Police stand guard at LAX on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Sad to say but air crashes are not the only life threatening dangers faced in air travel. Or even in everyday life.
Survival in mass shooting situations often is based on the three reactions built into our primitive animal brain when faced with mortal danger: freeze, flight, or fight.
Accounts of mass shootings at Columbine, Virginia Tech and Mumbai show that some people survived just by holding still and playing dead even just a few feet from the shooter.
The LAX shooter, like all predators, was attracted to movement. He returned to his primary victim and fatally shot him again when he is reported to have seen him moving.
Running, fleeing and hiding is recommended if not in close proximity to the shooter, which most people did at the recent LAX attack.
If neither freezing, fleeing or hiding is available, it is recommended you fight and counter-attack the attacker.
It may increase your survival by throwing the attacker off-guard, encourage others to join you, and at least buy time for other victims and rescuers.
Training for first responders to mass shootings has now been changed from secure a perimeter and wait for back up, to attack the shooter immediately.
A week after the LAX shooting attack on TSA agents, there has apparently been no dramatic change in airport security to deter or prevent more of the same.
Instead the debate has evolved into whether some TSA agents should be armed or not. Or whether the LAX attack should be classified as a workplace incident, thereby downplaying any responses based on terrorist threats.
Whether or not more attacks follow may depend largely on whether preventative measures are taken to deter and prevent or mitigate, now that US airport vulnerability is known to the whole world.
Only slightly less scary is the mindset of many security experts and anti-TSA passengers who fatalistically say that nothing much can or should be done. The same sentiments were voiced after PanAm 103 that killed 270 in 1988. Only until 3,000 died in 2001 was action taken.
Since then only one fatality has occurred, TSA agent Hernandez on 11/1/13.
If you are fed up with seats which are ridiculously small (in economy class), you won't be flying on Emirates after reading this.
Bloomberg is reporting that the aircraft leasing firm Doric plans to order 20 Airbus 380s by the end of the year with 11-across economy seating to boost sales.
These particular A380s will be configured with as many as 630 seats, which means that this high-density version could carry up to 200 or more passengers more than the existing model.
While Emirates is the largest operator of the A380, and has said it's considering follow-up purchases, other Airbus customers are retreating. Qantas Airways Ltd. has deferred orders, as has Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. Lufthansa has dropped purchase plans this year for three A380s, as has Air France KLM.
We wonder how Emirates gets to be called "the airline of the year". They already have a surprisingly cramped business class in all of their fleet (777 being the worst with 7-abreast) and now this.
So much for Emirates being a "premium" airline. This should be proof to everyone that this is an airline that doesn't concern itself with comfort for its passengers anymore. Instead, its sole focus is on saving costs wherever they can and a rather heartless approach to moving the masses around the globe.
Most seating configuration likely this means seat widths are 17 inches and a 3-5-3 layout. Very cramped conditions are proof that Emirates' strategy has obviously changed in the past few years.
There's money to be made off passenger comfort, and it won't end well for any of us. Only when someone dies from deep vein thrombosis on board will these airlines realize that it is not only the bottom line that matters, if then.
Airlines are continuously placing less than subtle pressure on their passengers to pay more to upgrade. But you shouldn't have to pay more for a product that was available to you not all that long ago.
This is like the food companies reducing the size of cereal or peanut butter, while keeping the price the same.
The airlines aren't jumping for joy that passengers can now use electronic devices throughout their flights.
But they ARE looking forward to an opportunity to charge for yet another convenience: the electrical outlet.
As the airlines are intent on charging fees for everything these days, we can predict fees for...well...charging!
Twenty-five dollars for an in-flight battery charge, or maybe a sliding scale of fees depending on whether it's for an MP3 player, iPod, iPhone or Android device, tablet or iPad.
The ban on using cellphones to talk and text remains, but passengers are now allowed to use their cellphones to read, listen to music and play games so long as they are in airplane mode.
The FAA is also requiring each airline to independently verify that the use of those electronic devices do not adversely impact their own aircraft equipment. Until that testing is completed and documented, the existing rules theoretically remain in effect.
Thankfully there's still a ban on phone calls (for now), which likely would result in "road rage in the sky", as a few loud passengers can ruin the flight for everyone.
We are commited to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline profitability or create exhorbitant ticket price increases.
All American air carriers shall abide by the following standards to ensure the safety, security and comfort of their passengers:
Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.
Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.
Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.
Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.
Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.
Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.
Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.
The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.
Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.
Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.
Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.