News and notes from around the interweb:
- The French tip even less than Brits. That’s a result I wouldn’t have expected, though one the whole the French have a reputation for being remarkably frugal. Few do more with less in the developed world than the French.
- Four new Star Trek credit cards are being launched in September: Starfleet Academy Alumni, Starfleet Command, United Federation of Planets, and the Captain’s Card. They’re all the same except for card design, and earning is weak. So it’s really just an affinity play, like the Saturday Night Live MasterCard, Sex Pistols MasterCard, and the Karl Marx MasterCard.
- “Singapore Airlines accused of cover-up of in-flight violence” That’s a bold charge but reading through the article the facts don’t seem to support it. The crux of the issue appears to be that a drunken Singaporean got up from his seat midflight, slapped a flight attendant, and and poured champagne on a passenger. Flight attendants subdued the man and no additional violence occurred.
When the San Francisco – Seoul flight landed, the airline took statements. Incheon’s airport police “said that the carrier informed them that the in-flight violence was caused by a mentally disturbed man, but it did not request for a police investigation.”
Nonetheless, “[t]he attacker was briefly questioned by police” but “his behavior didn’t seem serious enough to issue an arrest warrant for.” Oddly the story also claims “[p]olice referred his case to the prosecution with a recommendation for indictment.” So unclear which it is — but hard to call this a cover up, it sounds like it wasn’t escalated to the extent some passengers would have preferred.
- US air travel is as safe as it has ever been.
As U.S. passenger airlines racked up their fifth straight year without a fatal crash, last week the National Transportation Safety Board reported that the overall mishap rate for domestic carriers was one accident for roughly 300,000 departures, barely higher than the record low figure of one accident for every 400,000 or so flights the year before. By another measure, the latest data amounts to one accident per roughly 700,000 flight hours, or about half as frequently as during the late 1990s.
- And yet complaints to the Department of Transportation are on the rise up 20% year-over-year. Still, with fewer than 10,000 complaints overall (and the year-over-year variance perhaps explained by thousands of complaints that United didn’t honor transatlantic fares mispriced in Danish kroner), I’m not sure how much that matters.