Cathy checks in
Hi from San Huberto on the Malleo River in Patagonia. We’ve had an amazing two weeks of fishing, last week at Tres Valles, near Esquel, and this week at San Huberto. It’s late summer here and the weather has been warm and sunny everyday. We put our raincoats on one afternoon for a shower and otherwise it’s been shirt sleeves. The lakes in the Rio Pico area gave up some huge fish in the 28” - 32” class and ranging from 14-16 pounds, fishing on the rivers was non-stop and lots of fun and here on the Malleo spring creek, we’ve had a week of dry/dropper fishing with lots of rainbows and browns and the occasional 17-21” fish. It’s been an amazing trip.
The Travel Insider
Cathy subscribes to a travel newsletter called The Travel Insider. We thought you would find this man's experience worth the read.
So, a passenger on a flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu felt cold, which prompted him to ask the flight attendant for a blanket.
The flight attendant agreed to provide a blanket, but said that Hawaiian Airlines would charge $12 to sell him the blanket. (Note that on Hawaiian website, they appear to show that a blanket and pillow together can be purchased for $10).
Whatever the actual amount the man was asked to pay (most reports of the incident are saying $12), this upset the man and he said he would like to discuss the policy of selling blankets rather than being loaned one for free, with an appropriate airline executive. Apparently he complained about being cold and felt that if the airline was going to run its planes cold, it should provide blankets.
The flight attendant obliged, and arranged for the man, in mid-flight, to speak to some staff member, probably at the airline’s head office in Honolulu. During the course of the discussion, the passenger said, as part of complaining of the airline’s blanket selling policy that ‘he would like to take someone behind the woodhouse for this’. The pilot overheard the comment, and so, in a tour-de-force virtuoso display of command decision making, did the obviously only logical thing in response.
Which was, alas, to turn the plane round, spend time dumping fuel off the coast, then do an emergency landing back at LAX, calling for police and FBI agents to be at the gate to take the man into custody for endangering the safety of the entire flight. The 66 yr old passenger was duly ‘escorted off the flight’ by police while the rest of the passengers were ‘on lock down’.
After interviewing the hapless man and crew members, neither the airport police nor the FBI felt any need to press charges. Apparently uttering that phrase is not the same as a threat to endanger the safety of the plane – who knew? Clearly not the pilot. But, noting the probable $12,000 or greater cost to the airline for the ’emergency diversion’ and fuel dumping, to say nothing of the inconvenience (the flight ended up in Honolulu four hours late) to about 250 passengers on board, a police spokesman said that if it was him, he’d probably have bought the blanket himself and given it to the man.
The man took a later flight to Honolulu.
Don’t we as passengers have the right to demand some common sense on the part of our pilot? Doesn’t the pilot have an obligation to his passengers to do all he safely can to get the plane to its destination more or less on time, and an obligation to his company to not waste five-figure sums after a mild-mannered 66 yr old man complained about having to buy a blanket because the plane was cold (ummm, how about offering simply to increase the heat onboard a bit)?
The person arrested at LAX should be the pilot, on charges of criminal stupidity.
The author's suggestion for the pilot might be a bit harsh, but what has happened to commonsense?