Turkish Airlines Plane Crash and £1 Loos

Locations in this article:  Amsterdam, Netherlands Paris, France

Turkish airlines logoLast week we had another airplane disaster, this time in Amsterdam, a Turkish Airlines 737.

It was one of the weirder crashes we’ll be investigating—perfect visibility on its approach to Schiphol.

Two miles short of the runway it basically plowed into a field.

And thankfully for the passengers, it was a muddy field.

They recovered the two black boxes—the cockpit voice recorder and the data recorder—which were sent to Paris for investigation and analysis.

There were nine people killed and 50 people injured, with three of the nine people killed in the cockpit: the pilot, the co-pilot, and what Turkish officials are calling the junior pilot.

And the real question here is who was flying the plane and what happened in clear visibility? There is some anecdotal evidence that the plane simply just ran out of fuel. There was no fire when the plane hit that field. So we’re looking into it.

The ConcordeSpeaking of French investigators, for those of you who saw the Concorde Dateline special we did last Sunday night on NBC, the difference is this crash happened near Amsterdam. In France it’s a whole different ballgame.

If there is a crash in the United States, or in Turkey, it’s called a “crash site.” In France, it’s called a “crime scene.”

There’s a different deal going on over there, with forensic investigators working on it as opposed to accident investigators. In the Netherlands though, accident investigators on the scene don’t have the equipment to do the proper analysis of the black boxes and that’s why they went to Paris.

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And tonight WE tv at 10 p.m., Al Roker and I have produced something called “The First Ladies Tour.” Our first one is the wife of the Prime Minister of Jamaica who takes Deborah Roberts from 20/20 on a tour of her country. It’s lots of fun with some interesting surprises.

Now, I have to shift gears a little bit and talk about stupidity in travel. This week there is no shortage of that. Remember, we’ve been yelling and screaming for weeks about US Airways charging $2 for soft drinks and even water.

US Airways planeI thought this was absurd. Well guess what? US Airways has now announced that as of this weekend, starting March 1, soda, juice and coffee will be free again.

Now here’s the most pathetic part, do you know why they said that? Because they thought they were losing market share from people so angry at them. They thought passengers were choosing other airlines because of essentially a $2 fare increase. That’s what it really was—it was way to generate a $2 fare increase per passenger, and so they are scaling back. They might charge $2 more per ticket, but you know what? I hate nickel and diming and that is the ultimate nickel and diming.

Or is it?

For years I’ve been joking that airlines have been doing à la carte services and one day may do something like “paid toilets.” Well, I was joking but guess what?

Ryanair is considering charging passengers to use the toilet.

Ryanair and easyJet are two budget airlines I have many issues with when it comes to charging passengers for baggage. These are the two biggest rip off airlines in Europe when it comes to bags, and Ryanair is looking for every way they can to hose people.

This came directly from the CEO of that airline, Michael O’Leary, who talked about it on BBC. They’re actually looking to put a coin slot on the toilet door so people will have to spend £1 (that’s about $1.43) to go into the loo.

So here is my solution: Everybody just bring a bedpan and hope for the best. They’ll get the message. Everybody on the plane show up with a bedpan and line up in the aisle and just take a whizz.

Basically what the airline is doing is they are pissing on us, so why shouldn’t we piss on them? This is ridiculous. Sorry but £1 to use the loo? As I used to joke, I don’t want to be stuck behind you if you don’t have correct change.

And then, the best part, to add insult to injury, Ryanair has also announced, that they are now going to eliminate all their airport check-in desks by the end of this year. What are you going to do, crawl up to the plane? Unbelievable. And by the way, if you crawling up to the plane and have to go to the bathroom, whip out the pound because you’ll be doing it on the plane!

Now, knowing the airlines, they like to follow the loser, who’s going to follow suit on this one? I hope nobody.

By Peter Greenberg for Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio.

Read more from Peter’s Travel Detective blog.

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