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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 6, 2011 / 4 Sivan, 5771

Is It Any Wonder When Airline Passengers Go Berserk?

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On a recent international flight to Africa, a passenger pushed his seat back.

The passenger behind took offense.

One thing led to another. A disagreement. A slap to the head. Intervention by others. The ruckus led the pilot to turn the plane around, dump up to 16,000 gallons of fuel into the ocean and return to where the flight began, the Washington, D.C., area.

This led to the dispatching of two F-16 fighter jets, to escort the airplane in.

Lord knows how much this all cost. Sixteen thousand gallons? I wince at the fuel bill for filling up my car. Plus two fighter jets? Not to mention the inconvenience of keeping all the passengers overnight until another flight could go the next morning?

The question is not what sparked this bad behavior. We know that -- a seat recline button. But what turned it into a fire? A belligerent, self-centered passenger? Or the environment in which that passenger was flying?

Don't be too quick to answer.

SIMPLY INHUMAN TREATMENT

Sure, this is about personal responsibility. There is no as excuse for a public fight or for slapping someone's head, no matter how abruptly the rest of him lands in your lap.

But I'm betting people who have flown internationally lately -- especially in coach class -- read this story and had at least a sliver of sympathy for the guy in the rear seat.

Let's face it. The airlines have slowly, systematically, created a tinderbox environment for their customers, one that gets more and more heated as time goes on.

From the moment you arrive at an airport, you are viewed as a threat, a pain and a money machine.

Your bags cost you. Every one. Thirty dollars. Seventy dollars. You want a better seat? More money. You want overhead space? More money. You want to board earlier? Eat something? Have Wi-Fi service? Money, money, money.

Meanwhile, the water you were drinking? Got to go. The shampoo bottle that exceeds 3.5 ounces? We'll take that. Security checkpoints feature half-interested workers hollering, "Remove your computers! Take off your shoes! Take everything -- everything -- out of your pockets!"

This is not a warm and fuzzy greeting. Before you reach the concourse you've been stripped, repacked and monetarily fleeced.

Now comes the actual flight. You board like cattle, everyone racing to grab what little space is in the overhead compartments. If you need help, you're lucky if you get it, let alone a smile. Many of the flight attendants look at you as if you just interrupted church.

THEN THE UNFRIENDLY SKIES

Remember, you are actually paying for this privilege. And while airline fares have indeed come down over the years (IF you shop around, IF you have 14 days, IF you stay over Saturday, etc.), there are plenty of seats that cost four figures. Even in coach. That's a lot of money to have to pay for crackers.

And then there are the seats. Airlines design planes to squeeze every last row of revenue, not comfort. Every inch is dollars to them. As a result, elevators feel more spacious than airplanes. It is simply inhuman the way passengers are squeezed both front to back and side to side for as much as 10 or 11 hours. Heaven forbid you need to get up to use the bathroom. Try doing that without knocking over a beverage, banging a passenger's knees or bumping your rump across his paperback.

Did we mention it's hot? You can't use this, that or the other device -- unless of course the airlines can charge you. And now -- NOW -- the guy in front decides to push back and claim "his space" in your chest cavity.

Does it justify an argument? No. But we don't know who was more vociferous, the space invader or the space invaded? And we don't know what was said.

What we do know is if you put people in a hotbox, they're going to sweat, and if you lock them in a ring, they're gonna swing.

And these days, airplanes feel like both.


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