A refuelling stop in Vienna kicks off proceedings for this week’s Strange But True.
More than 180 passengers travelling on a Comtel Air flight from Amristar to Birmingham airport were “held to ransom” during the refuelling stop in Vienna, says The Sun. The troubled airline, having incurred a bill of £20,000 worth of landing fees and taxes, had to ask passengers to help pay the fees to the airport before being able to take off for Birmingham six hours later.
Bogged down. A Chatauqua Airlines pilot, who got stuck in the lavatory shortly before landing at La Guardia, inadvertently sparked a terror alert. According to The Telegraph, the trapped pilot managed to enlist the help of a passenger who heard his banging from inside the bog. The pilot asked the passenger to call for help. But when the passenger tried to alert the co-pilot, he refused to believe the messenger from behind the secure cockpit door due to the passenger's “thick foreign accent.” The Washington Post has an audio recording from the cockpit.
A couple is suing AirTran Airways for “false imprisonment” and “emotional distress” after they spotted cockroaches on board their flight from Charlotte to Houston. The couple wants more than $100,000 from the airline, which denies most of the allegations placed by the couple, says CNN.
A policy change at Southwest Airlines has prompted an Illinois man to sue the airline for not honoring coupons entitling him to a free drink. Claiming a “breach of contract,” Adam Levitt, who has collected 45 coupons with no expiration date on them, wants his $5 drink despite the airline announcing a change in its policy a year ago, according to USA Today.
Disgruntled staff at Air Zimbabwe have held the airline’s CEO hostage in a dispute over salary payments. The state-owned airline reportedly owes staff $5.6 million in outstanding salaries. The workers held an overnight vigil, and blocked the airline’s CEO, Moses Mapanda, and a finance executive from leaving in protest at the lack of payment, reports Zimbabwe’s Zim Eye.
And finally, here’s a novel idea to protect airliners from infrared-guided missiles. At this week’s Dubai air show, we spotted Russian firm Aviaconversiya peddling a system that is designed to create a ball of fire to counter a missile attack. Even as Israel is stepping up its efforts to protect airlines, we suspect they will opt for a less flammable approach.