Flying with WOW Air? You might need to rebook as airline sells off planes, lays off employees

If you booked an upcoming flight with WOW Air, you might be forced to reschedule with an entirely different airline. The budget carrier announced Thursday it’s cutting back from 20 to 11 airplanes and will be selling four Airbus A321s for $10 million to raise much-needed cash to keep the company afloat, USA Today reports. PRADA … Continue reading “Flying with WOW Air? You might need to rebook as airline sells off planes, lays off employees”

If you booked an upcoming flight with WOW Air, you might be forced to reschedule with an entirely different airline.

The budget carrier announced Thursday it’s cutting back from 20 to 11 airplanes and will be selling four Airbus A321s for $10 million to raise much-needed cash to keep the company afloat, USA Today reports.

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"After a challenging year, WOW air is now restructuring and simplifying its operations to return to its roots as a profitable ultra-low cost airline, while discussions with Indigo Partners progress,'' WOW said in a statement per USA Today.

While the airline confirmed there will be no changes to its schedule for December and early January, those with existing reservations beyond then could be affected and should expect to be notified. WOW Air plans to announce a new schedule in the new year.

The airline was also forced to lay off 111 employees and will not be renewing employment of contractors and temporary workers, USA Today reports.

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“This is the most difficult day in the history of WOW Air," CEO Skuli Mogensen said in the statement. "We have dedicated people who have worked hard to make WOW Air a reality and it breaks my heart to downsize the company. However, in order to ensure our future and preserve WOW Air in the long run, we unfortunately must take these drastic measures.''

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

United Airlines staffers protest during international ‘Day of Action’: ‘We’re an airline, not a hedge fund’

The weather outside is frightful, and working conditions for United Airlines employees are apparently less than delightful, as evidenced by recent protests.

Impending staffing cuts, effective in early 2019, recently drove over 24,000 flight attendants to an international “Day of Action,” TravelPulse reports.

Impending staffing cuts, effective in early 2019, recently drove over 24,000 flight attendants to protest the airline during an international “Day of Action." (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Dec. 13, United flight attendants and cabin crew members united to picket at air hubs around the world – including Washington, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Frankfurt, Germany – regarding the forthcoming cuts, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The weather outside is frightful, and working conditions are apparently less than delightful for United Airlines employees. (iStock)

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According to the outlet, the campaign was organized by Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), which represents over 50,000 flight attendants employed at 20 airlines. As of February 2019, United will operate international flights with 10 flight attendants — one staffer down from the current 11. Staffers removed from those trips do not face termination, but instead will be assigned to other trips, as per the Times.

While reps for the carrier did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment, a spokesperson did confirm to the Times that United’s decision is meant to align the airline’s staffing levels with those of its competitors, namely Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

Meanwhile, some insiders don’t quite agree.

“We need them there. They’re our eyes. It’s about safety,” a 20-year United flight attendant who picketed outside Newark Liberty International Airport told CNBC.

An AFA exec, too, voiced similar sentiments, arguing that not only was United was prioritizing its financial interests above passenger safety, but that the staffing cut announcement served as a tipping point of frustration for many United employees on top of other long-running issues.

“Instead of leading U.S. carriers and distinguishing United Airlines with superior safety and enhanced customer service, the airline is lowering its standards to follow American and Delta,” Ken Diaz, President of AFA’s United Master Executive Council, said in a press release ahead of the Day of Action. “This is not the way to say we love our passengers.”

“When United is making record profits, it should not be cutting back on the people who are on the front lines of safeguarding and serving passengers. A profitable major airline should not be rushing to reduce customer service,” he continued. “The staffing cut announcement was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We are calling on this management to fix computer glitches, eliminate inhumane schedules, and increase staffing so we have the necessary tools to focus on the best experience for the traveling public.”

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“We are an airline. Not a hedge fund,” one protest sign read, as per the AFA’s Twitter account.

“Staffing cuts affect safety and service.”

The carrier is also said to be cracking down on uniform rules regarding holiday accessories for its staffers through the next few weeks as well.

The Chicago-based carrier reportedly wants staffers to keep it professional as they get into the holiday spirit, according to a newly released memo on “Holiday Adornment” described in the LA Times.

Though “head adornments (i.e., antlers, santa hats, halos, etc.); holiday vests or sweaters; holiday aprons: holiday hosiery,” are banned, “conservative” holiday scarves, earrings, ties and pins are allowed.

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A rep for United told the Times that such a memo is released this time every year.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

Plane passenger disgusted to find used hair extension in seat-back pocket

A passenger was left disgusted to find that used hair extensions had been left in their seat pocket on a flight.

They were also left on the floor – and hadn’t been cleaned up.

The offending video was posted to Passenger Shaming, an account that uncovers grim videos of bad flight etiquette from all over the globe.

It shows long, straight blonde weave that presumably fallen out of the head of the person who was sitting there before and then left there.

The caption on the video reads: “Just another hairy sitch… Excuse me ma’am, you forgot something.”

User wendy_pineapples commented: “That's so gross, like I can't or don't want to think about it. Then on another flight some mother will let her baby put their mouth on that pocket.”

Meanwhile user life_nonstop702 said: “I have seen a lot but this is a first.”

Earlier this month Olympian Shaun White outed a passenger for resting their bare feet in the air behind his head.

The snowboarding champ shared the gross video and put the fellow passenger to shame.

In the video Shaun looks into the camera and shakes his head.

He then zooms in on the person behind – who is flexing their toes.

The caption reads: “Tag someone who probably does this.”

One Instagram user wrote: “Hahaha, so gross, at least they’re clean and not crusty."

This story originally appeared on The Sun. Read more content from The Sun here.

Human heart left onboard Southwest flight prompts in-air turnaround: report

A Southwest Airlines flight traveling from Seattle to Dallas was forced to turn around midflight Sunday after officials realized a human heart had been left onboard, a report said.

Passengers were shocked when the captain explained that the heart was intended for delivery to a Seattle hospital after a previous flight from Sacramento, the Seattle Times reported. A Southwest spokesman said it was “absolutely necessary” to get the cargo back “as quickly as possible.”

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“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and the safe delivery of the precious cargo we transport every day,” spokesman Dan Landson told the paper.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and the safe delivery of the precious cargo we transport every day.”

— Dan Landson, Southwest spokesman

Concerned passengers used their cell phones to learn that a human heart had only hours to remain viable for a transplant, the paper said.

The heart had traveled from California to Washington state, across Idaho and back to Washington, according to the Times. The Southwest flight spent about three hours in the air before landing back at Sea-Tac Airport.

Dr. Andrew Gottschalk was traveling on the flight and told the paper that while everyone aboard “was happy to save a life,” he still thought the incident was a “horrific story of gross negligence.”

Southwest didn’t provide the name of the company that shipped the human heart, but confirmed that it specialized in shipments that are “life critical,” the Times reported. But no Seattle-area hospitals claimed to be involved, according to the paper.

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After the “life-critical cargo shipment” was unloaded, passengers were told to deplane as the aircraft had suffered an unrelated mechanical issue, Landon told the Times. Travelers once again departed for Dallas following a five-hour delay.

Actor suing airlines after getting pinky finger caught in armrest

Actor Stephen Keys is suing American Airlines and SkyWest, a regional airline that contracts with American, for severe emotional distress and weeks of physical pain after he got his pinky finger stuck in a plane’s armrest.

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According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against both American Airlines and SkyWest, the actor, who appeared in “Soul Plane,” was on a SkyWest flight from Reno, Nev., to Los Angeles when his pinky became lodged into a small hole under the right armrest.

Keys was allegedly raising the armrest to get the seat belt when his hand became caught on a mechanism.

"The spring mechanism embedded inside of this hole in the armrest applied intense pressure to plaintiff's finger, immediately inflicting injury, swelling and pain," the suit says, NBC LA reported.

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In the lawsuit, Keys claims he was unable to relieve his pinky finger from the armrest for the duration of the hourlong flight. The suit goes on to allege that neither the flight crew onboard nor a fire department rescue team were able to free his finger. An airline mechanic eventually had to take apart the entire armrest.

"By this time, dozens of passengers became aware of Mr. Keys' perilous condition, causing his dire situation to become a humiliating public spectacle,'' the suit states. "By the end of it all, he remained entrapped in this nightmarish condition, suffering for nearly an hour."

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In the suit, filed on Dec. 5, Keys claims the pain caused by the September incident prevented him from driving or playing with his children.

Keys is suing for an unspecified amount.

A representative for SkyWest was not immediately available for comment.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Human heart left onboard Southwest flight prompts in-air turnaround: report

A Southwest Airlines flight traveling from Seattle to Dallas was forced to turn around in midflight Sunday after officials realized a human heart had been left on board, a report said.

Passengers were shocked when the captain explained that the heart was intended for delivery to a Seattle hospital after a previous flight from Sacramento, the Seattle Times reported. A Southwest spokesman said it was “absolutely necessary” to get the cargo back “as quickly as possible.”

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and the safe delivery of the precious cargo we transport every day,” spokesman Dan Landson told the paper.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and the safe delivery of the precious cargo we transport every day.”

— Dan Landson, Southwest spokesman

Concerned passengers used their cell phones to learn that a human heart had only hours to remain viable for a transplant, the paper said.

The heart had traveled from California to Washington state, across Idaho and back to Washington, according to the Times. The Southwest flight spent about three hours in the air before landing back at Sea-Tac Airport.

Dr. Andrew Gottschalk was traveling on the flight and told the paper that while everyone aboard “was happy to save a life,” he still thought the incident was a “horrific story of gross negligence.”

Southwest didn’t provide the name of the company that shipped the human heart, but confirmed that it specialized in shipments that are “life critical,” the Times reported. But no Seattle-area hospitals claimed to be involved, according to the paper.

After the “life-critical cargo shipment” was unloaded, passengers were told to deplane as the aircraft had suffered an unrelated mechanical issue, Landon told the Times. Travelers once again departed for Dallas following a five-hour delay.

Emirates teases photo of diamond-encrusted plane, Twitter users go crazy

Talk about flying in style.

Emirates airlines recently sent Twitter users into a tizzy after sharing an image of a diamond-encrusted, grounded Boeing 777 plane on the social platform. Though the photo was – in reality – simply an edited work of art, Twittizens quickly got fired up, complimenting and condemning the aircraft in equal measure.

“Presenting the Emirates ‘Bling’ 777,” the Dubai-based carrier tweeted on Dec. 4 in a post that has since been liked over 20,000 times.

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Though Emirates acknowledged that the blindingly glittering Emirates plane was, indeed, an “image created by Sara Shakeel,” whom Yahoo Lifestyle identifies as an “award winning crystal artist,” some Twitter users still, apparently, thought the plane was real.

“Wouldn't that interfere with aerodynamics of the plane and the safety of its passangers?” one user worried.

“Omg you guys are so extra,” another agreed.

“Is this real?” another wondered.

“Pointless [and] gaudy, should focus on refurbishing the seats and providing comfortable seats,” a critic clapped.

“I think this would end up being a problem,” one user wryly pointed out, pointing to the diamond-covered engines.

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“Expect nothing less from top airline,” a fan exclaimed.

“I love it! Go big or go home,” another agreed.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

Three random strangers help mom struggling with toddlers at airport

Three random strangers stepped in to help a mom flying alone with her two young children.

Becca Kinsey shared the heartwarming story on Facebook, describing the “amazing women” who lent her a helping hand when she was traveling home from Disneyworld with her 2-year-old and 5-year-old.

“We were standing in line in security, on the verge of tears because Wyatt was screaming and James was exhausted. Out of the blue, one mom stops the line for security and says ‘here, jump in front of me! I know how it is!’” Kinsey wrote in her now viral post.

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“Wyatt fell asleep and I was trying to carry everyone’s carry-on when another mom jumps out of her place in line and says ‘hand me everything, I’ve got it.’ When I said thank you to both of them they said ‘don’t you worry, we’re going to make sure you get on that flight.’ The second woman takes evvvverything and helps me get it through security and, on top of all that, she grabs all of it and walks us to the gate to make sure we get on the flight,” she continued.

“To top it all off, Wyatt starts to scream at take off before he finally falls back to sleep. After about 45 min, this angel comes to the back and says ‘you look like you need a break’ and holds Wyatt for the rest of the flight AND walks him all the way to baggage claim, hands him to Blake, hugs me and says ‘merry Christmas!!’” Kinsey wrote.

The mom also shared an adorable photo of the woman on the plane holding her sleeping son.

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The post, which was shared Dec. 7, has received over 880,000 likes and 128,000 shares. Kinsey also updated the post to encourage everyone to “pay it forward” and make a donation to an organization called Kidd’s Kids, which raises money to send “children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions on a 5 day trip to Disney World so they can have a chance to forget at least some of the day to day stressors and get to experience a little magic!!” according to Kinsey.

$2,190 had been raised as of Tuesday afternoon.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Delta Air Lines bans emotional support animals on flights longer than 8 hours

Better buckle up, Fido — Delta Air Lines has announced that emotional support animals will no longer be allowed on flights longer than eight hours.

The rules for pups are getting tighter too, since neither support animals nor trained service animals will be allowed on any Delta flights if they are under four months old, regardless of flight length.

The changes are slated to take effect on Dec. 18 (iStock)

Both changes are slated to take effect on Dec. 18, the Atlanta-based carrier confirmed in a press release published on Dec. 10.

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“We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta,” John Laughter, Senior Vice President of Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance said in the announcement. “These updates support Delta's commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs – such as veterans with disabilities – to travel with trained service and support animals.”

Delta’s decision comes in the wake of an 84 percent spike in reported incidents involving service and support animals through the 2016-2017 year, including urination, defecation, biting and an attack by a 70-pound dog. (iStock)

According to the notice, the airline says exceptions will be made until Feb. 1 for customers who have already purchased a ticket and asked to bring a support animal. In addition, service and support animals under four months old will not be allowed onto any flight on or after Feb. 1.

As noted in the press release, Delta’s decision comes in the wake of an 84 percent spike in reported incidents involving service and support animals through the 2016-2017 period, including urination, defecation, biting and an attack by a 70-pound dog (which occurred aboard a Delta flight), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

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“The updated support and service animal age requirement aligns with the vaccination policy of the CDC, and the eight-hour flight limit for emotional support animals is consistent with the principles outlined in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act,” the release states.

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The subject of emotional support and service animals on airplanes has proven to be one of the most controversial travel topics of the year, ever since an emotional support peacock named Dexter and his owner were rejected from boarding a United Airlines flight in January. A few months later, a French bulldog died midflight after being accidentally placed into an overhead bin by a United Airlines flight attendant for the duration of the trip.

Various carriers have been tightening the leash on their respective rules regarding the transportation of both companion and service animals in the high skies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

Airlines required to reveal number of wheelchairs they lose or damage, new law mandates

This month a new federal law goes into effect requiring airlines to declare how many wheelchairs or motorized scooters they damage or lose.

This new rule will essentially allow wheelchair users to check a government website to find out which carriers are better or worse at handling their wheelchairs, an important item to their independence and mobility.

Video

"It's really consumer-empowering," U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth told the Daily Herald. Duckworth is a war veteran and Hoffman Estates Democrat who helped pass legislation to speed up this new federal law.

Read more from TravelPulse:

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  • Airline Makes Woman’s Daughter Sit in Urine-Soaked Seat on 7-Hour Flight
  • Travelers Suffer Six-Hour Nightmare at Auckland Airport
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  • Duckworth herself has had two wheelchairs break on flights between Washington and O’Hare International Airport. In one instance, the solid titanium rod that connects the seat and the frame had been broken and when she sat in it and she sunk to the ground.

    "It's 5 inches long and 1-inch square. I don't understand how it could be snapped," Duckworth said.

    She was offered an inferior model that didn’t even allow Duckworth to roll herself in it.

    "My wheelchair is my legs and it can't be easily substituted," she said,

    Before this new rule went into effect, it was unclear how many wheelchairs airlines had damaged or lost.

    “We know there were 32,445 disability-related complaints of any kind filed with domestic and foreign air carriers in 2016," said Liz Deakin, spokeswoman for the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

    Airlines must report damaged or lost wheelchairs starting this month. The data will be available to travelers in February at the U.S. DOT’s Consumer Air Travel Reports website.

    This story was originally published by TravelPulse.