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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Hazmat

Nice and Sneezey.

Nice and Sneezey.

Dahlings, After sneezing on US Airways Flight 845 from Philedelphia to Punta Cana, a man allegedly joked to seatmates “I have Ebola. You’re all screwed”. Everybody laughed heartily and that was the end of that.

Oh wait a minute, I think I got something wrong.

What actually happened was that the plane was met in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic by a Hazmat crew. Everybody was delayed by about 2 hours while the four man Hazmat team inspected the plane. The man was led away for medical testing where it was captured on video.

As the health crews got to the joking passenger, he can be heard on the video saying: “I was just kidding. I ain’t from Africa.”

Passengers can be heard booing when the man was eventually escorted off the flight.

I agree. I would have booed also: “I ain’t from Africa” is a terrible punchline. Hasn’t he seen ‘The Aristocrats‘?

Ciao for now, Cleo.

Twittering class upgrade: How to go from frequent flier to boarding denial

Lisa Carter-Knight Twitters that led to her being upgraded to 'no board for you'

Lisa Carter-Knight Tweets that led to gave JetBlue denial of boarding

Dahlings, What is going on with all these airlines kicking off passengers after their unfavorable twitterings?

First it was Southwest, now it is JetBlue who kicked off a passenger, Lisa Carter-Knight for commenting about the delay after the pilot subjected himself to a sobriety test after another passenger had made a wise crack about him being at the bar. All passengers had to deplane and Ms. Carter-Knight was denied boarding.

From Bloomberg:

The takeoff was pushed back again when a passenger commented while boarding that the pilot may have been drinking, Johnston said. Per airline policy, that remark forced the pilot to take a sobriety test, which he passed, Johnston said.

Boston TV WCVB has different details where it appears Ms Carter-Knight had nothing to do with the original passenger comment that and was only commenting on the comment.

 “I wasn’t the individual who made the accusation. I was a passenger who overheard an individual make an off-color remark in which the pilot took offense to and went through some guidelines,” Carter-Knight said. “I was tweeting about an experience like we all do. You’re in a bad restaurant, you’re on a long flight you tweet to your friends and your family.”

JetBlue said that was not why they declined to allow her back on the plane.

“The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If we feel a customer is not complying with safety instructions, exhibits objectionable behavior or causes conflict at the gate or on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane or will be denied boarding especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of accelerating in the air,” JetBlue said in a statement. “In this instance, the customer received a refund and chose to fly on another carrier.”

Back to Bloomberg again where it appears the twittee is a ‘person non grata’ as far as JetBlue is concerned.

“..Carter-Knight said she tried to book a later JetBlue flight and was told she would be refused service.”

As usual, the current commentators who are now commenting on the commentator who was commentating on another  commentator are mixed in their condemnation [Try saying that fast !]. Some blame the Tweeters. Some blame JetBlue.

However, this story had given me an idea to my tactical arsenal on how to get a row all to myself -see “Kicking someone when they are down“. I will simply whisper to the FA that my fellow passenger (s) next to me made a ‘joke’ about the pilot appearing to be unsteady. Being a concerned citizen, I know that jokes about security are not funny and therefore it is my duty to inform you…

Ciao for now, Cleo.

Hope you like Jamming too: Marriott gets fined for blocking public WiFi

Not content with the emotional blackmailing to get you to tip you room cleaner, Marriott have been fined $600,000 by the FAA for jamming user’s WiFi in order to get you to use their WiFi network at highly inflated prices.

The villain is this case is Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, who blocked users mobile “hotspots” and required consumers, small businesses and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi.

From Bloomberg article dated 3rd October:

“Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in the statement.

Under a consent decree with the FCC, Marriott must stop using Wi-Fi blocking technology and file compliance and usage reports every three months for three years, the FCC said. Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott, the world’s second-largest publicly traded hotel chain, also will pay a civil penalty of $600,000.

In some cases, Marriott employees at the hotel’s conference center used technology to disrupt customer Wi-Fi transmissions and block Internet access. Marriott charged conference exhibitors and other attendees $250 to $1,000 per device to use the Gaylord Wi-Fi service in the conference facilities.

And Marriott’s response..

Marriott says it did nothing wrong and it’s the FCC’s policies that need changing.

Unbelievable.

Out of curiosity, we took a look at this resort. While the Gaylord resort looks nice, many people complain about the additional fees. One reviewer on tripadvisor – Scott from St.Louis – captures what I would think of this:

Maybe this was in the small print somewhere but on check-in, the very nice guys says “there is a $18 resort fee for the two bottles of water in your room and the wifi… “… I was like “what?”… this better be some good water! No, it was sam’s club $.15/bottle water. OK….

The wifi? It was about 1MB (couldn’t stream netflix) but you could pay more to get better bandwidth. That’s really nice.

Now I’m angry. I would like to give them perhaps 3 stars at this point (and be rated with the muckity mucks in the middle reviewers) but no… it gets better.

Parking is $21. you use your room key to park – ok, that must be part of the $240… nope.

Another reviewer on Hotels.com “Kathy M” reports somethings similar:

NOT very happy with price of this hotel. They have added charges that are simply silly. There is an $18 +tax daily for two bottle of warm cheap waters, Wi-Fi (which is supposed to be free),discounts at hotel amenities, transportation to airport, and mall around the corner but all other routes are at a cost. They then also charge for parking $21+tax a day on top of the $18, really, I don’t understand why they charge for parking with the other fee. There is nothing around them, no where near down town and every thing around them offers free parking for their facilities. If they are going to do a daily charge like the $18 one it should include your parking not be in addition to!

The verdict on Gaylord Opryland Resport: FEED THEM TO THE LIONS

A customer Complaint from TripAdvisor

A customer Complaint from TripAdvisor

Complaints on Hotels.com

Complaints on Hotels.com

The Ghost of Waldo

“Glad tidings we bring, to you and your Kin”. No, it’s not Christmas time but an early present: Waldo City Council, Florida has voted 4-1 to dissolve it’s police force.

To recap, Waldo is one of the two cities in America labelled by “AAA” as  “traffic traps”. These are cities that go out of their way to raise revenues from ticketing drivers passing through where their overzealous speed system, trips up users – see our previous article “Where’s Waldo? In Jail hopefully”.

The Waldo Police officers blew the whistle on their Chief  at a public meeting, for giving them ticket quotas to meet. This was illegal under Florida law.

There is now one less public menace to the motorist but their sister city, Lawtey, still exists. Drivers on Florida US301 beware.