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Icarus Award: Insanity to Linsanity

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It’s not just Linsanity this week. Passengers, flight attendants, air traffic controllers and even an airline (yes, it’s Spirit Airlines)┬á are all going a little insane this week. Read about the craziness and vote for this week’s worst nominee.

Smashed Stewardess

On Sunday a 51-year-old flight attendant had to be removed from a Pinnacle Airlines flight in Grand Forks, North Dakota after she appeared intoxicated. Turns out her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit for driving in North Dakota. Pinnacle, which flies connecting routes for Delta, has taken the flight attendant off duty. A police report was filed but the matter has been turned over to the airline and the FAA, who are continuing to investigate the incident.

Smoking, Punching & Singing

Teenager Yazeed Mohammed A. Abunayyan seems to have tried all three of the most popular ways to get kicked off a flight. On Tuesday, Abunayyan caused Continental Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon to Houston to return to Portland after take off when he tried to smoke an e-cigarette, threw punches at a flight attendant and sang Osama bin Laden’s praises. The teen has been indited with trying to disturb a flight crew, but this is not his only charge. Just one day before Abunayyan was arrested for drunk driving after a slow-speed chase in Ashland, Oregon. His cousin Fahad Alsubaie spoke with a local paper and explained that Abunayyan’s actions were due to unmedicated schizophrenia and he had been flying home to see his sick mother.

image credit Flickr, user Clarkcj12

Loose Link to Lin

It seems Spirit Airlines loves a cheeky promotion as much as they love a new fee. The airline recent launched ads and emails with its “Linsanely low fares” promotion. One problem, by all current reports it seems that Lin is not a paid spokesperson for Spirit. According to lawyers the ads are in a gray area where they might be perceived as commercial use of his image, which is in violation of his rights to publicity. Currently the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s has five applications to trademark the term “Linsanity,” one of which has been filed by Lin, so it remains to be seen how long the Linsanity or the Spirit promotion will last.

Shut Down and Shut Out

One passenger ignoring a second security check resulted in the evacuation of the British Airways terminal at John F. Kennedy airport this morning. At 5:20 am, a passenger missed a second security check which resulted in workers following protocol and cleaning out the whole terminal and rescreening all passengers. More than 2 hours later, planes were starting to depart but residual delays linger from the one missed cue.

Sleep and Text

Once again, cameras have exposed air traffic controllers asleep at their job. Local new york station, WNYW-TV caught up to 10 air traffic controllers at the Westchester County Airport sleeping, reading and texting on duty. Sleeping, texting and other diversions are a violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules. Though a broken elevator has made it so employees can rest and text in the tower during their breaks and not when directing traffic, the source that shot and released the video alleges that controllers were napping and using distracting devices long before the elevator broke.

Paging James Bond won last week’s Icarus Award. See all the winners and losers in our Icarus Award section.

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By Lily J. Kosner for Peter

Related links: Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, MSNBC