The Strange Story of Air Force One on 9/11, and the Best Real World Flight Advice Ever

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Why can’t American make the anonymized data available to everyone?

    A lot of people doing data science projects. Frankly I trust an engineer more than a business suit.

  2. Gary? I really have to ask you, what the **** is it with you and alcohol? Seriously. You post a link to an article about a man downing TWELVE bottles of wine in a seriously short period of time — part way into a trans-Atlantic flight — and then a link to your own blog post from three months ago. Why?

    The article does not state what size these bottles were. You quote the article as saying it was a “dozen miniature bottles,” so I presume they were 125ml. Twelve of those equals a full LITER of wine. How often does ANYONE drink a full bottle of wine by themselves? Clearly that’s enough to render anyone completely inebriated, and a bottle contains only 750ml! The individual in question consumed one-third more PLUS distilled liquor — who is responsible for this? Again, I will tell you that in both the US and the UK (it was a British Airways flight), and in most other nations in the world, it is ILLEGAL to serve alcohol to someone who is inebriated. Period. Even fellow passengers know that (“I was sitting three seats from him and he drank 12 to 14 small bottles of wine and one vodka – all given to him by cabin crew in the first three-and-a-half hours of the flight. While the gentleman was totally out of order and a danger to staff and customers around him, BA should shoulder most of the blame.”)

    The solution to this is NOT to punish the millions of airline passengers who occasionally have an alcoholic beverage while in the air because of a relatively small number of passengers who abuse the privilege, but rather by preventing that abuse of privilege in the first place!

    Would the cabin crew serve a 12-year old a glass of Chardonnay, a Scotch on the rocks, or a can of Guinness? No? Why not, Gary? Because it’s illegal? Well it’s also illegal to serve alcohol to someone who is inebriated. Airlines need to re-enforce the training flight crews get re: the service of alcohol. This incident NEVER would have happened if the BA cabin crew followed their training and the Law, rather than passing the buck and leaving it to the captain to declare an emergency and divert the flight.

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