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Monthly Archives: April 2006

Texas Jury Awards 27.5 Million to Carrington in Racial Bias Suit Against Southwest Airlines

Southwest2A California woman won a 27.5 million dollar verdict against Southwest Airlines in a lawsuit that she was racially profiled by the airline and its flight attendants. Southwest Airlines accused Carrington of assaulting a flight attendant in midflight between Houston and Los Angeles. They diverted the aircraft to El Paso and had her taken off the flight.

Samantha Carrington of Santa Barbara, California, won her case Friday after suing the Dallas-based airline for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Federal authorities arrested her in 2003 after her Houston-to-Los Angeles flight made a scheduled stop in El Paso. She was never charged with a crime.

According to court records, three flight attendants said Carrington, a naturalized citizen from Iran, became verbally abusive, grabbed a flight attendant’s arm and threatened to go to the cockpit if the captain was not summoned.

Carrington, 54, said that the flight attendants were lying and that she was the one mistreated.

Scotsman.com News – UK – Security alert as the QE2 docks in Egypt

Qe2Cunard Lines QE2 was placed under a security alert in Alexandria, Egypt today after the company received information that threats were made against the ship and its passengers. The Queen Elizabeth 2 was the standard bearer of the cruise industry for many years and fears that she may be a target for terrorists was the underpinning of the alert.

Carol Marlow, the president of Cunard, owner of the QE2, said the company had received “certain information” and increased the security surrounding the 67,000-tonne ship.
She added: “We take these sort of things very seriously and, while we do not actually believe there is any cause for alarm, we have put the ship on a higher level of security.
“We are working with the Egyptian authorities and shore security has been increased. All our excursions from the QE2 are going ahead as planned.” via the Scotsman.com News

Amtrak and Freight Rail Travel Disrupted on East Coast from Florida to New York

Passenger train travel on Amtrak and freight trains have been severely disrupted by a defect in a bridge near Rocky Mount, North Carolina that was discovered and required immediate repairs.

About 50 passenger and freight trains pass daily over the bridge which is near Rocky Mount, North Carolina, according to CSX Corp., owner of the rail line.

The company said it hoped to complete repairs in the next 24 hours but it could take longer.

“We are working to re-route trains,” said CSX spokeswoman Meg Scheu. “We have held some freight trains, but are working to re-route others.”

Read More »

Ryanair Flight FR25 Diverted to to Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport after bomb scare

The 167 passengers on board Ryanair Flight FR25 en route from Paris to Dublin was diverted to Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport on Wednesday after a passenger passed the captain a note saying there was a bomb on board. In a post 9-11 world this is one sure way of having your commercial flight be escorted by fighter jets to the nearest airport.

Ryanair Flight FR25, a Boeing 737 en route from Paris to Dublin, was escorted to Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport, which was closed for about two hours while army explosives experts searched the plane. No bomb was found, Strathclyde police said.

The 167 passengers and five crew were safely escorted off the plane and questioned at the airport, police said.

Later, all the passengers were allowed to continue their journey, arriving at Dublin International Airport aboard the aircraft shortly before midnight — about nine hours after the incident began, Ryanair spokeswoman Pauline McAlester said.
(USA Today)

During the incident that lasted hours, four aircraft scheduled to land at Prestwick were diverted to other airports. Authorities are trying to determine who had written the note. So far no arrests have been made.

Yankovsky Places Hex On Delta Flight and Slaps Flight Attendant

A Delta Flight from Las Vegas to New York had a hex placed on it by a 50 year old passenger, Svetlana Yankovsky, who then slapped a flight attendant as she took away her bottle of wine. Yankovsky then proceeded to place a hex on  all of the passengers and plane saying the plane would crash and every one on the flight would have their children and grandchildren die early Tuesday.

 The flight deviated to Denver and Yankovsky was taken into custody. 

One flight attendant told an FBI agent that Yankovsky was drinking from a bottle of wine while the plane was taxiing at the Las Vegas airport, according to court documents. After the flight attendant took away the bottle, Yankovsky allegedly demanded her “red water” back and began singing, chanting and touching other passengers.

The plane still was climbing after takeoff when two passengers asked flight attendants to “do something” about Yankovsky, court documents said.
But when flight attendants tried to calm Yankovsky down, she allegedly told them, “Not good, plane crash, all die.” “Yankovsky continued her erratic behavior by ‘hexing’ the aircraft, the crew, and the other passengers,” an FBI agent’s affidavit said. “Yankovsky was singing and chanting in the aircraft and saying that everyone was going to die, their children would die, and their grandchildren would die.”

It said the plane’s four flight attendants gathered in the rear of the plane to discuss how to handle Yankovsky, and considered using the restraints that were on board and asking other passengers to help them subdue the woman. They got out the restraints, but were afraid to use them, the affidavit said.

When flight attendant Sandra McKibben approached Yankovsky and tried to quiet her, Yankovsky slapped her in the face, it said. “Yankovsky continued her erratic behavior throughout the rest of the flight until removed by Denver police officers,” the affidavit said. via the  Rocky Mountain News

Quantas and Air New Zealand Sign Code Sharing Pact

QantasQuantas and Air New Zealand have signed a code sharing pact that is waiting for  regulatory approval from their respective governments.

Under the Tasman Networks Agreement the airlines will work together on network, schedule, pricing and marketing initiatives for their Tasman operations.

But the tie-up isn’t likely to get off the ground until late this year, as the pair await Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and New Zealand Minister of Transport regulatory approvals, which could take around six months.

Regulators blocked a proposed alliance between Qantas and New Zealand in 2003.

“For some time we have been exploring avenues for greater cooperation with Air New Zealand,” said Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said.via The Age

Top 50 Restaurants In the World 2006

Restaurant Magazine announced their world famous best restaurant list yesterday. The winners include restaurants from every continent excluding Antarctica. We are working on getting links to all of their websites up so check back with this list to see the progress we have made.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2006 winners list:

    1. El Bulli, Spain – The Penfold’s World’s Best Restaurant, Best in Europe
    2. The Fat Duck, United Kingdom
    3. Pierre Gagnaire, France – Chef’s Choice
    4. French Laundry, US – Best Restaurant in the Americas
    5. Tetsuya, Australia – Best Restaurant in Australasia
    6.  Bras, France
    7. Restaurant Le Louis XV, Monaco
    8. Per Se, US
    9. Restaurante Arzak, Spain
    10. Mugaritz, Spain – Highest New Entrant
    11. Can Fabes, Spain
    12. Nobu, UK
    13. Gambero Rosso, Italy – Highest Climber
    14. Gordon Ramsay (Royal Hospital Road), UK
    15. Restaurant Alain Ducasse, France
    16. Jean Georges, US
    17. Le Cinq, France
    18. Daniel, US
    19. Oud Sluis, The Netherlands
    20. Chez Panisse, US
    21. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
    22. L’Astrance, France
    23. Hof van Cleve, Belgium
    24. La Maison Troisgros, France
    25. L’Atelier de Joel Rebuchon, France

    Read More »

    Top Airlines By Satisfaction Ratings

    The 2006 Airline Quality Rating has been released and JetBlue, AirTran, and the now defunct Independence Air have lead the way. The authors of the ranking describe it this way:

    The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was developed and first announced in early 1991 as an objective method of comparing airline quality on combined multiple performance criteria.  This current report, the Airline Quality Rating 2006, reflects monthly Airline Quality Rating scores for 2005.  AQR scores for the calendar year 2005 are based on 15 elements in four major areas that focus on airline performance aspects important to air travel consumers.

    Here are the full rankings for all of the major airlines.

     Airline Quality Rankings for 2006

    Ranking
    Airline
    1
    Jet Blue
    2
    AirTran
    3
    Independence Air
    4
    Southwest
    5
    United
    6
    America West
    7
    Northwest
    8
    Continental
    9
    Alaska
    10
    American
    11
    ATA
    12
    Delta
    13
    SkyWest
    14
    American Eagle
    15
    US Airways
    16
    Comair
    17
    Atlantic Southeast.

    10 Million Visited Montana in 2005

    MontanaI have to admit that 10 million people visiting Montana surprised me.  However,  the impact on tourism in Montana is huge and it is one of the major industries in the state. It ranks right up there with agriculture and healthcare as the top industries.

    This is a milepost meeting for the tourism industry, because last year, for the first time, it attracted more than 10 million out-of-state visitors to our beautiful state.
    And those visitors spent an estimated $2 billion here, which represents an increase of more than 50 percent in a decade.
    That puts travel and tourism in the same class as agriculture and health care in the state’s economy.
    Ditto for employment figures. The University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research figures the industry now employs in excess of 29,000 Montanans.
    In other words, travel and tourism is a big player in this state, and it will be bigger in the future. via Great Falls Tribune

    Click here for information on visiting Montana

    The Top 10 Castle Hotels Worldwide

    Château de Castel Novel

    We found an interesting article at MSN that lists their Top 10 Castles. We added links to the property’s websites for your information.

    1. Amberley Castle, England
    2. Balfour Castle, Scotland
    3. Castle on the Hudson, New York
    4. Château de Castel Novel, France
    5. Chateau de la Bourdaisière, France
    6. Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
    7. Lake Palace, India
    8. Palácio Belmonte, Portugal
    9. Palazzo Gritti, Italy
    10. Waterford Castle, Ireland

    For the full article please visit MSN Travel.