June 28th, 2012
12:04 AM ET

TSA screener spilled grandfather's ashes, then laughed about it, Indiana man says

An Indiana man is demanding a direct apology from a Transportation Security Administration agent in Florida who, the man says, spilled his grandfather's ashes during an airport bag check - and then laughed off the incident.

And John Gross is also demanding that the TSA release any security surveillance tapes of the incident - tapes that the federal agency claims simply don't exist.

Gross, 30, was returning home from visiting family in Orlando, Florida, on June 19, carrying with him a portion of his grandfather's ashes that had been passed along by an uncle - a "real sentimental kind of guy," says Gross - when he approached TSA screeners. A female agent wearing blue latex gloves inspected the contents of his bag, says Gross, including the jar clearly labeled "Human Remains."

"I said, 'Please be careful, these are my grandpa's ashes,'" Gross told CNN Wednesday. But, he said, the agent proceeded to stick her finger in the jar then accidentally spilled its contents on the airport floor.

She then laughed, according to Gross - not an uproarious cackle, but a chuckle that he found offensive nonetheless.

"She thought it was funny," he said. "I wanted to smack her."

FULL STORY
Alert level raised for Alaska volcano after small eruption
An ash cloud rises above Alaska's Cleveland Volcano on Tuesday. The image was taken 45 miles from the volcano.
June 20th, 2012
08:18 PM ET

Alert level raised for Alaska volcano after small eruption

Scientists have raised an aviation alert level around a remote Alaskan volcano after a small eruption produced an ash cloud several miles high.

Cleveland Volcano, on the Aleutian Islands southwest of mainland Alaska, erupted briefly Tuesday afternoon, creating an ash cloud at an estimated height of 23,000 feet above sea level, said Steve McNutt, a volcano seismologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The observatory on Tuesday raised its color-coded alert for aviators to orange, the second most serious of four levels, and warned on its website that "additional sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning."

FULL POST

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Filed under: Air travel • Alaska • Travel • Volcano
Overheard on CNN.com: Unmanned drones ignite domestic surveillance debate
June 14th, 2012
10:30 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Unmanned drones ignite domestic surveillance debate

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Unmanned drones have gotten many readers talking. A Monmouth University poll showed there was strong support for using unmanned aircraft to track down criminals, combat illegal immigration or carry out search missions. On the other hand, respondents oppose using drones to do routine work such as patrolling traffic. Here on CNN.com, the thought of using drones to catch speeders, for example, has made some readers a little nervous.

A commenter using the nickname "Rand Paul" (we don't know if it's really the Kentucky senator) posted what became the comment of the day on Thursday's Mash-up post:

"I saw George Orwell riding on a drone last night. He was waving."

As it turns out, the real Sen. Rand Paul's opinion article about drones got many of our readers talking. Paul writes of the legislation he's introduced:

"This bill protects individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of these drones. The Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2012 will protect Americans' personal privacy by forcing the government to honor our Fourth Amendment rights."

Paul: Don't let drones invade our privacy

Should we fear drones? Readers who commented disagreed. FULL POST

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Filed under: Aviation • Crime • FAA • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics • Technology
Poll: Catching criminals is fine, but don't use drones for speeding tickets, Americans say
The FAA says many universities, companies and government organizations are developing and producing 155 drone designs.
June 13th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Poll: Catching criminals is fine, but don't use drones for speeding tickets, Americans say

Go ahead and use drones to track down criminals, to combat illegal immigration or for search-and-rescue missions. But to issue traffic citations?

No way, say Americans.

A recent Monmouth University poll showed there was overwhelming support for using unmanned aircraft in a variety of circumstances, but routine police work was not one of them.

Fewer than a quarter of the 1,708 adults surveyed last week said they would OK the use of drones to issue speeding tickets. Sixty-seven percent said they opposed the idea, and 10% had no opinion. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points (view a PDF here).

Compare that with the approval ratings for other drone applications: illegal immigration (64%), rescue missions (80%) and locating criminals (67%). The poll also indicates that 64% of Americans would be concerned about their privacy if U.S. law enforcement agencies began using drones with high-tech cameras.

Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which President Barack Obama signed in February, the Federal Aviation Administration is charged with developing a plan “for the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as practicable, but not later than September 30, 2015.”

The act is in response to the strict FAA regulations on drone use. It loosens those restrictions, allowing many government agencies to get swifter FAA permission to operate the unmanned aerial vehicles. It also allows any "government public safety agency to operate unmanned aircraft weighing 4.4 pounds or less," if certain criteria are met.

The FAA has authorized drone use for dozens of entities, including more than 20 universities, the U.S. military, local police forces, the FBI, NASA and the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Interior and Energy.

Drone uses vary greatly, according to an FAA document issued in March that outlines how drones will be used in six test ranges.

Not only can their objectives encompass everything from surveillance to searches to air quality testing, they can take many forms. Wingspans range from 6 inches to 240 feet. Weights run the gamut from 4 ounces to 16 tons.

"One thing they have in common is that their numbers and uses are growing dramatically. In the United States alone, approximately 50 companies, universities and government organizations are developing and producing some 155 unmanned aircraft designs,” according to the FAA.

The agency says it will select the test ranges in late 2012, with the first location becoming operational in 2013. The FAA currently has a test site at New Mexico State University, which it’s been using since June 2011.

There have been few incidents with domestic drone use, aside from an accident this month when a $176 million Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk went down in a marsh outside Salisbury, Maryland.

Outside the U.S., however, there has been widespread opposition to American reliance on drones to take out terrorists. A recent Pew Research Center poll showed that the U.S. was the only country among 20 surveyed that approved of using drones to kill extremist leaders in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Aviation • Crime • FAA • Politics • Technology • Terrorism • U.S.
June 7th, 2012
07:48 AM ET

Thursday's live events

The race to the presidency now turns toward the general election in November.  CNN.com Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - TSA customer service hearing –Some critics say the TSA's customer service record leaves much to be desired.  TSA chief John Pistole testifies on how the agency is working to fix that.

FULL POST

May 25th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

American Airlines passenger held in Miami

An American Airlines passenger was restrained Friday after his flight landed in Miami, a spokeswoman for the Miami International Airport said.

Authorities were called to the scene of American Airlines Flight 320, which had departed from Montego Bay, Jamaica, spokeswoman Maria Levrant said.

CNN affiliate WSVN reported that the passenger tried to rush the cockpit, and was restrained by two other passengers before authorities arrived at the scene.

Read the full story here.

May 7th, 2012
06:09 PM ET

Official: Attempt to blow up plane thwarted

Editor's note: U.S. and international intelligence agencies have broken up an attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner, a U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN. Follow further developments here.

[Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET] A U.S. official told CNN the plot was disrupted "well before it was ever a threat to the United States.”

The official added that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was the group responsible for the plot.

"We believe AQAP produced the device, and we believe it was intended to be used by a suicide bomber on an aircraft," the official said. "The device and the plot are consistent with what we know about AQAP’s plans, intentions, and capabilities. They remain committed to striking targets in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the Homeland, and Europe. And AQAP is probably feeling pressure to conduct a successful attack to, from their perspective, avenge the deaths of Bin Laden and (Anwar al-Awlaki).”

Terrorist's death signals U.S-Yemen cooperation

The official added, as others have, that the device has the hallmarks of their previous bombs including the failed assassination attempt on Saudi security official Mohammed Bin Nayif as well as the failed 2009 Christmas Day bombing.

"While similar, a preliminary review of this device shows that it has some significant differences from the device used in the Christmas day attack," the U.S. official said. "It is clear that AQAP is revamping its bomb techniques to try to avoid the causes of the failure of the 2009 device."

The official said the FBI was thoroughly examining the device.

The U.S. official added it believed that the threat from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is due in part to territorial gains they were able to make during Yemen's political standoff in early 2011.

"Those territorial gains have allowed the group to establish additional training camps," the official said.

[Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET] Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed the plot during a press conference on an unrelated issue.

"What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country," Panetta said. "We will do everything necessary to keep America safe"

[Updated at 5:36 p.m. ET] CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank says one of the key things officials will be looking at is the exact make-up of the device and how it may be similar or different to the device used in the attempted bombing of an airliner in 2009.

Cruickshank said the suspect in the 2009 attempt, dubbed the "underwear bomber" wore the device for a long time as he traveled throughout Africa and it may have become desensitized. Tests on this device may allow officials to learn more about what changes al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula may have been made following the failed bombing.

Al Qaeda's biggest threat: al Asiri

[Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET] Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, released a statement saying that they had no specific threat about an active plot against the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security statement added that the incident showed that enemies still have a high interest in targeting air transportation, which underscores the continued need for increased security at airports.

The statement reads:

“We have no specific, credible information regarding an active terrorist plot against the U.S. at this time, although we continue to monitor efforts by al-Qaeda and its affiliates to carry out terrorist attacks, both in the Homeland and abroad. Since this IED demonstrates our adversaries’ interest in targeting the aviation sector, DHS continues, at the direction of the President, to employ a risk-based, layered approach to ensure the security of the traveling public.

"These layers include threat and vulnerability analysis, prescreening and screening of passengers, using the best available technology, random searches at airports, federal air marshal coverage and additional security measures both seen and unseen. DHS will continue to work with our federal, state, local, international and private sector partners to identify potential threats and take appropriate protective measures. As always, we encourage law enforcement and security officials, as well as the general public, to maintain vigilance and report suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.”

[Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET] The FBI released a statement Monday afternoon saying that the device was seized abroad.

It reads in full:

"As a result of close cooperation with our security and intelligence partners overseas, an improvised explosive device (IED) designed to carry out a terrorist attack has been seized abroad. The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it. Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations. The device never presented a threat to public safety, and the U.S. government is working closely with international partners to address associated concerns with the device. We refer you to the Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration, regarding ongoing security measures to safeguard the American people and the traveling public."

[Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET]  CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellen reports that a counterterrorism official said they do not believe the attack was  planned to coincide with the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Officials said they believed the device never posed a threat to the public and heralded the thwarted plot and recovered device as a sign that American intelligence capabilities have improved.

FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Kiss my carry-on,' reader says of Spirit's new $100 fee
Spirit Airlines will charge $100 for carry-on baggage registered at the gate starting November 6.
May 3rd, 2012
06:54 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Kiss my carry-on,' reader says of Spirit's new $100 fee

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Spirit Airlines is raising its fee for carry-on bags to up to $100. Most other airlines let you bring the bags for free, and our readers were wondering whether this move signifies a new trend for the airline industry. Some commenters said they are eager to see an incentive for fliers to check their bags instead of carrying them onboard.

Spirit Air to charge up to $100 for carry-on bags

Many readers said they were tired of watching people try to cram too much stuff in the overhead bins.

kafoste: "I think the first checked bag within weight limits should be free..and charge for second and onward..as far as carry ons..should be no cost for briefcase or laptop sized bags, purses etc...but yes the rest trying to stuff everything they own into a carry-on should be charged..have seen too many delayed planes due to someone jamming a bag into an overhead storage that doesnt fit but they try to make it 'fit' ..."

This commenter says they are already shipping bags rather than taking them on planes.

stonrdude: "They can kiss my carry-on. I do not fly Spirit nor am I about to start. It is greed and price gouging. If they cannot afford it, they should not be in business. Passengers have a choice, even if I had to pay that fee one time, I would never go back to Spirit. I already send my bags UPS. No hassle, no fuss. I have no Spirit."

These readers said the fees could actually be a good thing. FULL POST

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Filed under: Air travel • Overheard on CNN.com • Travel
History's deadliest plane crashes
Rescue workers search through debris Friday following the crash of a Bhoja Air Boeing 737 plane in the outskirts of Islamabad.
April 20th, 2012
05:23 PM ET

History's deadliest plane crashes

At least 121 people were killed Friday when a Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 crashed in Islamabad, Pakistan, according to officials. Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority has cited poor weather as a possible factor.

The following is a chronological list of commercial plane crashes with more than 200 fatalities. The list does not include crashes resulting from terrorist or military action.

*  March 3, 1974 – 346 people are killed when a Turkish Airlines (DC-10) crashes in Bois d' Ermenonville, France.

*  March 27, 1977 – A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747 crashes into a Pan American World Airways Boeing 747 at the Los Rodeos Airport at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 574 people (326 passengers on the Pan American airplane and all 234 passengers plus 14 crew members on the KLM plane). The accident occurs when the KLM airplane begins its takeoff while the Pan American airplane is still on the runway.

*  May 25, 1979 – An American Airlines DC-10 crashes after takeoff from Chicago O'Hare International Airport, killing 275 on board and three on the ground. During takeoff, an engine on the left wing falls off; the FAA later faults American Airline maintenance techniques for the crash.

*  November 28, 1979 – An Air New Zealand DC -10 crashes into Mt. Erebus in Antarctica, killing 257 people. The crash is believed to be the result of a navigational error.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
April 19th, 2012
06:35 PM ET

Delta flight makes emergency landing at New York's JFK

A Delta Air Lines flight made an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Thursday afternoon after encountering an engine problem the pilot said was caused by a bird strike shortly after takeoff.

"We lost our right engine due to the ingestion of birds," the pilot told the control tower.

Delta Flight 1063’s pilots told air traffic controllers of an engine-related problem shortly after the Los Angeles-bound plane took off from JFK around 3 p.m., FAA spokesman Jim Peters said.

“As a measure of caution, the pilot chose to turn around” and landed the Boeing 757 at JFK, Delta spokesman Anthony Black said. All 172 passengers and seven crew members were OK, he said.

Delta needs to examine the engine before a bird strike could be confirmed, Black said.

Ali Velshi, CNN's chief business correspondent, was on the plane. He  said he heard “a horrible grinding noise” after the plane took off.

FULL POST

Small plane with unresponsive pilot crashes into Gulf of Mexico
A Cessna 421, similar to the one pictured, reportedly circled the Gulf of Mexico for hours before crashing.
April 19th, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Small plane with unresponsive pilot crashes into Gulf of Mexico

[Updated at 2:16 p.m. ET]  A small plane with an unresponsive pilot crashed in the central Gulf of Mexico on Thursday after circling above the ocean for more than two hours, but it appeared intact after hitting the water, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

The tail of the twin-engine Cessna 421 remained sticking out of the Gulf about 120 miles west of Tampa, Florida, after it went down at 12:08 p.m. ET, said Chief Petty Officer John Edwards, a Coast Guard spokesman. The crew of a Coast Guard search-and-rescue plane watched as the Cessna made what appeared to be a soft landing, Edwards said.

A Coast Guard helicopter and the cutter Coho were expected to reach the site Thursday afternoon, he said.

The plane took off from Slidell, Louisiana, en route to Sarasota, Florida, with a single pilot on board, and had been circling at an altitude of about 28,000 feet, a Federal Aviation Administration source told CNN. The Air Force began monitoring the plane after noticing it flying erratically over the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning, and planes sent up to investigate it reported the Cessna's windows were either iced or fogged over, Edwards said.

Mike Maddox, a manager at the Slidell airfield where the plane took off, confirmed there was a situation with a plane and said family members had been notified, but he had no further comment.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Air travel • Military • U.S. Coast Guard
April 18th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers cheer efforts of naked TSA protester

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We last spoke of jets carrying shuttles and planes dodging Venus, and we're venturing skyward again (after the security check) with this story of a man who stripped naked at Portland International Airport in Oregon to protest TSA searches. Many of our readers have hailed him as some sort of unclothed hero, while others aren't sure about the value of being naked in public.

Police: Man strips naked at Oregon airport in TSA protest

CNN has already spoken with John Brennan, the naked flier, and we found him apparently commenting on the story about the incident. One of the posts gave this advice:

John Brennan: "Always smile for your mug shot. I look so grim, but I'd never been to jail before."

From our other readers, this was the most-liked comment:

Anex: "While it sucks for the people who had to wait because of him, or the children's/passerby's poor eyes, I respect what he did. His protest was non-violent and just shows the general sentiment of airport security."

USA401: "Yes but it is also illegal to be naked in public and refusing to cooperate. Lets face it, those are two things we want to keep as laws."

Many of our readers said people need to calm down and realize that airport security is a necessity.

collagekid: "Get off your high horse and deal with it. If you dont want to fly because the TSA may feel you are hiding something or have cause to search you then don't fly. Its your right not to; however, when you purchase a ticket I feel you give up your right to some of those privacies and liberties. I have no problem with TSA doing whatever and whenever to ensure that they can prevent someone from inflicting harm on an airplane or worse. The truth is, when they search children or people in wheelchairs, they do it because there are people out there who are disturbed enough to strap a bomb to a child!"

A few readers with knowledge about Portland's local laws had a different take. FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's ... Venus!
An Air Canada 767 like this one was involved in a sudden altitude shift that injured passengers.
April 17th, 2012
08:07 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's ... Venus!

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

A report released Monday about an incident that sent several passengers flying out of their seats on an Air Canada flight on January 14, 2011, has got many of our readers testing out their commenting wits. The report says the first officer woke up from a nap - the rules allow for a brief "controlled rest" period at cruising altitude - and suddenly mistook the planet Venus to be another plane overhead. He panicked and the plane went into a dive before the crew corrected its position so an actual approaching C-17 plane could pass underneath.

Pilot sends plane into dive after mistaking Venus for oncoming plane

How does something like this happen?

HitomiAdrien: "This doesn't make sense to me. Why would he make such a brash move? Even if it were another plane, at the size of a dot there has to be other protocol (trying to locate that other plane on their GPS?) and a significant amount of time to get out of the way considering how big Venus isn't from the Earth. Therefore; why take a nose dive on a dot of light before taking other precautions that you were trained to do in school and through experience?"

WithReason7: "Venus on a clear night at 35,000 feet is brighter than airplane lights. Had it been plane on a collision course, they probably would have had about five seconds to avoid collision, not enough time to check GPS and have a nice chat ..."

This person gave an actual piloting perspective.

jsnight: "It happens more than you think. A pilot almost turned an airplane upside down when he mistook stars for yard lights and thought they were upside down. I have over 20,000 flight hours and although I've never taken any evasive action, I have been startled. You can look down at a chart, look up and think you're in an unusual attitude."

All kinds of people can relate. FULL POST

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Filed under: Air travel • Aviation • Canada • Overheard on CNN.com • Space • Transportation • Travel • World
April 5th, 2012
09:40 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Emergency plane landings

The U.S has entered an unprecedented era of safer skies, according to industry experts, but not every plane landing has been perfect.

On Monday, 2,000 feet above the ground in Wisconsin, an 80-year old woman was forced to land a twin-engine Cessna after her pilot husband lost consciouness. You've "gotta watch" how this gutsy grandmother landed the plane.

Her successful landing reminds us of other daring attempts pilots have made during emergency landing situations. Watch how commercial pilots recently landed their impaired planes in Arizona, New York and Poland.

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Elderly passenger lands plane

In Wisconsin, an 80-year-old woman takes over the controls of a plane after her pilot husband falls unconscious.

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US Airways jet crash lands

Video from the Coast Guard shows the US Airways jet crash-landing into the Hudson River.

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Hole forces a Boeing 737 to land

CNN's Ted Rowlands reports on the Southwest flight that made an emergency landing because of a hole in the fuselage.

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Emergency landing in Poland

CNN's Hala Gorani reports on the LOT Polish Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in Warsaw, Poland.

April 5th, 2012
09:36 PM ET

CNN prime time: Kid-free zones on planes, 'nothing left' for Santorum

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Specter: No point in Santorum continuing

Arlen Specter is mincing no words when it comes to whether or not Santorum should throw in the towel.

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Flights with a no-child zone

When it comes to kids on airplanes, don't get Richard Quest started.

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Swain: 'Hoodies feed into stereotype'

Boyce Watkins and Carol Swain argue the aspect of race in the Martin case and the movement to boycott Sanford, Florida.

April 4th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Several reported injured after flight hits turbulence

Several people were reported injured on a United Airlines flight that encountered turbulence over Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Wednesday, said Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration.

United Flight 1727 was flying from Tampa, Florida, to Houston, Texas, he said.

The pilot said there were several injuries, Lunsford said. Medical crews were tending to the injured after the plane landed safely.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
Overheard on CNN.com: Would you honestly be willing to pay more for nicer flights?
AirTran received the top ranking in the Airline Quality Rating report released Monday.
April 2nd, 2012
08:07 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Would you honestly be willing to pay more for nicer flights?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

People love to commiserate over their air travel experiences, but 2011 was the "best year ever" for airline performance, according to the Airline Quality Rating report released Monday in Washington. The study said air travelers were less likely to be bumped, less likely to lose their luggage and more likely to arrive at their destinations on time. Our readers commented that those numbers don't tell the whole story.

Report says top U.S. airlines performed very well in 2011

One reader said the subjective experience of flying nowadays has changed along with those numbers.

ec7967: "Passengers 'don't think so' because, while fewer people have to deal with a misplaced bag or an extra half hour sitting at the gate, everything else about flying has become lousy. Part of that isn't anyone's fault, mind you - security has become an unfortunate necessity - but it is what it is. You can't bring your own drinks on the plane, you can't get free food on the plane, you can't check your bag for free, you can't get on the plane without being patted down or walking through an X-ray machine, etc. And while you might consider more full flights to be a good thing, most passengers will not. The idea of getting a row to yourself, or being able to get up and move to a different seat at a whim, was one of the simple pleasures of flying that have completely vanished."

There was an interesting debate about the current state of airlines. Many argued that we pay much less for our airline trips nowadays, and that's what people really want. So would you be willing to pay more to have a nicer flight experience? Really? Seriously?

Surfstud31: "Airline travel sucks anymore. I feel bad for the people who can't remember what it was like to fly 30 years ago. You actually got fed (for free), didn't pay for bags, didn't pay for extra legroom seats, you could smoke (OMG!), you could take your shampoo and toothpaste, and best of all you didn't have to subject yourself to a humiliating strip search every time you entered an airport. Oh, how times have changed. And not for the better."

Mat Hill: "You also paid a LOT more in inflation adjusted dollars before deregulation. I'll take cheaper."

Rachel Huntress: "Glad no one is blowing smoke in my face on the plane these days ..."

Of course, this person and others longed for the good old days. FULL POST

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Filed under: Air travel • Overheard on CNN.com • Transportation • Travel
April 2nd, 2012
11:40 AM ET

JetBlue pilot charged for meltdown goes to court

The JetBlue pilot arrested after an apparent midair meltdown last week was taken to the federal courthouse in Amarillo, Texas, Monday morning, a court official said.

Authorities transferred Clayton Osbon, the captain of JetBlue Flight 191, from a hospital where he has been treated since last Tuesday to the courthouse. A court clerk said he probably would appear before a judge.

Osbon has not made an initial court appearance since he was arrested and charged with interfering with a flight crew.

His remarks and erratic behavior on the planned five-hour flight from New York's Kennedy International Airport to Las Vegas led the co-pilot to lock him out of the cockpit, according a federal criminal complaint.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Air travel • FAA • Plane emergency landing • Transportation • Travel • U.S.
This Week's Top Videos
March 30th, 2012
02:50 PM ET

This Week's Top Videos

Editor's Note: This post is a recap of the top five videos on CNN.com from the past week. So in case you didn't catch our best videos during the week, here is your chance to see what you missed.

The most watched video on CNN.com this week was the surveillance video of George Zimmerman in handcuffs after the Trayvon Martin shooting. Following as the second most popular video was a firsthand account of the erratic Jet Blue pilot who was subdued by passengers. Rounding out the top five are a heart-warming reunion between a soldier and an excited dog, a teen signing sensation, and finally, an open mic mishap from President Obama. Check out the videos below and see what everyone else was watching this week on CNN.com.

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1

Zimmerman in handcuffs night of shooting

Police surveillance video shows George Zimmerman arriving at the police department in handcuffs the night of shooting.

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2

Witness: Fliers 'wrestle' JetBlue pilot

A JetBlue passenger describes the incident that caused a flight to be diverted.

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3

Dog goes nuts when soldier comes home

A dog can't contain himself after seeing his owner come home from Afghanistan.

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4

Teen takes TV talent show by storm

Jonathan Antoine's booming opera voice leaves judges on "Britain's Got Talent" pronouncing him the next Pavarotti.

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5

Open mic catches Obama seeking help

An open mic catches President Obama seeking help from Russia's outgoing president for NATO's missile defense.

Follow us on Twitter: @CNNVideo

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Air travel • Animals • Barack Obama • Crime • Dogs • Florida • Justice • Military • Most Popular • Music • Plane emergency landing • Politics • Russia • Showbiz • Travel • Trayvon Martin • TV • U.S. • United Kingdom • War • World
March 28th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

JetBlue pilot charged in incident that prompted emergency landing

[Updated at 4:58 p.m. ET] The JetBlue pilot whose midair meltdown prompted his co-pilot to make an emergency landing on Tuesday was charged Wednesday in a federal criminal complaint with interference with a flight crew.

[Initial post, 12:25 p.m. ET] JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon has been suspended pending further investigation of Tuesday's incident in which a flight made an emergency landing, JetBlue spokeswoman Tamara Young told CNN Wednesday.

FULL STORY
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