Beware of How You Joke Around With a Pilot – First Hand Account

Thanks to Tyler Stone, a great friend and special contributor to MilesForPlaces for sharing this first hand account on a recent flight from Orlando, Florida to Albany, NY.

“On this day, my JetBlue flight was scheduled for an 11:40 am departure out of Orlando to Albany. The boarding process was business as usual.  Everyone  was already on the plane.  Then around noon, just prior to taxiing out to the runway, the Captain announced that there would be a further delay. He went on to say that he had been piloting for over 25 years and takes his job very seriously. He has built his life and his family around this career and has a clean record (sounds very agitated)

At this point, everyone started looking at each other like “what the hell is going on?” Captain continued that a passenger had claimed he saw the pilot at the bar and that these kinds of statements are taken very seriously.

“If a passenger makes these types of statements and other passengers overhear this, it can cause widespread panic among other flyers. Because of this,  I’m going to have to step off the plane and conduct some tests to ensure I am safe to fly. I can assure you that I have not consumed any alcohol prior to this flight and the gentleman who made this statement claimed he made it in a joking manner”

All the passengers were clearly annoyed at the man who made the comments. The Captain then mentioned that FAA personnel would have to meet with him and clear him prior to flying. An airport employee came on the plane and escorted the elderly gentleman who made the comments. He looked pretty embarrassed and obviously knew he messed up.

The Captain ended his brief speech reiterating that the passenger had clearly said he was just joking after the fact but these kind of statements are taken seriously and need to be followed up on.  The Captain said “you wouldn’t joke about having weapons while going through TSA. Likewise, it’s not appropriate to make these types of ‘jokes’.”

About 10 minutes or so passed. The elderly passenger who made the statement was led back onto the plane. Again, he looked visibly embarrassed and had just about every eyeball on the plane honed in on him.

A few moments later the pilot came back on and said everything was taken care of and we would be departing shortly (he still sounded very angry at this point). The rest of our flight was pretty uneventful and we got to Albany safely. The moral of the story, don’t compromise a pilot’s ability to do his job by making a smart ass comment that can get him in trouble.”

 

Using Ibotta for Uber, Hotels, and More

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Of all the apps I have downloaded on my phone, there isn’t a single one that’s as rewarding as Ibotta. If you already have it downloaded and regularly use it, you know how it works. If you’ve never heard of Ibotta, I’ll introduce it and show you how you can benefit from your routine shopping. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

Ibotta rewards you in two different ways. The first requires you to upload your receipt from one of their listed retailers. Among them are Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Jewel-Osco, Pathmark, Mariano’s, etc.  For example, Walmart will have tons of different grocery or household items that will be eligible for cashback in a given week. If you purchase those items and unlock them on the Ibotta app, you get whatever the cashback is for that particular item. Here is example of some of the breakfast items listed this week at Walmart:

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Clothing retailers work the same way. Until November 2nd, you can make a purchase at H&M, upload your receipt and you get 15% cash back. The purchase would have to be made in-store.

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The other way Ibotta rewards you is by using their app to launch another app and then making a purchase. For example if you click on Uber via Ibotta, it will automatically launch the Uber app that’s already downloaded on your phone. For every ride you take, you get a dollar back:

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The same goes for travel websites such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Hotwire.com, etc. For these websites, you typically get between 4-6% back on your total cost.

 

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Make sure you have the apps for any of the above downloaded prior to making a booking. Ibotta will credit you the cashback once you have completed your hotel stay.

 

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Once you have $20, you can cash out via Paypal or Venmo. You could also select gift cards to retailers such as Amazon or Target.

You could also double dip using this app. For example, Walmart sells Hotels.com gift cards. You could use your Chase Freedom credit card to buy the gift card from Walmart and that will get you 5 points per dollar (Walmart is a 5x quarterly category for Chase Freedom this quarter). You can then make your booking on Hotels.com by launching the app via Ibotta and get an additional 5% back. Regardless of where you shop or travel, Ibotta has something that can benefit just about everyone. If you don’t already have Ibotta and you use my link to sign up, you get $10 back after uploading your first receipt or making your first purchase using the app. —->  https://ibotta.com/r/xq3zkq

As always, thanks for reading.

American Airlines Launching Non-Stop Service From Chicago to Venice and Philadelphia to Budapest and Prague

source: www.made-in-italy.com

Residents of Chicago and Philadelphia will have more non-stop options to Europe next summer as American Airlines announced seasonal service from both cities. American will fly from Chicago to Venice non-stop on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Philadelphia to Prague and Budapest on the Boeing 767. All three of these routes will run from May 4th-October-27th. Philadelphia will also see the return of daily non-stop service to Zurich, Switzerland. You can read more about Chicago to Venice here and Philadelphia to Budapest and Prague here.

My Experience with AirHelp for a Delayed Flight to London

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For those of you who have experienced a non-weather related flight cancellation or a delay of 3+ hours on a flight to or from Europe over the last 3 years, you might want to visit http://www.airhelp.com and see if you are eligible for compensation. On a flight from New York City to London back in May of 2015, my flight on Norwegian Airlines was delayed for 5+ hours. When I inquired about the reason for the delay, they said it was due to a scheduling error and not having a pilot available to fly the aircraft. I thought it was a pretty ridiculous excuse for a reputable airline such as Norwegian not to have a pilot available. A few months prior, I had heard about AirHelp and I thought I would give them a shot and have them process my claim. AirHelp has lawyers that process your claim for you in European courts. If the judge awards you monetary compensation (this can be as high as 680 euros), they take half of that (25% service fee and 25% legal fee) and directly deposit the rest into your bank account via Payoneer. If you are not awarded anything, they don’t collect. Classic case of zero risk, high reward. I emailed them my flight info and the reason Norwegian gave me for the delay. They told me right away that cases similar to mine were awarded compensation greater than 90% of the time. They were transparent throughout the entire process and kept me updated on where the case stood. About 14 months after I initially contacted them, AirHelp informed me via email that the judge ruled in my favor and I had been awarded 600 euros. In a funny twist, I received an email from Norwegian Airlines just 2 days later. They were offering me 150 euros as compensation along with an apology (lol, apologizing 14 months later). I immediately contacted AirHelp and they informed me not to accept anything. Norwegian was trying to give me a low-ball offer hoping that I would accept it and reduce their liability. I declined Norwegian’s offer and AirHelp transferred $328 into my bank account via Payoneer 4 business days later. Although the process took a while, there was very little effort in my part to collect the compensation. I paid $397 for the one way flight to Europe so the compensation covered more than 80% of that cost. If not for AirHelp, I certainly was not going to go through the hassle of filing a claim in Europe. If you have experienced a delay of 3+ hours transiting to or from Europe, the image below will guide you on whether you should pursue a claim. You will also find all the info you need on http://www.airhelp.com. You certainly have nothing to lose and they’ll inform you on whether your claim is worth pursuing in court.

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It’s unfortunate that the U.S. doesn’t have similar laws that would offer consumers the same level of protection for delayed and cancelled flights. We have our own air carriers that are chronically late and will continue to be late until punitive measures are put in place.  As of right now, the worst that can happen to them are a few negative yelp reviews.