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Icarus Award: Beers, Bikinis & Bad Behavior

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Ever wonder what it’s like to ride the luggage conveyor belt at the airport? Can you get away with wearing a bikini on an airplane? Do people really notice the art that is on display at airports? Read Ben Moroski’s take on the Icarus Awards for answers to these questions and more brought to you by this week’s travel failures from around the globe.

Airport Bucket List

I don’t know about you but whenever I’m in an airport, I always get the urge to hop on the luggage belt and take it for a spin. Recently, one drunken Norwegian man decided to live out my dream – and take it to a whole new level in the process. He fell asleep clutching a beer on the main luggage belt at the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Aiport in Rome and wasn’t discovered until he’d traveled more than 160 feet and – here’s the best part – passed through the X-ray scanner. Talk about bucket list. My other favorite thing about this story: airport officials said that this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Way to go, folks.

The Secret Lives of Beauty Queens

I’ve always wondered what beauty pageant contestants do with their lives once the winners are crowned (and no one really cares anymore). A Vietnamese airline has offered up one answer. VietJetAir rigged a stunt in which five recent beauty pageant contestants, clad only in bikinis, performed a 3-minute dance in the aircraft’s main aisle to celebrate the airline’s maiden flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the popular beach town Nha Trang. The airline was slapped with a whopping 20 million dong fine after the incident – which amounts to approximately US$1,000. One question for VietJetAir: Did you compensate the ladies for their services or did you lure them into it with the offer of free publicity?

Slumber Party Poopers

First of all, I had no idea that international first class flights on Qantas Airlines featured complimentary pajamas. Sounds like travelers lucky enough to score those seats (or, I guess, anyone willing to drop $10,000 on a plane ticket from Los Angeles to Melbourne) are living the dream – one that resulted in a rude awakening for one Australian couple when Qantas could not supply the size extra-large pajamas that the couple requested for a recent Melbourne-bound flight. The couple was so peeved by the pajama shortage that they refused to fly and left plane with their baggage in tow, delaying the flight 30 minutes.

Erase the Note After You Read It, Erase the Note After Your Read It…

Leaving a Post-It note on the fridge that says “We’re out of milk” is one thing. Leaving a note on a damaged airplane wing flap that says “We know about this” is a completely different story. Granted, the wing flap on the Boeing 737 had been repaired and was completely operational. Maintenance workers had left the note simply to head off further reports. A passenger on the Alaska Airlines flight snapped a picture of the note from his window seat and it soon found its way to the internet. Alaska Airlines responded by admitting that the note was “not the best approach.” Ya think?

Wait. There’s Art in Airports?

Art is admittedly not my typical focus when I’m at the airport. To be honest, connecting flight times and whether or not there’s a Cinnabon in my terminal is usually more where my head is at. However, there appear to be some travelers who are taking a look at what happens to be on the walls – and are taking offense. The Edinburgh Airport in Scotland recently received multiple complaints from passengers regarding a poster of Pablo Picasso’s “Nude Woman in a Red Armchair” currently on display in the international arrivals area. The poster is part of an advertisement for the “Picasso & Modern British Art” exhibition currently underway at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. While airport officials initially covered the poster, they have since returned it to display citing that passengers traveling internationally “need to be open-minded.” That is, if they’re actually looking at the walls.

 Dishonoring Our Troops won last week’s Icarus Award. Check out our Icarus archives and cast your vote in this week’s poll

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By Ben Moroski by PeterGreenberg.com

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