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Icarus Award: Fighting for Some Respect

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It’s grope or be groped this week with a celebrity, a former TSA agent and nation fighting back against the invasion of privacy. See who’s successful as Lily J. Kosner rounds up this week’s travel failures in our Icarus Award series.

Groping the Gropers

Former TSA Agent Carol Price didn’t appreciate the pat down she received at Southwest Florida International Airport so she decided to do some patting down of her own and as a result she now faces misdemeanor battery charges. According to Price’s account, she was touched with open hands—a violation of the agency’s back hand touch policy. Price felt her treatment was personal so she complaint to a supervisor by demonstrating her pat down on the supervisor, resulting in the battery charges. Price has plead not guilty and is due to face a jury in July. The TSA released a statement noting that violence against officers in not accepted.

Burning Fuel, Losing Lunch

This past Sunday, JetBlue flight 194 from Las Vegas to New York turned into a 3-hour nauseating mess after the plane had hydraulic system problems. Though the problem was quickly identified, it took 3 hours of sharp turns and lurching maneuvers to burn off fuel for a safe landing. During that time, many of the 155 passengers got sick. The plane landed safely, but the FAA has begun an investigation.

Image Credit: Flickr user, minds-eye

Aiming at Anderson

If you ever see Anderson Cooper on the road, don’t take his picture. Last night on Kathy Griffin’s talk show, the celeb shared his account of a recent airplane violation. On the flight, a passenger was not so slickly trying to use his iPhone to catch a picture of Cooper. According to his account, Cooper came to his own defense, retaliating with, “Bitch, what the f- are you doing?”

Border Force Failings

The spotlight my be on the UK this year but Chief Inspector of Immigration John Vine has come across some troubling statistics with the Border Force. Looking at incident in Gatwick Airport, Vine noticed that women were far more likely to be strip searched. In fact, twice the number of searches were performed on women than on men. Per his analysis, 54 percent of the women searched were strip searched where less than 20 percent of men were searched. Adding insult to injury, according to Vine’s report, many of these searches were done on insufficient grounds.

Lost in Translation

Korean Air is now issuing a public apology after a mistake in translation resulted in internet outrage. The airline announced new non-stop flights from Korea to Kenya with marketing copy that described Kenyans as full of “primitive energy.”  In response, the airline made a public statement saying the use of “primitive” was due to a translation error and that it will be posting a public apology.

Drunken Granny on the Offense” won our last Icarus Award. Check out past victors in our Icarus archives and remember to cast your vote in this week’s poll.

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By Lily J. Kosner for

Related links: Gawker, MSNBC, USA Today, Huffington Post, Telegraph