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The 50 Most Popular FlyerTalk Articles of 2015

This year, we witnessed a lot of tragedy. We also saw hotel brand after airline after hotel brand get hacked. CEOs tossed insults at one another over Open Skies. And, oh yeah, Smisek resigned. Of all the stories FlyerTalk covered in 2015, these are the ones you read the most.

1. 4 Reasons Flight Attendants Are Just as Unhappy as You Are

Close up hand holding an airplane model background the airport

I’ve heard it many times myself. Flight attendants confess that they no longer wear their uniform outside of the airport for fear of getting accosted with complaints about their airline from strangers.

2. FlyerTalk Gets the Pan Am Experience


Air Hollywood invited FlyerTalk on a trip back in time aboard the unforgettable Pan Am Experience, a must-do-before-you-die for every aviation enthusiast.

3. You Won’t Believe What Your Boarding Pass Is Hiding

????? on barcode

A Krebs on Security expose finds that the bar codes on boarding passes contain a wealth of sensitive information that might leave passengers vulnerable.

4. United Airlines Crew to Picket 16 Airports Worldwide Thursday


United Airlines’ (UA) flight attendants will picket airports around the world Thursday to call on United to complete its merger with Continental Airlines and negotiate a contract with the attendants.

5. This One Idea May Expedite Boarding Time by 71%

Boarding (Getty)

Boarding a plane can be tedious, but one man’s view on baggage could expedite this painful process. For Devin Liddell, principal brand strategist at design consultancy Teague and founder of conceptual airline Poppi, the answer lies in banning carry-on luggage.

6. Fired FA Allegedly Earned $650k Having Sex With Flyers

sexy flight attendant

According to Saudi Arabic language newspaper Sada, there is still money to be made working for the airline industry. Unfortunately, one flight attendant is accused of taking extreme measures to bring home big bucks at her job with a Gulf carrier.

7. German Designer Imagines New Cabin Interior That Would Simplify Boarding Process

Generally awkward and sometimes downright stressful, the process of boarding an aircraft is unlikely to be the highlight of any traveler’s journey. But, thanks to the childhood inspiration of transport designer Ugur Ipek, the future of boarding need not be so unpleasant.

8. Dirty Old Man Gets Taught a Lesson Aboard Cathay Pacific

cathay pacific flight attendants

After the purser on a Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)-bound Cathay Pacific flight received complaints from two female flight attendants that a passenger onboard had inappropriately touched them while they were serving meals, the purser quickly approached the out-of-control groper to warn him that his actions would not be tolerated.

9. Mom Allows Toddler to Poop in Aisle Because Lav is Too Small

Woman allows her child to poop on airplane carpet (Photo: Shanghaist)

It is understandable that when small children are involved, bathroom emergencies can simply be a fact of life. Parents are sometimes faced with making uncomfortable battlefield decisions about a potentially mucky potty crisis and when this sort of urgent situation happens to occur in an enclosed airplane cabin at 35,000 feet, the results can be unpleasant for everyone involved.

10. Controversial “Jew Jetter” Shares NSFW Picture From First Class

A Censored Version of Lee's Japan Airlines Flight (Photo: Instagram)

Internet celebrity and avid traveler Justin Ross Lee is known for his controversial endeavors. The self-proclaimed “Jew Jetter” — someone “who flies frequently as opposed to the working man” — has been banned from a number of establishments for his contentious acts, the most recent of which occurred aboard a Japan Airlines flight.

11. Pop Star Allows Son to Pee in Airsickness Bag, Ignores Crew as Urine Soaks New A350

Vietnamese pop star "L.G."

A famous Vietnamese singer is in the hot seat after she allegedly allowed her son to urinate in an air sickness bag onboard a recent Vietnam Airlines flight. The incident was reported via Facebook by a seatmate, who referred to the woman as “L.Q.” — later identified as pop star Lệ Quyên.

12. United Begins Testing New Boarding Method at ORD

waiting in line at airport (photo: istock)

This week, United Airlines will be trialing a new boarding method at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in an effort to reduce the amount of time passengers are standing in line.

13. The Passengers Flight Attendants Never Forget

passengers onboard a plane (photo: istock)

It’s no surprise that people who write about their experiences as a flight attendant write, quite often, about the bad passengers they’ve encountered. Why? Simply because that’s what people like to hear about.

14. Passengers Arrested After Upgrading Themselves From Economy to Business

China Southern Airlines Business Class (Photo: CSA)

There are many different techniques for earning an upgrade to a premium seat. Deciding you deserve an upgrade and simply claiming squatters’ rights to a seat in business class, however, is not a feasible technique, and yet that’s just what a group of passengers recently attempted on a China Southern Airlines flight from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX) to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA).

15. Jeff Smisek Steps Down as United CEO

united CEO jeff smisek (photo: united airlines)

United Continental Holdings announced Tuesday afternoon that Jeff Smisek is stepping down as the company’s chairman, president and CEO, effective immediately.

16. When Porn Stars Attack! Tory Lane Arrested at Gate 69 After Graphic Display on Delta Flight


You may remember Tory Lane from such adult films as “When Porn Stars Attack” and “When Porn Stars Attack 4,” but her latest performance is more likely to win her a jail sentence than her third AVN Award.

17. This Is What REALLY Happens to Your Checked Bags

checked bags at AMS

An airport created a behind-the-scenes video that shows what happens to luggage after its checked in.

18. Economy Flyer Uses Business Lav, Gets Handcuffed & Booted

Elite gold office Toilet. Made in 3d

Air Berlin and a disgruntled female flyer are offering two different stories as to how and why she was escorted off an aircraft. Slovakian Edita Kmetova, 50, says she was removed from an Air Berlin flight in handcuffs after becoming ill onboard, but the airline is defending its decision to escort her off the flight.

19. To Make Up for Reduced Wages, Japanese Flight Attendants Are Allegedly Selling Sex to Pilots

Between 2004 and 2013, statistics from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare show the average salary of a flight attendant decreased by nearly $10,000. According to Japanese-language Shukan Post, some stewardesses are making up the difference in pay through prostitution.

20. United to Family: Sit in Vomit or Get Off the Plane

A family says when they discovered that their assigned seating area was covered in vomit, rather than having the cabin cleaned, the United crew offered only a lecture, trash bags and a blanket to cover the sickening mess.

21. The Best of TSA Yelp Reviews


People really hate the hassle of airline security. There isn’t much we travelers can do but grin and bear the removal of our belts and shoes, the quarantine of our liquids, and the 3D imaging of our private parts. But these brave dissidents stood up and said NO MORE, TSA! NO MORE FLYING — EVER!

22. Should You Tip Airport Employees?


Woven into the fabric of our society are a plethora of workers who offer a service without charging outright. Workers in this industry generally do not mention a tip before or after the service. They merely offer the service and if you accept, you implicitly enter into an informal agreement that ends with both parties getting a little something out of the deal.

23. These Are the 10 Longest Flights in the World — How Many Have You Flown?


Whether they’re traversing oceans or crossing the North Pole, these mega-flights push aviation limits – and test passengers’ patience.

24. United Flyer Refuses to Turn Off Phone, Attacks Passenger & Police


After refusing to turn off his cell phone while United Airlines Flight 5587 was taxiing, punching another passenger, and attacking a Chicago police officer called to remove him, Adam Kealing was arrested Thursday night.

25. South African Airways Prompts Fresh Mistake Fare Madness With Void of 600 Tickets

As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many travelers learned this lesson the hard way after learning their erroneous fares would not be honored.

26. Seat Shortage Condemns Brand-New 787s to Mojave Desert Indefinitely


27. Is Delta Bullying Cheap Flyers to Spend More?


28. Worst Passengers of the Week: The Stag Party That Wouldn’t Take “No” For an Answer


29. The “Darker Side” of Crew Life: Sadness, Sickness & Loneliness


30. Proven Fire Hazards Prompt Airlines to Reconsider In-Flight Use of Lithium-Ion Batteries


31. Worst Passenger of the Week: Rotten Brat Refuses to Buckle Up & Rotten Parents Support His Rotten Behavior


32. Woman Arrested After Stripping & Performing Sexual Acts on British Airways Flight


33. DOT: Sell Tickets to Israelis or Stop Operating at U.S. Airports

34. United & American Frequent Flyer Accounts Hacked, Miles Stolen in Cyber Attack


35. Worst Passenger of the Week: The Man Who Somehow Mistook His Plane for a Bus


36. Innovative Side-Slip Seat Promises More Space, Less Hassle


37. Overbooked Flight Costs British Airways an £1,800 Taxi Ride


38. Frontier’s New Flight Attendant Policy Is Sick


39. What if You Saw THIS Out Your Window While Taxiing?


40. Outraged Owners Question Delta’s Pedigree After Show Dogs Go Missing


41. CONFIRMED: Airport Security Doesn’t Understand Physics


42. Delta Flyer Charged With Sexually Assaulting Child After Standby Tickets Separate Family


43. A Flight Attendant’s Take on How United Airlines “Humiliated” a Family


44. 787’s Engine Shuts Down Over Atlantic


45. Qatar CEO on Delta CEO: “I Will Hang Him on a Wall”


46. The spAir Tray — One Frequent Flyer’s Ingenious Invention For “Window Seat Freaks”


47. “Unacceptable” Fee Turns Travel Managers Against Airlines


48. This Airline Was Just Named “World’s Worst” For the 4th Year in a Row


49. No Joke: Airbus Files For “Sleeping Box” Patent


50. Engineers Installed Actuator Upside-Down on VS43

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