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Icarus Award: Falling from the Sky

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Duck and cover this week. Trouble isn’t just up in the sky, it’s falling from it. No one applauded when Icarus fell from the sky, but this week we’re putting the spotlight on falling grannies and loose aircraft parts.  Plus there’s sexist controversy and pro-choice politics at play. From falling objects to failing airline credibility, Lily J. Kosner counts down the top five travel failures of the week.

Jet Door Sand Trap

If you were planning nine holes of golf in the Hallande Beach area of Florida, you might find a surprise off the course. On Wednesday, the jet door fell of a Candair CL60 jet after take off from the Opa-locka Airport. Following the incident, the plane made an unscheduled landing at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. No one was injured, but the FAA is now investigating.

Chauvinist Grounded

No only can women fly planes, but they can kick off people off them. Earlier this week, a female pilot on Brazil’s Trip Airlines kicked off a passenger who was making loud sexist comments about female pilots. The passenger was then met by police and removed from the Belo Horizonte airport; it is unknown if he faces criminal charges. The airline released a statement stressing that it has no tolerance for insulting comments about any of its 1,400 female employees.

Granny Diving

An 80-year-old’s skydiving adventures have become a viral video phenomenon after her tandem harness joining to her instructor came loose. Laverne’s eagerness for the adventure was soon replaced by fear as the video documents her unwillingness to jump. By clinging to the plane door, she was put in a bad position that caused her to slip from her harness.  Her instructor then held on her as she dangled in the sky. All’s well that ends well; Laverne landed safely and has gained some YouTube notoriety.

Frequent-Flier Fail

Gaining priority status on an airline is supposed to offer members perks and incentive, but a recent computer glitch in the Delta system appeared to give frequent fliers a 19-day disadvantage. The issue came to light in Minneapolis when CBS affiliate WCCO interviewed two businessmen who found a $300 discrepancy when booking the same flight at the same time. In a statement on their website, Delta made it clear that customers were not sold the same flight itinerary at different prices. Instead, initial screens originally presented different fares but those fares were corrected when further booking a flight. There is rumblings of a class action law suit, but it seems that the company’s terms and conditions protect them.

Not So Pro-Choice

T-shirts might not be the best place to voice your political opinion, especially when the message is laced with profanity and you’re trying to board an American Airlines flight. Earlier this week, a woman spoke out to RH Reality Check about her experience flying while wearing a T-shirt with the slogan: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d f–k a senator.” Going by the identity “O”, the woman said that she was asked by the captain to change her shirt before boarding her connecting flight. With all her clothing checked, changing shirts without spending money wasn’t an option, so “O” missed her connecting flight. Tim Smith spoke to MSNBC to clarify that the woman was asked to change due to her shirt’s “f-word” and not the pro-choice message.

#alquedawon won last week’s Icarus Award, see all the winners and loser in our Icarus Award archives. And remember to vote in this week’s Icarus Awards:

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By Lily J. Kosner for

Related Links: Time, USA Today, Huffington Post, MSNBC, TNT