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United Airlines Kicks Retired Professors Off Late-Night Flight

A married couple, Jessie Au, 68, and her husband M.G. (“Guill”) Wientjes, 66, both PhDs, were kicked off a late-night United flight from Washington, DC to Los Angeles earlier this summer.

To add insult to injury, Au, a 5’3” grandmother, says an internal United committee called her “belligerent” and “threatening” after she stood up for her rights as a passenger. Although not physically beaten or dragged, Dr. Au says the intimidating experience reminded her of the treatment Dr. David Dao received in a notorious United incident in 2017.

(Full disclosure: I own stock in American, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines.)

The incident apparently began when Dr. M. G. Wientjes and another passenger were issued boarding passes with duplicate seat assignments. While trying to sort out the mess, the couple says a flight attendant dropped Wientjes’ boarding pass several rows back, then denied they had ever given it to her. Although the pass was ultimately returned to the Wientjes, they say by that time the situation had become confrontational, with the flight attendant screaming “You’re coming out.”

I contacted United Airlines multiple times to hear their side of the story, but did not receive an on-the-record response before publication. On September 13, we received the following statement from a United spokesperson. “At United, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism. Following this issue, we reached out to our customers and our team to find out what happened.” Sources within the airline also note that they spoke to the Wientjes in July to talk through the incident.

Today In: Lifestyle

Jessie Au and Guil Wientjes retired as professors of pharmaceutics from The Ohio State University. The couple met in San Francisco as young researchers and have been married nearly forty years. But rather than stay home and dote on their three grandchildren, the pair remain active in scientific research with their Carlsbad-based company Optimum Therapeutics, currently working on a time-release medication that attaches itself to tumors.

On June 24, they were at Washington Dulles (IAD), having completed visits to the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration in search of a research grant. They checked in on UA1448 at 7PM, three hours ahead of their scheduled 10:15PM departure to LAX. The couple planned to drive to San Diego after their early-morning arrival the next day.

They got boarding passes with assigned seats 21A (Wientjes) and 21C (Au) in the exit row. The couple boarded in the first two boarding groups, stowed carry-ons and relaxed in their seats. About 20 minutes later, another passenger in the 5th boarding group appeared with a boarding pass for 21A. A flight attendant took both boarding passes and headed to the back of the plane, apparently to try to resolve the situation. But then, according to Au, she dropped the pass and denied that Au and Wientjes had given it to her.

By this time a gate agent had arrived to assist the flight attendant, and the other person assigned the same seat had been seated elsewhere. When another passenger handed them the dropped boarding pass, the Wientjes say, they tried to get the attention of the flight attendant. They were ignored.

“They had their back to me. I said,“We have the pass here it is,” says Dr. Au. They ignored her “until I tapped her elbow from her seat. “’I just want to show you.’”

Au says, “The flight attendant and gate agent both yelled at us. We were traumatized. You could hear them screaming throughout the plane. “Don’t touch me! You are coming out! I’m going to kick you off the plane.”

The elbow tap may be what led a United internal review committee to call Au “physically threatening.” Ultimately United sent another flight attendant and three ground personnel to deal with the Wientjes. “They didn’t resolve the issue,” said Dr. Au. “They abuse us for no good reason.” What is unclear is if the elderly couple were considered a threat, why air marshals, TSA, local police or other security personnel were not contacted.

“Jessie didn’t curse or yell. We think the flight attendant overreacted,” says Dr. M.G. Wientjes. He says “United made all these promises” about how passengers would be treated after the Dr. Dao beating. Yet Wientjes says the flight attendant, the ground personnel and even the pilot were “menacing and unpleasant.”

The Wientjes, who say they were sitting in their assigned seats and felt “abused” by United, refused to leave. A 40-minute impasse resulted, in which three ground personnel boarded the plane to “discuss” the situation with the Wientjes, which they found intimidating. Ultimately, the pilot went on the intercom. He said there was a “situation” on the aircraft and all the passengers would have to deplane.

At this point, the Wientjes reluctantly left the plane so the other passengers could fly. Although United put them up for the night and put them on a plane the following day, the United Mileage Plus members were warned that they were on an internal watch list. Au says she has been repeatedly questioned on subsequent flights.

Hong Kong-born Au, who is 5’ 3 and a non-drinker, was subsequently accused of being “belligerent” and “physically threatening” by an internal United panel. The United Airlines Passenger Incident Review Committee, (PIRC) had previously demanded she produce a substantial written response within 96 hours or face a lifetime ban from United.

“This event was caused by mistakes of two UA employees, the gate agent who double-assigned the same seat to two passengers and the flight attendant who misplaced our boarding pass,” claims Dr. Au. “But no one apologized for the UA mistakes nor acknowledged that UA violated their Contract of Carriage that a seated passenger cannot be removed unless the passenger presents a security or safety risk.”

The former professor believes that United employees and the PIRC “greatly exaggerated a light tap on their employee’s elbow as being physically threatening.” To the Wientjes, the internal review “was nothing more than an exercise in putting more blame on the passengers.”

“Being removed from our flight, in addition to being delayed, was humiliating and hurtful,” say the Wientjes. They feel that since the “infamous incident of Dr. Dao” being forcefully dragged off a United Airlines flight two years ago, “the CEO and President of UA have repeatedly vowed to improve their service and make passengers feel good. We would like them to live up to their words and revise their policy and procedures so that what happened to us cannot happen to other passengers.”

I’ve won several journalism awards, and my writing on travel has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, American Way, Southwest Airlines Spirit, Successful Meetings and United Hemispheres. At home in the middle seat, I’ve got a fistful of travel reward credit cards, have spent more than six months of my life in Las Vegas hotels and I’ve traveled extensively across the world. Yet one of my favorite travel destinations is Independence, KS, a great American small town, where my work as a playwright was performed at the William Inge Festival.

Source: United Airlines Kicks Retired Professors Off Late-Night Flight

A passenger was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight by law enforcement on Sunday after refusing to give up his seat. According to a person who says they were on the flight, the airline needed room on the overbooked aircraft to reposition crew for another flight. But when it couldn’t find enough volunteers, even after offering $800, the airline selected the man, who is a doctor, and several other passengers to deplane. The video quickly made its way around the internet and social media. In a statement to Business Insider, United Airlines said: “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.” ————————————————– Follow BI Video on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1oS68Zs Follow BI on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1W9Lk0n Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ ————————————————– Business Insider is the fastest growing business news site in the US. Our mission: to tell you all you need to know about the big world around you. The BI Video team focuses on technology, strategy and science with an emphasis on unique storytelling and data that appeals to the next generation of leaders – the digital generation.

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Warning Issued After Malware Is Found To Have Hijacked Bitcoin Blockchain

Bitcoin’s blockchain has been hijacked by a new strain of the Glupteba malware that uses the network to resist attacks, cyber security researchers have warned.

The malware uses the bitcoin blockchain to update, meaning it can continue running even if a device’s antivirus software blocks its connection to servers run by the hackers, security intelligence blog Trend Micro reported this week.

The Glupteba malware, first discovered in December 2018, is distributed through advertising designed to spread viruses through script and can steal an infected devices’ browsing history, website cookies, and account names and passwords with this particular variant found to be targeting file-sharing websites.

However, according to researchers, the new version of the malware can also mine the privacy-specialized monero cryptocurrency and threaten the security of Instagram users’ accounts.

The malware uses the Electrum bitcoin wallet to send bitcoin transactions that the attackers use to gain access to systems.

“This technique makes it more convenient for the threat actor to replace command and control servers,” Trend Micro researchers wrote. A command and control server is the centralized computer that issues commands to an infected network of devices.

The Glupteba malware, first discovered in December 2018, is distributed through advertising designed to spread viruses through script and can steal an infected devices’ browsing history, website cookies, and account names and passwords with this particular variant found to be targeting file-sharing websites.

However, according to researchers, the new version of the malware can also mine the privacy-specialized monero cryptocurrency and threaten the security of Instagram users’ accounts.

The malware uses the Electrum bitcoin wallet to send bitcoin transactions that the attackers use to gain access to systems.

“This technique makes it more convenient for the threat actor to replace command and control servers,” Trend Micro researchers wrote. A command and control server is the centralized computer that issues commands to an infected network of devices.

“If they lose control of a command and control server for any reason, they simply need to add a new bitcoin script and the infected machines obtain a new command and control server by decrypting the script data and reconnecting.”

It’s not the first time the bitcoin blockchain has been taken advantage of by criminals, with German researchers last year discovering child abuse imagery shared via the decentralized network.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Warning Issued After Malware Is Found To Have Hijacked Bitcoin Blockchain

by Christian Karam & Vitaly Kamluk The blockchain is the public ledger stacking all bitcoin/altcoins transactions. It is constantly growing as “completed” blocks are automatically added to it with a new set of records. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a linear and chronological order. The blockchain has complete information about the addresses and their balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block through the mining process. Depending on the crypto-currency and the implementation of its protocols, there would be a fixed open space, where data can be stored, referenced or hosted on the blockchain within encrypted transactions and their records. This very versatile nature of the blockchain offers great opportunities for future innovation especially in decentralized systems. The research focus revolves around the threat of embedding decentralized chunks of malware on the blockchain by either hosting it or referencing it with cascaded pointers. Transactions and data are encrypted throughout the blockchain networks using different versions of public/private key encryption. Could malware survive eternally inside crypto-transactions? A proof of concept will be explained highlighting the concerns revolving around the “abuse and bloating” of the blockchain while comparing it to previous malware hosting and deployment models. In this talk, INTERPOL will frame the scope of this future threat and provide potential solutions for a threat surrounding the blockchain technology.

Norwegian Cancels 25% Of U.S. Winter Flights To Europe

Norwegian Air Shuttle aircraft taking off from Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

Norwegian Air Shuttle aircraft taking off from Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

Looking for a cheap winter vacation to Europe? Your budget options from the U.S. have just decreased as the results of Norwegian’s strategy shift from growth to profitability start to become clear. The low-cost carrier has axed hundreds of long-haul flights from its 2019/20 winter schedule, which runs from November 1 to March 31.

From the end of October, 10 routes between the U.S. and Europe will be suspended for the season. Worst affected will be departures from Los Angeles (LAX), from where three routes are suspended. New York (JFK) loses two departures.

The changes mean that Norwegian will operate just 113 flights per week between the U.S. and Europe this winter compared to 150 last winter, a drop of around 25%. During the current summer timetable, the carrier operates 188 flights per week.

Winter route cancellations in full

To Paris: The route from Boston is suspended.

To London Gatwick: The routes from Chicago and Denver are suspended.

To Copenhagen: The routes from Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York JFK are suspended.

To Oslo: The routes from Los Angeles and Orlando are suspended.

To Rome: The route from Los Angeles is suspended.

To Stockholm: The route from New York JFK is suspended.

Additional changes in the U.S.

In addition to the seasonal cancellations, the airline has confirmed its Stockholm to Orlando route will be canceled permanently. This follows the cancellation of the London Gatwick to Las Vegas route earlier this year.

The airline is also shifting some operations from Oakland Airport to nearby San Francisco. Both the Barcelona and Paris routes will join the London-Gatwick route that currently operates out of San Francisco. The summer-only services to Copenhagen, Oslo, Rome and Stockholm will remain at Oakland.

Earlier this year, Norwegian axed its U.S. flights to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in a cost-cutting move.

Financial sense for Norwegian

While the winter suspensions will come as a blow to budget-seeking vacationers, it is far from unexpected. Outgoing CEO Bjørn Kjos had indicated that the airline would be evaluating its long-haul strategy in a bid to return to profitability.

Despite recording record passenger number in 2018, the airline’s expansion of its long-haul network hit its balance sheet hard. Last year, Aviation International News claimed they had an unsustainable level of debt. Just months later, the carrier needed a massive injection of new equity in January to stay airborne. The grounding of its 18 Boeing 787 MAX aircraft hasn’t helped matters either. Kjos, who recently stepped down from his CEO role after 17 years, claimed the grounding would raise its costs by $58 million.

A transatlantic future for Norwegian?

It isn’t yet known whether some or any of these suspended routes will return for the 2020/21 season, or even if some will be canceled entirely. There are reports that a new London Gatwick to Cape Town route is at an advanced stage of planning. It’s likely that such a route would be easier to operate at a profit than many of the transatlantic routes that are much more competitive. Given Norwegian’s shift in strategy, this could mean Norwegian looking away from the U.S. on a more permanent basis.

As there is a temporary CEO in place while the search for a permanent boss continues, odds are the senior management will simply wait and see how the market develops over the coming months.

Matthew Robert Wood, Norwegian’s senior vice president of commercial long-haul and new markets called the winter suspension a “natural move” following a thorough review. He said the airline would focus on profitable seasonal routes such as Asia, and look into growing the route network in South America.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I was born in the UK but moved to Norway in 2011 and haven’t looked back. I run a website and podcast for fellow expats, authored the Moon Norway travel guidebook

Source: Norwegian Cancels 25% Of U.S. Winter Flights To Europe

The 17 Most Dangerous Airports In The World And Why You Must Experience Them – Jim Dobson

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I found myself gripping the armrest as my plane attempted a landing in Africa on a remote sandy airstrip, the landing was called off and we needed to circle around several times in order to scare off several resilient giraffes that were occupying the runway. Almost a month later I made a dramatic landing in Bhutan that was like a scene out of Star Wars where my commercial airliner had to bank dramatically to fit in between the narrow, remote mountain terrain………..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2018/11/08/the-17-most-dangerous-airports-in-the-world-and-why-you-must-experience-them/#385fc5bd2a8f

 

 

 

 

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Turbulent Touchdowns – Selected (Attempted) Landings At BHX – flugsnug

Selected (attempted) landings at BHX this winter on the more difficult days for the pilots. As usual, the problems mainly come not from the wind speed and direction but sudden changes in these. A couple of the shots are actually from 2014 but emphasize the bumpiness of the approach over the City at times.

The pilot of one of the landings here kindly made the following comment: “The thing that makes BHX stand out from most other windy airports is the fact that the gusty, turbulent winds seem to persist all the way down to the runway. In most airports, the air seems to be a bit calmer once you enter the ground effect during the flare, but not in BHX.

I’m not sure if this is caused by a lack of trees or some other specific terrain features in the area, but it makes the landings there quite a bit more interesting. These landings might look scary from the outside and trust me, it’s a lot more challenging and stressful than landing in CAVOK wind calm conditions, but it’s also the most fun you can have as a pilot.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Storm/Hurricane Friederike With Up To 63 Knots Crosswind & 20 Go Arounds Or Touch & Go – HvdH-Plane-Spotter

For me it was the most spectacular filming of aircrafts during a hard and gusty storm with amazing crosswind landings. This storm/hurricane Friederike with up to 63 Knots crosswind at DUS Düsseldorf airport in Germany was the hardest storm after 11 years in Europe/Germany and many airports was closed. Düsseldorf was open all the time, but about 20 planes aborted the landing go around or did a touch and go. Some pilots did a great job and landed the aircraft during these extreme conditions with spectacular and skilled handling.

Used Equipment and Cooperation: – Video cutting software: Magix Video Deluxe “PRO X” http://www.magix.com/de/video-pro-x/ – Wind Statistic from Windfinder.com https://www.windfinder.com/report/due… http://www.hvdh-plane-spotter.de http://www.hvdh-film.de http://www.hvdh-sport.de http://www.hvdh.info Planes in the crosswind storm video: Emirates A380, Delta B767, ANA Boeing 787, Dash8, A320 … Overview of all aircrafts: 00:00 Wind-statistic Storm Friederike at DUS from Windfinder.com 00:05 Storm at Düsseldorf airport in time-lapse 00:10 Moving Eurowings Dash turboprop approach in gusty storm 00:44 Spectacular crosswind sideways Dash 8-Q400 D-ABQD landing 00:55 Touch down Eurowings flight EW9203 from Bologna 01:00 Go around A320 at RWY 23R 01:20 Crosswind landing Eurowings Dash 8 at Runway 23R 01:38 Go around Eurowings Dash 8 Q400 D-ABQ? 02:00 Touch and go Dash 8-Q400 in former Air Berlin design 02:30 Approach Eurowings A320 RWA 23R 02:36 Go around Eurowings A320 02:46 Approach flybe Dash 8-Q400 RWY 23R 03:00 Go around flybe Dash 8 G-PRPB LCY-DUS 03:11 Go around Germanwings A320 03:29 Gusty approach and go around Eurowings A320 03:48 Stormy landing flybe Dash 8 flight BE1401 from London 03:58 Go around Dash 8-Q400 in former Air Berlin design 04:11 Stormy landing Dash 8 D-ABQE EW9181 from FLR Florence 04:34 Bumpy landing EW 9413 A320-214 D-AEWK from Lyon LYS-DUS 04:48 Safety run at RWY 23R 04:53 Go around Eurowings A320-214 at RWY 23L 05:06 Go around Pegasus A320 05:27 Stormy take-off Condor 05:42 Extreme stormy landing Eurowings A320 06:02 Go around A320 at RWY 23L 06:22 Go around EW9001 MUC-DUS Dash 8 D-ABQH at RWY 23L 06:32 Approach Delta Airlines 06:53 Delta Go away to FRA Frankfurt 07:08 Lufthansa A320 goes around at RWY 23L 07:28 Amazing rainbow ended at runway 23R 07:37 ANA B787 JA-877A NH209 from Tokyo with water spray 07:54 Taxi ANA B787-9 flight NH 209 NRT-DUS 08:03 Landing Emirates A380-800 08:14 A380 flight EK 55 DXB-DUS touch down at runway 23L 08:18 A380 reverse thrust with amazing water spray 08:52 Timelapse from storm Friederike in Düsseldorf

 

 

 

 

 

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15 Best And Worst Airports In The US For Flight Delays – Laura Begley Bloom

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The busy holiday travel season is fast approaching, which means that flight delays are inevitable. In anticipation, Orbitz just released its first-ever list of the best and worst airports to get delayed at this holiday season, which is based on a series of nine different metrics ranging from flight punctuality to the number of food and drink outlets available in America’s 15 busiest airports. The worst airport overall? Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which got dragged down by poor offerings……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2018/10/22/15-best-and-worst-airports-in-the-us-for-flight-delays/#11a94d597bca

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Top 10 Airplane Things You Don’t Know The Purpose Of – BE AMAZED

Airplanes have had wings, controls and some kind of motor but planes have evolved significantly. The commercial airliner you fly in now has features that Orville and Wilbur wouldn’t have dreamed of. Here are 10 things you might not know about modern aircraft. Subscribe for more!

http://bit.ly/BeAmazedSubscribe ◄ Stay updated ► http://bit.ly/BeAmazedFacebook https://twitter.com/BeAmazedVideos https://instagram.com/BeAmazedVideos

For copyright queries or general inquiries please get in touch: beamazedvideos@gmail.com Credit: https://pastebin.com/V9KDxkG9 Be Amazed at… The mysterious triangle symbol over your seat –

When you board a modern jet aircraft, you’re probably looking for your seat number and for the nearest emergency exit. The flange sticking out of the wing – While you’re waiting to leave the gate, you’re probably staring out the window at the wings that are going to carry you off this Earth. The hum when you board the plane –

Have you noticed that there’s an omnipresent drone while you’re waiting for the last passenger to board the plane? Tomato juice – Do you find yourself ordering a tomato juice when you’re on a plane? Opening window shades for landings and take-offs – I bet you thought the window shades were installed on planes so you can sleep during long flights.

Winglets – Airplanes are always a tug-of-war between the thrust of the engines and aerodynamic drag. Sidestick – Back in the day of the first planes, pilots were known as “stick and rudder men”, steering the plane by the power of their arms and legs pushing on control cables. Bleed air system – While the Wright Brothers’ Flyer barely flew above the dunes at Kittyhawk, today jetliners fly higher than the tallest mountains.

The eye level indicator on cockpit window – Pilots come in all sizes – and just like your car, planes have adjustable seats for them. The hole in your window – Since cabin pressure is so important, you might not think a hole in your window is a good thing…..

 

 

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