Posted by: athomas
For those of you who have never had to experience a trip to involving New York's JFK Airport, consider yourselves blessed.

It embodies all the worst things about modern air travel in the U.S.: indifference, stress, confusion, and filth.

The first week of the New Year is a wonderful example of why this airport is always rated one of the worst anywhere.

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Posted by: athomas
For the 1%, flying on Emirates in business class is a common experience. For the rest of us, it is mere fantasy.

There is a bar area for the jet-set. A couple weeks back, a guy went off on some kids crawling around his special space. Standing before a judge, he blamed his outburst on "sleep deprivation". Yea, right...

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Posted by: athomas
Ah, the problems of the rich...

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Posted by: athomas
The number of air rage cases where a violent passenger was restrained significantly rose over the past year.

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Posted by: athomas
It seems a woman who was busted for smoking on a flight, lost it and then wildly threatened to "Kill everyone on the plane"!

Thankfully for us, it was all caught on video.
Posted by: athomas
OK, follow me here:

A family is traveling from Doha, Qatr to Bali. The husband is sleeping. The wife gently applies his thumb onto his smartphone to unlock it. Wife discovers he has been cheating. Wife goes off, starts hitting just-awakened husband. The struggle escalates. Pilot diverts flight to Chennai.

This is an awesome air rage story! One for the books.

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Posted by: athomas
The battle for space in the overhead bins in spilling into physical confrontations between passengers and flight crew.

In this incident, a woman holding a baby gets into it with another female passenger.
Posted by: athomas
Here is a thoughtful piece that features my long time friend and colleague, Brian Sullivan, who worked airport perimeter security for the FAA.

Several issues around airport security arose from the attack on concertgoers on the Vegas Strip.

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Posted by: athomas
The issue of animals being brought onto planes, whether as "service pets" or whatever excuse the owner can come up with, is becoming more widespread.

It seems in this case a woman was given a police escort off her flight because of her allergy to dogs.

I guess animals ARE more important than people in many cases.

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Posted by: athomas

The realities of the 9/11 attacks are still hard for many to grasp. That our own airliners would be used as delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction against our national symbols continues to stretch the imagination.

Remembering the innocents who were murdered and injured, and the heroic actions of the selfless first responders in both DC and NYC- hundreds of whom also lost their lives- is our responsibility not just today, but every day.

For their memory, and for posterity, we should also remember that the attackers chose commercial aviation as the arena precisely because the poor security system ensured them a high-degree of success.

Had many within our own government heeded the very clear warnings that were emerging years before September 11, 2001, about Al-Qaeda's desire to hijack aircraft and fly them into the ground, it may have been a very different day.

Instead, in the face of calls to improve aviation security from so many corners before 9/11, our civil servants and elected leaders chose to do nothing.

9/11 was a failure not of imagination - as the national commission investigating the attacks wrongly concluded. In fact, it was a governmental failure of massive proportions.

If we are to truly honor those who lost their lives on that day, we as a nation need to learn the entire history of the events on 9/11 and teach it to our children; even as difficult as that might be.