheel of your first big jetliner taxiing across the field and made that final turn only to see a mile of runway in front of you knowing it was up to you to get 50 tons of flying brick in the air.
What’d all that feel like?
Since airliners are flown as a crew with two or three pilots, for me, it never really felt like my first solo flight did. There’s just nothing to compare to that experience; it’s one that I’ll always remember.
I do remember just a few things from my first flight in an airliner. It took two hours to taxi our 727 out of Newark airport and I was amazed that any airline could make money with such long takeoff delays. Fortunately, I’ve never had as long of a taxi since.
But really, I can’t recall anything else on my first flight at a major airline probably because it really wasn’t entirely different from flying a smaller aircraft. It was exciting at the time, and I’m sure I was awash in the new procedures I had just learned, but I can’t say flying a 12,000 pound airplane is that much less exhilarating than flying a 500,000 pound aircraft. The same is especially true when transitioning from, say a 737 to a 777.
Oh, I do remember that there was no hotel room for me that night in Indianapolis, so I slept in the hotel’s conference room instead. But the flight itself was a blur.
On the little card that shows what to do in case of an emergency the little pictures show the little cartoon guy putting the door on the seat. Wouldn’t this get in the way? Why not just chuck it out the opening?
I wondered about that as well. Some aircraft have two over wing exits next to each other, so it may be preferable to place the door on the seat (I would use the one behind or in front of the exit row) rather than risk hitting someone who is already standing on the wing outside.
Also, keep in mind that it’s more common to have those over wing exits used in an evacuation that may or may not have resulted in any damage to the airplane. I’m sure those doors are hugely expensive in that case.
Do you have a question about something related to the pointy end of an airplane? Ask Kent and maybe he’ll use it for the next Plane Answers. Check out his other blog, Cockpit Chronicles and travel along with him at work.