Southwest Airlines pilot holds plane for murder victim’s family

It’s easy to be an airline industry critic in an era of “no waivers, no favors” and fees on top of fees. It’s easy to paint airlines as heartless corporations that treat us like self-loading cargo.

But every now and then, you hear a story that turns you into an adoring fan. Like Nancy’s story.

Before I continue, I should mention a few things: Nancy is a faithful reader of this site, and I agreed to use only her first name because of the brutal nature of the crime and the age of the victim. Second, I’m not an emotional, John Boehner-type, but I can’t read her story without getting a little teary.

So you’ve been warned: Grab a tissue.
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Pilot who posted security flaw video online is punished by the TSA

An airline pilot who posted a series of videos online that exposed shortcomings in airport security has been punished by the Transportation Security Administration, which included a visit to his home by federal agents and sheriff’s deputies.

Sound familiar? It does to me.

The videos, which have since been deleted, show that thousands of airport employees are allowed to skip security every day at San Francisco International Airport. Here’s the full report from the San Francisco ABC affiliate and the station that broke the story, News 10 in Sacramento.

The pilot, whose name was not given, had his gun confiscated and a deputy sheriff asked him to surrender his state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon. The pilot’s status as a Federal Flight Deck Officer, a volunteer position, is being reviewed, he was told.
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Minimum-wage pilots? Here’s one way of looking at flight deck salaries

pilot

The average cockpit wage cost per average passenger fare per hour of flight is just $3.73 — almost half the minimum wage — according to analysis by Robert Herbst of the Web site Airlinefinancials.com.

Pilots at Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines fared the best, making $6.09 and $4.14 an hour, respectively, while JetBlue Airways and AirTran Airways ranked the lowest, earning $2.93 an hour and $3.03 an hour, respectively.
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