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Ticks on a plane: insects delay United Airlines flight from Denver to Des Moines

This story popped up yesterday, Sharon sent it to me from work. I read it and thought it was ludicrous.

Associated Press

July 9, 2008
DES MOINES, Iowa - Some wayward ticks delayed a United Airlines flight from Denver to Des Moines.
Flight 1178 was delayed for nearly six hours on Tuesday after a passenger informed a flight attendant that she found a tick in economy class during a flight from Washington, D.C., to Denver.
The airline decided it couldn't fly the plane until it was cleaned of ticks, so passengers had to wait while another plane was flown from Colorado Springs to Denver. The flight was further delayed because of thunderstorms in the Denver area.
United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said between one and three ticks were discovered. Urbanski said the airline hasn't figured out how the ticks got on the plane or what type of ticks were found.
"I don't know if we'll be able to find that out," Urbanski said. "When possible, we do try to look into those type of things, and hopefully try to look for its origin."
The replacement plane shuttled the 107 passengers to Des Moines.
The plane with ticks had begun its day in Chicago. It was cleaned of ticks, checked and put back into service.
No ticks were found on passengers.

OK. What, now? They can't fly because of ticks? Why not? Didn't pay for a seat? I could see if there were hundreds of ticks, dozens maybe. But, between one and three? How many is that? And how many are left when they say they didn't find any, between zero and two?

This must have been a airline company press release, because they would kick you out of a Jr. high journalism class for writing a story this lame and devoid of facts:

Professional Spokesperson:
The Airline hasn't figured out how or what...
Don't know...
When possible... (means we'd do it if under legal duress)
Hopefully try... (means we won't do anything)

Spoken like a true Spokesperson or White House Publicity agent.

"The plane with ticks had begun its day in Chicago. It was cleaned of ticks, checked and put back into service."

How exactly did they check it to be sure there wasn't any ticks left? Brought the drug dogs on board and forced them to roll around in the aisles and sleep in all the seats for six hours?

Oh well, if the ticks laid their thousands of tiny eggs in the cracks of the seat mounts, we won't have to worry about them as they won't mature for about two years or so.

Thank you for flying the itchy skies of United.

1 comment:

buthidae said...

Uh-oh. That sets a scary precedent. Imagine the collective embarrassment if they start checking all planes for all "passengers".

If only they'd bumped the complaining econo passenger to biz class, the whole thing would have gone away.

And the airlines wonder why they're going under.