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Category Archives: Security

Ok, well maybe not a bad deal, but there are better deals out.

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Teenagers aren’t know for being the most respectful individuals  especially towards authority. That’s why I am not surprised to read that some teenagers had been kicked off a flight for refusing to sit down and turn off their phones. What did surprise me when I was reading the USA Today Blog Post was that one hundred students plus chaperones had been kicked off had been kicked off of one flight.  If I remember High School traveling in a group was an ordeal but the entire group was acting up. There are always a few teenagers who flaunt the rules and authority, but I can’t imagine one hundred students acting up at one.

With out knowing more, there seems like there is more to this story. Why did they kick off all of the students? Why didn’t the chaperones have control of the students? What was the response to everyone’s favorite question “Do you want to fly today?”

I think there is more to the story.

Happy Travels


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I just finished watching season two, episode three of Airport 24/7 MIA. Tonight’s episode featured a bomb threat in the rental car facility, an overbooked Lufthansa flight, and customs search.

Read more after the break for a breakdown and spoilers.

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The TSA Pre-Check program that features reduced security for passengers deemed low risk has been rolled out to international flights leaving the US. Previously, a person eligible for pre-check that was on an international flight was unable to use the pre-check security.

Tags:’s always classy reporting on what is essentially a non-story and a non-issue. The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC), published their data on commercial aviation safety. While there is  huge amount of data, distilled it into the “The Ten Most Dangerous Airlines.” This list is based on lives lost and “hull-loss.” Hull-loss is where a carrier writes off an aircraft to their insurance carrier. Think of it as totaling your car. The list is as follows:

#10 SkyWest Airlines: 3 hull losses; 22 dead

#9 South African Airways: 1 hull loss; 159 dead

#8 Thai Airways International: 5 hull losses; 309 dead

#7 Turkish Airlines: 6 hull losses, 188 dead

#6 Saudia: 4 hull losses; 310 dead

#5 Korean Air: 9 hull losses; 687 dead

#4 GOL Transportes Aéreos: 1 hull loss; 154 dead

#3 Air India: 3 hull losses; 329 dead

#2 TAM Airlines: 6 hull losses; 336 dead

#1 China Airlines: 8 hull losses; 755 dead

Now lets look at the list with a break down of the fatalities and assigned blame

#10 Skywest 22 dead, Airline found responsible for 0 deaths.

1987, a student pilot collides with a Skywest Fairchild Metro causing 12 deaths.

1991, due to improper procedures at LAX, a US Air 737 landed on top of a Skywest Fairchild Metro causing 10 deaths on the Metro.

#9 South African Airways 159 Dead, Airline responsible for 0

1987, a cargo fire of unknown origin caused the mid-air break-up of SA295 (a 747-200 combi) causing the death of 159 people. Cause determined to be a design/regulation defect

#8 Thai Airways International: 309 dead: airline responsible for 309

1985, 737-200 crashed outside of Phuket, 11 died cause was pilot error

1987, 737-200 crashed outside of Phuket, 83 died cause was ground and pilot error

1992, 310-100 Crashed outside of Kathmandu, 113 died cause was pilot error

1998, 310-200 Crashed outside of Surat Thani, 101 died cause pilot error

2001, 737-400 Exploded at DMK airport, 1 died cause was improper servicing

#7 Turkish Airlines: 188 dead, airline responsible for 133 deaths.

1983, 727-200, Fire near ESP, 47 died, cause was weather

1994, 737-400, Crash near VAN, 52 died, cause was pilot error

1999, 737-400, Crash southern Turkey, 6 died, cause was pilot error

2003, ARJ-100, Crash near DIY, 75 died, cause was pilot error

2009, 737-800, Crash near AMS, 9 died, airframe defect.

#6 Saudia: 4 hull losses; 310 dead, Airline responsible for 0 deaths.

1996, 747-100, Mid-Air Collision, 312 died, Other airline at fault.

#5 Korean Air: 9 hull losses; 687 dead, Airline responsible for 319

1983, 747-200, Anti-Aircraft missile, 269 died, The Russian’s shot the flight down.

1987, 707-300, Bomb, 115 died, North Korean Agent confessed to planning and executing the bombing

1989, DC-10, Crashed short of Tripoli, 79 died, pilot error

1997, 747-300, Crashed near Guam, 228 died, pilot error

1999, MD-11, Crashed near Shanghai, 8 died, pilot error

1999, 747-200, Crashed near London, 4 died, pilot error

#4 GOL Transportes Aéreos: 154 dead Airline responsible for 0 deaths.

2006, 737-800, mid-air collision above Brazilian rain forest, 154 died, Other jet/Brazil ATC responsible.

#3 Air India: 329 dead, airline responsible for 0 deaths.

1985, 747-200, Mid-Air Bombing, 329 died, terrorism responsible.

#2 TAM Airlines: 336 dead, airline responsible for 336 deaths

1984, EMB-110, Crash near MEA, 18 died, pilot error

1986, EMB-110, Crash near ARU, 7 died, pilot error

1990, F-027, Crash near BAU, 1 died, pilot error

1996, F-100, Mechanical failure on takeoff, 95 died, mechanical failure

1997, F-100, Mechanical failure in-flight, 1 died, mechanical failure

2001, F-100, Mechanical failure in-flight, 1 died, mechanical failure

2007, 320-200, Fire near CGH, 186 died, pilot error

#1 China Airlines: 755 dead,  airline responsible for 750 deaths.

1986, 737-200, Crash near Penghu, 13 died, pilot error

1989, 737-200, Crash near HUN, 54 died, pilot error

1991, 747-200, Crash near TPE, 5 died, design defect

1994, 300-600, Crash near NGO, 264 died, pilot error

1998, 300-600, Crash near TPE, 196 died, pilot error

1999, DC-10, crash near TPE, 3 died, pilot error

2002, 747-200, mechanical failure in-flight, 225 died, mechanical failure

So GOL, South African, Air India, SkyWest, and Saudia were each responsible for 0 deaths. It’s bad journalism for Yahoo to brand these airlines as “dangerous” when there are no fatalities attributable to them. It’s like being blamed when another driver runs a light and hits your car, it is just not your fault.

With the other five:

#5 Turkish Airlines, 155 (last fatal accident 2009)

#4 Thai Airways, 309 (last fatal accident 2001)

#3 Korean Air, 319 (last fatal accident 1999)

#2 TAM, 336 (last fatal accident 2007)

#1 China Airlines, 750 (last fatal accident 2002)

The statistics themselves are not to blame it’s how people use them. For example, the last fatal accident on SkyWest was 23 years ago and it wasn’t even their fault. While Korean Air has had problems they have been fatality free since 1999 and it hardly seems fair to blame them for the Russian’s shooting down their plane. The point is air travel is safe, even on the so-called “most dangerous carriers.” Creating yellow journalistic content just to drive traffic is at best reckless and misusing statistics is simply wrong. Yahoo shame on you!

In fact you have read about my travels on Thai and will read about my travels on Korean Air in a later post. I currently have travel booked on Thai, and this article is not going to get me to change those plans.

Happy travels



China Airlines has threatened Business Insider with a lawsuit over the content of the Yahoo!.com article which they (Business Insider). I have been asked to remove this piece. That’s not going to happen I will add, that there are some 300 IATA airlines that were apart of the JACDEC report and China Airlines came in 60th. I stand by my assertion that all of the airlines listed are safe and I would have no problem getting on any of the carriers listed above.

See my current article here,

We’re going to call this, your moment of zen.

tl;dr? well man wearing famous quote from “The Princess Bride” causes stir on a Qantas SYD-AKL flight.

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The original article does a much better job explaining this.

The TSA has acted in a way no designed to protect commercial aviation security but to line its own pockets with an ever increasing share of the federal budget.

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A criminal complaint was issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas, TX today. The complaint consists of the basic information the U.S. Attorney has and is the first step in criminal proceedings against the pilot. Now the complaint is only the word of an FBI agent who is recounting what he was told by witnesses to the event itself. If it is anywhere close to accurate it is a very chilling account of what happened.
You can read the complaint in full here.

JetBlue has also responded to the event in their own words here.

Getting back to the complaint, it alleges violation of 49 USC 46504

An individual on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States who, by assaulting or intimidating a flight crew member or flight attendant of the aircraft, interferes with the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessens the ability of the member or attendant to perform those duties, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both. However, if a dangerous weapon is used in assaulting or intimidating the member or attendant, the individual shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

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Stratfor, a private intelligence firm out of Austin, TX published an online article detailing how to deal with terrorism.

Personally, I fall more on the libertarian side of politics so I agree with the premise of the article. The premise is that terrorism is only terrorism because we make it so. Terrorist attacks are going to happen. The government will stop some, but not all. However, the overall effectiveness of a terrorist attack is measured by how we as a society respond to it. For example, the Madrid train bombing changed the course of the Spanish election and 9/11 spawned numerous armed conflicts around the world and created a color coded “awareness” scale that even though it has been retired it still ingrained in the American consciousness.


Terror is terror only if you let it be so.



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