Strange But True Aviation News


In-flight maps on British Airways’ seat back screens alert passengers to the location of “Stansted” as they approach southern England, but it’s the wrong one. The map shows a small village in Kent, rather than the more well-known Stansted in Essex, from which Stansted airport takes its name. The airline says it is talking to the firm that created the mapping system as the current map “could be confusing,” reports the Press Association

One woman’s Facebook campaign against Ryanair’s online boarding pass policy has attracted more than 350,000 ‘likes’ reports the Telegraph. Despite Ryanair outlining its charges on its web site during the booking process, the passenger checked in but failed to pre-print her boarding passes online. She was forced to pay £60 per person at the airport and later exclaimed on her Facebook page: “I had to pay €300 for them to print out a piece of paper!”

A French woman flying from Lahore to Paris with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) fell asleep mid-flight, and didn’t wake up again until the plane was on its way back to Lahore after a two hour stopover at Charles de Gaulle, reports BBC News. The woman also failed to inform cabin crew of her situation on the return flight and was only discovered by immigration officials after disembarking in Lahore. PIA is investigating how ground crew in Paris failed to notice the sleeping woman during the aircraft’s turnaround and wants the party responsible for the mishap to pay for the cost of flying the woman back to Paris. 

A passenger who asked for a blanket on a Monarch flight claims she was told by a stewardess she couldn’t have one due to strict health and safety rules. But she could instead buy one from the stewardess for five pounds, reports The Sun. The woman complained to the UK’s Health & Safety Executive, which ruled against Monarch Airlines, calling the blanket rule “a cover-up for poor customer service and/or a commercial decision”. 

Passengers on a Qantas flight from Dallas to Brisbane have described it as “the flight from hell”. A catalogue of errors that led to an 18-hour delay included a two-hour delay on the ground at Dallas Fort Worth, during which time the pilot was “too busy to talk" to passengers. The actual delay was due to the crew having a heated argument in the cockpit over take-off calculations, reports Brisbane Times, which adds that the airline has stood down the captain and second officer from operational duties. 

A family of four stranded at the airport in Salt Lake City for six days are finally home, reports NY Daily News. They were using buddy passes provided by a JetBlue employee, but the busy travel season put them at the bottom of the standby waitlist for several days, forcing the family to sleep at the airport. A Good Samaritan finally came forward and paid for their flights home after seeing their story on the news.

And finally, as the silly season continues in the British press, private pilot and well-known aviation photographer Mark Wagner has found himself in the Daily Mail. The paper's website reports that Mark's two-seater Cessna 150 was carrying two passengers (with Mark piloting) and describes how the two passengers suffered turbulence and panic attacks as the flight "turned into a nightmare after it flew into a tornado."

Setting the record straight, Mark tells me there wasn't any turbulence or panic attack. "We did have a great evening flying round the tornado for nearly three hours with about six different passengers - lots of rainbows all around too - magical stuff."  As for the quotes in the Daily Mail? Chinese whispers amongst those on the ground waiting to fly, says Mark.

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