FORBIDDEN: My Not So Excellent Adventure

by Susan Mckee

 

After flying into Tel Aviv, Israel, from Amman, Jordan, I went to the transit area of the airport (since I was changing from a Royal Jordanian flight to the El Al flight to Newark).

There was no one in the area, so I picked up the phone and asked for instructions. I was told to wait. Three more passengers from my same Royal Jordanian flight then arrived, plus two airport workers, one in a suit and both with mobile phones. The workers told us to sit and wait for our luggage. One kept repeating the numbers from our baggage tags into his mobile phone. 

After more than a half hour, the bags for the three other passengers arrived, but mine did not. The workers said that my bag was not on the baggage carousel with the other luggage from the flight. I asked to leave and go through passport control to check with the Royal Jordanian staff about my luggage. I was told to sit down and wait where I was.

More people arrived (no one was introduced), including a series of security officials who questioned me about my travel. Why was I in Israel? (The Freelance Council of the Society of American Travel Writers was invited to come.) If I was a guest of the Israeli tourism officials, with whom had I met? (The names were all on the papers in my missing suitcase.) Why would Israeli tourism host me? (You’d have to ask them.) What people had I met in Jordan? (The usual tourism industry folks.) Did I have any relatives there (no), and on and on and on. 

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ASK THE CAPTAIN: New Pilot Crew Rest Rules. Will It Make Flying Safer?

PLANE TALK: GOT A QUESTION? ASK THE CAPTAIN!

Do you have a question about airline safety, flight etiquette, jet lag, or air travel in general? Submit your question and look for answers in a future column.

by W. M. Wiggins

" I am curious about those DOT/FAA Improved Pilot Crew Rest Rules. Can you tell me what they are?"   


I see you are wondering what’s different, so here are the main Federal Aviation Administration changes: 

  • ON DUTY HOURS: 9 to 14 per day
  • INCREASE REST PERIOD BY 2 HOURS
  • PILOTS CAN SAY THEY ARE FATIGUED

Will these rules help?

And, if they do, will the flying public be willing to pay for the extra costs that will be added to their airline tickets?  

Before answering you,  here is a little background on just some problems associated with pilots flying in a diminished capacity….like ah….”sleep flying”.

You laugh?

If only it were funny. 

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Ask The Captain: Is My Pilot Flying Drunk?

PLANE TALK: GOT A QUESTION? ASK THE CAPTAIN!

Do you have a question about airline safety, flight etiquette, jet lag, or air travel in general? Submit your question and look for answers in a future column.

by W. M. Wiggins

"It feels like you can't turn on the news these days without hearing about a drunk pilot showing up for work ready to fly under the influence. Is this just media hype, or should I really be worried?"  - Kathryn

 

I hear ya, Kathryn. "THAR she  B L O W S" could be the lead-in line to the almost-monthly apprehension of professional pilots caught while flying legally drunk. But the fact remains that of the 11,000 commercial pilots tested annually, only 12 on average fail to pass. Now, that's not the zero percent we'd like to see, but it does mean that chances are good that your pilot is NOT flying drunk. 

Now, for the rest of the story, which takes us to Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam is known for it's tolerance and quirkiness

Tolerance for cafe drug purchases and prostitution in it's Red Light District.

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Ask the Captain: Which is the safest seat on an airplane?

Plane Talk: Got a question? Ask the Captain!

Do you have a question about airline safety, flight etiquette, jet lag, or air travel in general? Submit your question and look for answers in a future column.

by W. M. Wiggins

 

When making my seat selection, I've often wondered which is the safest place to sit on a plane? In the first few seats? The emergency exit aisle? What's your recommendation? - Lyn

 

Hi Lyn, you're not alone in trying to figure this one out. The question might seem like an easy one to answer, but isn't necessarily so. First, there is absolutely no way to know what situation might occur on any given day on any given flight.

For example, take the incident that happened on a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Atlanta from Pensacola in July of 1982.

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