April 18-24: Pilot Arrested For Knives In Carry-On, Screening Airline & Airport Staff, Concept Economy Seats, Plane Wi-Fi Has Potential To Be Hacked & More

This week’s round-up brings the latest airline & travel news — from a pilot arrested for knives in carry-on, screening airline and airport staff, and concept economy seats, to EU’s antitrust against Google includes travel, and plane Wi-Fi has potential to be hacked. Enjoy!

Pilot Arrested for Trying to Brings Knives Onboard

A 61-year old Cathay Pacific pilot was arrested this week at London’s Heathrow Airport after knives where found in his carry-on bag. The airline released a statement saying, “Cathay Pacific can confirm that CX254 was delayed due to a crew-related incident concerning some items found in the pilot’s hand luggage…Cathay Pacific takes this very seriously and is liaising with the relevant authorities.” The pilot was released on bail and is set to return next month. The Hong Kong bound flight was delayed overnight because no backup crew was available.

Airline and Airport Workers to Be Screened Before Work

In response to a gun-smuggling ring out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport and New York’s JFK Airport last December, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will now be screen all airport and airline employees when they arrive at work. The new rules, announced Monday by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, will include criminal history background checks every two years, reducing the number of access points to secured areas, and additional random screening throughout the day.

Relief for Economy Seats in the Horizon?

As airlines and plane manufacturers are finding ways to cram more seats into coach at the expense of the traveler’s comfort, a seating manufacturer might just have a solution. Northern Ireland based company, Thompson Aero Seating, has created a concept seat called the Cozy Suite that’s meant to make economy class seats more bearable, especially for the middle seat. The design includes a retractable bottom to make getting in and out of the middle seats easier and has a side headrest, to avoid those awkward moments when the stranger next you decides to use your shoulder as a pillow. The seat slides forward into a recline to minimize the air rage over seats reclining into the face of the person in the back. And the best thing about the Cozy Suite? Staggered placement of the seats, which will allow for more passengers on the plane. So really, a win-win situation. But don’t hold your breath just yet, as this design was unveiled in 2008, and as far as know, nothing like this is available on any airline. But with fuel prices going down and U.S. airlines posting profits for the first time in a while, perhaps airlines will consider these seats for the near future.

EU’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google Includes Travel

As if Google doesn’t have enough problems to deal with, the European Union’s antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant is now including travel searches. The lawsuit stems from the EU’s worry that Google is placing its own deals or paid placements above its competition, such as Expedia, in the search results.

Airlines Warned About Wi-Fi Hacking

If you don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to traveling, here’s a new potential threat: the possibility of airplane Wi-Fi getting hacked and gaining access to the plane’s navigation system. Even though there’s been no proof of this happening, the TSA and FBI issued a joint warning after a computer security expert tweeted about the possibility of hacking a plane’s network.

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