The Good, Bad and Ugly of Airlines

Uncomfortable airline seating is one of the downsides of flying for some passengers.

Sometimes when traveling I feel like I'm in a movie. Never anything as hairy as the airport escape scene in "Argo" or the crash-landing of "Flight." More like "Les Miserables."

You know, stuck in a middle seat with no legroom, no nothing (but at least no one sings).

Lately though I've been getting more of a spaghetti western vibe from flying, especially with airlines making news in a bunch of unusual ways. You guessed it: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Here's a list.

For more travel news and insights view Rick's blog at farecompare.com

The Good

United: The employees of the airline recently held a plane for one of their passengers, a San Francisco man named Kerry Drake, so he'd get a chance to say goodbye to his mother before she died. He made it, barely.

Holding and delaying a flight may seem like a small thing to you, but consider those all-important airline on-time statistics published each month for all to see and notice that the United workers engaged in this kindly conspiracy didn't mention their good deed to their employer. However, a spokesman for the airline did tell me they found the whole thing "very touching."

Southwest: A passenger left his phone on a flight and figured that was that. Only Southwest retrieved it and mailed it back to him. Icing on the cake was the enclosed poem. As poetry, it stunk:

"It's always sad when something's lost, when what is yours is gone; And the hope that it will soon be found is what keeps you going on…"

But the guy who received it along with his phone was delighted and it tickled me too. Let me just add, "Never mind the flack you caught; all the matters is the thought" (could not resist).

Honest airport employee: A part-time employee at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International found $7,000 in cash lying by the curb and promptly turned it in. That's what one is supposed to do, but does it always happen? "I believe in doing the right thing," said parking lot cashier Pamela North Hollowaay. Makes for a nice change after all those stories of theft by TSA, baggage handlers and even civilians walking in off the street to help themselves to bags off the carousel as we saw in recent reports out of - yes, Hartsfield-Jackson again.

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