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Alleged lizard meal is a juicy bit of news

(Airlines) Permanent link

There’s something about a lizard ...

We found several food and information sites on the Internet confirming that there are several varieties of edible lizards in the world.

However, we were unable to determine whether any of them were on the menu of American Airlines’ flights originating at New York’s JFK in 2003.

But a passenger on one of those flights, Monserrate Luna, claims there was a piece of lizard in her in-flight meal, and she’s been trying to get a day in court ever since. Luna sued American and its caterer Sky Chefs in New York in 2004, and the case has been bouncing around in the federal court system for nearly seven years.

A quick scan of the docket sheet indicates that there have been several settlement conferences, at least one summary judgment order, a quick trip to the court of appeals, a dismissal, numerous filing errors by one of the attorneys, a order for a bench trial and a subsequent request for a jury trial, which is apparently set to begin in November — barring any further twists and turns.

Last December, a magistrate framed the issue thus: "a claim for temporary emotional distress arising from her alleged encounter with a foreign object in her airline meal."

For reasons that are not entirely clear, the case finally attracted the attention of the New York Post last week, which served up a few paragraphs about the lizard meal that were repeated by numerous news outlets, but we have a feeling the media would never have picked up the story had the Post used the phrase "encounter with a foreign object."

There’s something about a lizard ... 

— Bill Poling

Please fasten seatbelts ... except those sitting in the aisle

(Airlines) Permanent link

A tale of passenger seating  — or lack of it — has sparked an outrage.

Russian carrier Tatarstan Airlines’ flight from Antalya, Turkey, to Ekaterinburg, Russia, was fully booked with a tour group.

The carrier ran into a problem when it was forced to swap out a 148-seat 737 for a plane with just 142 seats at the last minute.

Do the math. That left six passengers without a seat on the sold out flight .

So they were offered a choice: Wait seven hours for another flight or stand for the five-hour flight to Russia.

They opted to stand, except when they had to sit in the aisle when there was turbulence.

The incident came to light after the aggrieved passengers demanded $4,700 in compensation. The tour company offered about $200 each, according to ABC News.

Russian aviation regulators reportedly are looking into the incident.

Irish carrier Ryanair floated the concept of standing-room-only seating earlier this year, but European regulators quickly dismissed the idea as a safety risk.

Maybe Tatarstan Airlines didn’t get the memo.

— Gay Nagle Myers

Flight attendants’ Lady Gaga dance a YouTube hit

(Airlines) Permanent link

A video of Cebu Pacific Air flight attendants delivering their safety demonstration while dancing has become a YouTube hit.

The video was uploaded on Sept. 30, and since then more than 5.5 million viewers have watched the flight attendants, seatbelts in hand, dance to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” and Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.”

Maybe Cebu Pacific will instruct Airbus to install strobe lights for its next jet order.

Manila-based Cebu Pacific flies domestic routes in the Philippines and international routes to Asian cities.

-- Jerry Limone

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