Silent but deadly: Fart smell grounds plane

When you’re at 30,000 feet, you can’t just open a window to air things out. The air is recycled, which means that you’re breathing in everyone’s coughs, sneezes, burps and farts for the whole flight. And when someone really lets one rip, it can ruin your day.

Over the weekend, an American Airlines flight landed in Raleigh, North Carolina, but the plane was filled with what smelled like a nasty fart. It was so bad that crew members complained of eye irritation and headaches. The airport’s investigation of the incident blames flatulence as the cause.

The airline has refused to confirm whether farts are to blame, but insists that if such a thing were true, he who smelt it, dealt it.

Delta subjects passengers to Kenny G performance

If you’ve flown on an American airline in the past 40 years, you know that flying sucks. (Thanks, deregulation!) But recent events may indicate we have reached a low point in the exceptionally awful experience. Sure, we had a paying customer bloodied and kicked off an overbooked flight, sure, we had a flight attendant be aggressive toward a mother holding her children, then challenge a male passenger to a fight, but there is worse. And worse is Kenny G.

Trying to one-up United and American, Delta forced passengers to not only sit through a live Kenny G performance, but to fork over money for it. During a flight from Tampa, Florida to Los Angeles, a flight attendant announced that the crew was raising money for the charity Relay for Life, and that if they raised $2,000, Kenny G would get up and play for everyone. Once they reached the targeted amount, Kenny G made good on his threat.

They basically held people hostage, then guilted them into donating money for a punishment. That, friends, is nothing short of diabolical.

US Airways: Here’s where you can stick your complaint

We’re willing to guess that the people who work at airport ticket counters and gates are some of the least happy people who have a job. Then there are the people who work the social media accounts of airlines. If upset passengers are rude in public, they are sure no kinder in the anonymous rage factory that is the internet. At some point, you’re going to snap, and that may have happened yesterday when US Airways tweeted a sexually explicit image to a customer (image-free and SFW).

When some girl named Alex tweeted at that it ruined her spring break, the airline replied, “We don’t like to hear this, Alex. Please provide feedback to our Customer Relations team here: [link to photo].” The very-NSFW image, which you can find for yourself if you really want, involved a nude woman and a model Boeing 777 jet that appeared to have crashed up to its wings in a cave.

The merger with American Airlines really has benefited consumers after all.

You Missed It: Less friendly skies edition

The last remaining way to fly comfortably.
The last remaining way to fly comfortably.

The Oscars are this weekend, which came as something of a surprise to me. I was kind of hoping we were just not doing those this year because the Olympics were going on. Every year I manage to watch fewer and fewer of the nominated films. I figured out a while ago that the academy has pretty crappy taste in movies. For example, American Hustle was good, but it was just a heist movie. Whatever, period pieces always get nominations. If you were bust losing all of your Bitcoins this week, odds are you missed it.

American Airlines: Now without all those weepy mourners
On Wednesday, American Airlines is doing away with its bereavement ticketing, which could spell the end of the long-held tradition of not charging people up the ass for last minute flights due to a death in the family. From now on, if you want to fly American for less when someone dies, you’ll have to sneak into the plane’s cargo and sit with the casket. The airline said it’s not its fault that people have friends and family inconsiderate enough to die without giving six to eight weeks notice.

Chatroulette’s legacy lives on
It was revealed this week that the NSA and its British counterpart have been collecting and storing images from Yahoo video chats around the world. Millions of users were apparently captured in mid-conversation. Apparently, not all of them were having typical, “How’s it going?” conversations. Roughly 10% of the images captured are from doing things of a sexier nature via video chat. Does that number sound a bit low to anyone else?

What rhymes with separated?
Robin Thicke and his high school sweetheart wife appear to be calling it quits. Few details as to the cause of the split have emerged, but the smart money is because no one wants to be associated with people who hang out with T.I.

XxAmercnAirlynzXx has added you!

Brendan Fraser IS the American Way.There are certain companies that we expect to not be “with it.” In fact, if those companies tried to rebrand themselves as “hip” or “edgy,” we would be more concerned than relieved.

One of those are airlines, but they don’t know that yet. A couple are now using social media to “reach fans” and address complaints.

JetBlue uses Twitter to respond to people complaining to porn spambots about their delayed flights. Amazingly for an airline that’s only one step above riding with free-range chickens, JetBlue only has one communications employee running their “Here’s a coupon, dawg” service.

American Airlines has a fan page on Facebook. Yes, you can now add the Big AA to your friendlist, presumably so they’ll tell all their other fans to read your blog. Be sure to compliment them on their big exposé on suede leather jackets in American Way, their award-winning in-flight magazine.

Just a reminder to airlines, energy drink chemists and politicians: it’s not social networking if you’re advertising on it. Then it’s just another way to receive spam AND diminish your reputation.

Joining the mile-high club vicariously

American Airlines has only been testing their new wi-fi Internet service on 15 flights a day, but the flight attendants union is already asking how they can tone down the porn.

Gee, if only they could have used the plane’s radar to see that one coming a mile away. I mean, with the Internet being at least 85 percent porn, 14 percent pictures of cats and 1 percent Myspace, did no one see this coming at all?

You Missed It: Open flame edition

YMI1Welcome to a new weekly feature we like to call You Missed It. No “In Case” just “You Missed It.” Every Friday around lunch time, we’ll run down the major news stories of the week, so you don’t have to feel like you aren’t paying attention.

Olympic Torch Relay
The Olympic torch relay made stops in Europe and North America this week, and all went according to plan. Protests in London, Paris and San Francisco were disrupted by protests against China’s human rights history. One green protester with bolts in his neck was heard to say, “Fire bad!”

American Airlines Cancels Flights
Thousands across the country were stranded this week when American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights because the planes had to be inspected for mechanical problems. Many passengers are still waiting at airports for another flight, but American Airlines made amends Friday when the company released a special announcement congratulating the passengers on their extended vacation.

Fall Out Boy Bassist, Ashlee Simpson Engaged
On Wednesday, Ashlee Simpson and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz announced their engagement. The couple said they do not have a wedding date set, but Simpson will head into the studio later this month to record the audio for her part of the ceremony.

Polygamist Ranch in Texas
Police in Texas raided a compound owned by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, claiming members of the church forced teen girls to marry and have sex with them. Hear that, pedophiles? Get organized and invest in real estate.