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My wife, for years, never watched the TV show “Monk” with Tony Shalhoub. She, who is more than a little OCD, said she was afraid it would “give her too many ideas” (she now vacuums the ceilings – who knew – I guess we do need that)!
Anyway, and maybe you will “thank me later”, I have become a much better person due to my wife’s neat habits and I do agree I still need to work on a few things. But one thing I need no help with is being a bit paranoid when it comes to flying. Not about the airplane staying in the air as I totally get that once you are on the plane, that is the safest part of your trip! But like an old WW2 submarine, we are in a seat so fast that the “sweat” from the dude before us is still on the seat. Then I found this article from Science daily talking about just this topic. A quote from it says:
“Researchers know that bacteria and viruses can be transmitted in three ways on aircraft: inhalation of small droplets coughed or sneezed by infected persons and carried significant distances in cabin air; inhalation of larger droplets that tend to fall within a meter of their sources, and transfer of droplets from surfaces into the eyes or noses of susceptible individuals. The latter — which may account for as much as 80 percent of the disease transmission — can occur when passengers touch contaminated surfaces, such as seat tray tables, lavatory door knobs or sink handles.”
Haven’t you ever felt the “breeze” from someone behind you coughing or sneezing without covering their mouth? Ever wanted to see what that looks like in slow motion? (don’t watch if you don’t want to know)!
You know you wanted to go take a shower right then and there, but who knew it was really more dangerous to simply touch the tray table?! I have always been a bit grossed out and wipe down stuff on seats I get into but this is just, eeewwwwe ick eewwwwe (shudder – shake – yuck). We all know the multiple uses for tray tables – diaper changing table, shoe rack, infant drool pad…
So, like Tamara said last Friday make sure you pack your hand sanitizer and wipes in your carry on and once you get through security hold it close! It may save you a few miserable days of suffering from germs obtained in-flight! – René
Do you know how clean that tray table is? Did you know they often double as a baby changing table? Have you ever seen this thread at Flyer Talk with photographic evidence of Delta passengers behaving badly? If we look to this report from CBS back in January, the greatest risk is that you will catch a cold or flu from one of your fellow passengers. I’ve always known that the aircraft aren’t all that clean, and even include in “Top Tips” my own long held practice of wiping down all surfaces the minute I sit down in my seat! Still this has all made me wonder, how often are aircraft actually cleaned and how thorough is the cleaning?
I did a bunch of searching but the most recent info I could find was an old link from 2009 so I am sure, wink wink, Delta has improved over this one! Much more disturbing, I also came across this story about accidental needle pricks both on aircraft and in airports in general where a 6 year old was accidentally stuck when he found a discarded, used hypodermic needle instead of the toy he had dropped.
So are you now afraid to get on a Delta jet? You should be – a little. Always remember a jet only makes our airline money when it is up in the air. Cleaning, maintenance etc. just cost money. CRJ’s cleaning is most of the time up to the FA and turns can be 20 minutes sometimes. International birds, while cleaned with a crew, are in the air 8-12 hrs and cleaned quickly for the return trip back. Think of how many jobs are outsourced to the lowest price bidder! My suggestion to you is this. Put up with the odd looks. Buy a bunch of 3oz. or less hand sanitizers (be sure to start at Skymiles shopping and then order for in-store pickup and pay with your Delta AMEX for max Skymiles right). Wipe down everything you will touch. NEVER ever go to a bathroom in your socks, put your shoes back on!
One really disgusting personal experience I can tell you about that happened on a trip to Sweden a few years back on a Delta jet. Lisa and I were in coach (yeah, it was before points) and a few rows in front of us a guy was so drunk he could not sit up. You can guess what happened next; yup, he “UP” chucked all over himself and into the aisle. They got him off the flight, put him into a wheel chair on the tarmac, where we could see through the window, he continued to vomit all over the place. It was bad. So, 2 guys in “space suits” came in and sorta cleaned it all up. Now it was all over the seat, the seat in front, uggg, you get the idea. We were already late. This delayed us more. They did not even offer to move the person next to him to 1st, just a few seats over in coach. Slight cleaning later, we fly. I was happy it was 10 rows in front of us. We went to the lavs in back. How often do you think this happens? I hope I have your attention.
Why not end with some photos from the Flyer Talk thread I talked about above! Every single one of these photos are from Delta Air Lines flights. I do apologize if you have not had your breakfast yet – René
I am very sympathetic to those with allergies. I love cats. I don’t have any right now, but had the most adorable one ever on the planet for 18 years!
But I have had friends over who are so cat allergic that they, after a very short time, can not breath or see as their “breathing parts” (can you tell I am not an MD) just go crazy even when the adorable fuzzy one was no where near them!
Thanks to a tip from blog reader Steve, I reached out to Delta to confirm that the policy regarding peanuts on Delta flights has changed as of July 1st. You can see using the way back machine what the old policy was
So, if you requested it, 3 rows front and back of you got no nuts. They could naturally still get pretzels and Biscoff cookies if they were catered on that flight.
But now the new policy is this:
When you notify us that you have a peanut allergy, we’ll refrain from serving peanuts and peanut products onboard your flight. We’ll also advise cabin service to board additional non-peanut snacks, which will allow our flight attendants to serve these snack items to everyone within this area.
Gate agents will be notified in case you’d like to pre-board and cleanse the immediate seating area. We’ll do everything we can, but unfortunately we still can’t guarantee that the flight will be completely peanut-free.”
So there you are. If you are on a flight and get no nuts, don’t get upset and just know you are helping a fellow traveler not suffer on the flight.
But I have a question if this is going to work. I would love to know from readers who either have, or have known someone who has, severe peanut allergies. Will blocking nuts on the current flight work? What if this is a CRJ, with many times almost instant off and back on again loading, and the previous flight served nuts? So chime in and tell me what you think! – René
Most of us can remember the stowaway “bat” on a Delta jet from August last year. Or maybe even the mouse from 2009 that delayed a Delta 747!
These stowaways are mostly funny, but not so funny for those who were affected by nature imposing itself on our techno-travel life not to mention the CDC wanting to talk to them afterwards. But what about humans? Let’s see, do you think it is a good idea to try to say stowaway in the wheel well of a Delta jet? No! As you can see, this is a really, really bad idea and you will likely end up dead.
And what is it like up there without all the nice things we’ve come to enjoy in the nose of a Delta jet? Look at what it was like during WW2 with no pressurization and heat or oxygen in the cabin!
What is most shocking to me is just how many people try this. And there have been the few here and there on short hops who have survived this stupid attempt!
And even when these people try to stowaway on-board, they can expect to have a nice room at “Club FED” once the plane lands and could spend many years in a tiny little room much smaller than a CRJ.
The bottom line; if you want to fly Delta, just get the DELTA GOLD card and enjoy 30,000 miles, a free bag, zone 2 boarding as this is a much better way to fly than any of the above. Then the SPG or the Hyatt card for your lodging will ensure a much more comfortable room to sleep in when you arrive! – Rene
As you can see from the photo above of a CRJ-200, planes big and small as well as birds big and small, cause all sorts of damage to the aluminum / composite tubes we jet around in.
So what would it look like if a jet just taking off sucked a bird into an engine. There is a remarkable youtube clip you can look at here and see one possible result.
Most of us are aware of the dramatic bird strike video DL1063 jet that a first class passenger took during take off (bad flyer for using electronics during takeoff).
Delta jets are completely capable of flying on just one engine and for long distances. Your chances of losing both are very rare indeed.
Boeing has a very good post about bird strikes and is worth the read. It sums up the post with this:
“Bird strikes have always been a part of aviation. While they usually cause no more than minor damage, they can pose a threat to air safety. By being aware of the ongoing possibility of bird strikes and by following recommended procedures, flight crews can reduce the possibility and effects of a bird strike.”
So while the pictures and video can be scary, always remember that it is far more dangerous to drive to the airport than to get on a Delta jet. If you make it to the airport, that is when you can truly sit back, relax and enjoy your flight! – René
The above alert went up on Delta.com as you can see HERE. They say a mouse trap only has to be 10% better than the best one made for it to sell millions! In the same way, we need to be ultra diligent to make sure we never fall victim to these types of phishing e-mails. I get various ones each week supposedly from American Airlines that there has been a schedule change to my itinerary.
Now this is easy to dismiss (plus the fact that the text is so stupid) since I don’t fly American much even though I have almost ½ million points saved up with them from churning Citi cards! A Delta Phishing one, we may be more likely to click the link or the attachment BEFORE we think. Please don’t ever do that. If I get notice of a change, I go DIRECT to Delta.com and then, after I have checked what flights are the best ones for me, I always CALL and ask the rep to change my itinerary accordingly. Lastly, before I hang up I make sure the flights are correct online myself as the best time and chance to make more changes is with that same rep!
Folks we need to be so careful now-a-days! From strange ZERO or $1.00 little charges to one of our many many points cards to e-mails to to texts even phone calls (my mom got one of those recently), never just trust what you see and hear. – Rene
According to nycaviation.com here is what happened:
Two Delta Air Lines jets bumped into each other at Kennedy Airport in New York Friday evening, but no one was injured.
The wing of an empty Delta Boeing 767 being towed clipped the vertical stabilizer of a loaded 767-300ER backing out from Terminal 4 for departure to Istanbul.
Delta Flight 72, carrying 193 passengers and 11 crew members, was scheduled to depart at 5:05 pm, but was delayed nearly four hours after the accident, taking off just before 9 pm.
I did a post just a few weeks back about the real dangers to life and limb when not always keeping your belt on any time you are on the airplane until it is safely at the gate.
And I am sure we all remember the AF 380 playing around with the regional jet like it was a small toy from April a year ago.
So next time you hear over the PA to keep your belts ON until the captain says it is now OK, just please do it! – René
From my fellow BA blogger Road Warriorette to recent news, it seems more and more people are getting hurt when they don’t need to. As a nation we finally get it that we all need to be buckled up when we drive. Even baggage handlers need to buckle up as it can mean life and death on the tarmac even for them!
So what are the risks for taking a casual attitude toward ALWAYS wearing your seat-belt when flying? I want you to look at these stories over the past year:
- Severe Turbulence Injures Four Aboard US Airways Flight
- I thought we were going down
- Turbulence injures three flight attendants
- 7 hurt due to turbulence on JetBlue flight
- 12 hurt when turbulence over La.
I think we all get the point right? I and my dear bride always ALWAYS always wear our belts. When sleeping they are on just a little bit loose. During takeoff and landing they are tight as directed.
I am not trying to lecture, well OK I am, but I love my readers and want you all safe. So please everyone buckle up when you fly! Thanks! – René
photo credit: Lori Barber – CBSDFW.COM
Mental illness is nothing to laugh about when it happens to someone you know or love. We may snicker over the recent AA attendants video of “get off the plane” scream but even those giggling in the video I bet were scared! Mental illness, as we have seen of late with JetBlue, can impact many others when the sick person is put in trust of the lives of many others on an airplane.
We all hope these people get the help they need and I sure hope this is not a growing trend. What about passengers? I did a lighthearted post HERE about things that can get you kicked off a Delta flight as in my mind, who would do any of those things. But with all that has been going on I did a search and was shocked at all the results. Just look at these:
Arrested for not turning off you cell phone HERE
Arrested for painting her nails in the bathroom HERE
This one – you decide – red beam out of glasses HERE
How many dumb drunks need to fly HERE?
I flew with the crew that dealt with this drunk HERE
And the drunks with DUMB jokes on a Delta flight HERE
I HATE baggy pants fashion so no pity for this one HERE
We all know you can not open a door at altitude right?
Not HERE on this Delta flight.
And these are all over the past year or so. I found a TON more and if you Google arrested and airline you will get a scary list. I had a step mom that was bi-polar and some days (when she was off her meds) I wish I could just block from my memory. Once again these types of reports remind us it is up to us all to keep one another safe from anything and everyone when as a group we are traveling at 500+ MPH in a tiny metal tube.
Be safe and fly alert everyone – Rene
Knowing tech as I do, and using tech as I do, I take steps to try to mitigate the chance of information I want kept private from going public. I am still dumbfounded by the number of times people click on things they get from a “friend” either via facebook or an e-mail that ends up being a virus or malware.
But I digress. Today’s blog is about security when you travel. Most of us fly Delta with a cell phone, laptop and or a tablet of some kind. I use passwords for all of them on the startup page. A dedicated hacker who did get hold of my laptop could pull the drive and get to some data, but that is what it would take. Do you have passwords on all your stuff? Do you always put these items back in the same place or absentmindedly lay them on a chair or table or plug them in to charge somewhere? According to this article you should password protect them as millions of cell phones are lost each year and people who find them TRY to open data you wish they would NOT!
Delta Points readers are a select group. We “get” travel. We know the routine. We plan for what often times happens so we are not shell-shocked and frightened when travel goes awry, but just spring into action our next option to get where we want to go. And as I blogged about in my personal experience on a KLM regional flight we should be pro-active and aware of what goes on around us in our modern age.
A lost cell phone could cost you plenty in inconvenience and lost productivity, but if you cause a ruckus or delay a flight it may cost you thousands of dollars if you end up impacting other travelers according to the NYC port authority. Recently we were on an already delayed flight and had a now somewhat tight connection. Every minute counts at this point and a business traveler walked back up the asile to the boarding door and said he “left his cell phone somewhere near the window at the gate” and wanted the ground staff to look for his lost phone before they closed the door. He was ready to deplane to find his phone. What about his luggage? Would it have to be pulled? Plane side checked bags too? The list goes on and all our connections looking down the tubes due to one person’s lost phone. In this case it worked out and ground staff found it and we were only delayed 5-10 minutes all-in but you get my point!
Much of what we do is intended to improve our travel experience and avoid causing our own delays and frustrations. Please add this to your list of thing to think about each time you travel – Rene