Five Weirdest Travel Stories: Dangers of In-Flight Sleeping, Poopy Pools and a Maddening Small Penis

Last Updated May 28, 2010 3:30 PM EDT

Again, a lot to choose from this month, but here's some of May's more salient examples of weirdness. Enjoy!

5. Qantas Reuses Plastic Utensils, As Much as 30 Times -- Apparently in an effort to cut costs Qantas admitted it reuses its plastic cutlery -- as much as 30 times -- before discarding it. The airline sends it off to be washed and reuses it on other flights. The plastic knives, forks and spoons typically are reused depending on the deterioration level of the utensils, although usually only three times, a Qantas spokesman said. But a supplier told Australia's Sunday Telegraph that Qantas staff told him it was more like 30 before the plastic was thrown away. Qantas said that its plastic cutlery is more "robust" than disposable plastic and can be cleaned repeatedly. So, if you fly on Qantas, stick with finger food.

4. US Airways Pouts at Being Called the "Ugly Girl" -- Continental Airlines (CAL) chief executive Jeff Smisek stirred up trouble recently in a conference call about Continental's merger with United Airlines when he likened US Airways (LCC) to an "ugly girl." While US Airways chief Doug Parker took the opportunity to be fake-offended at the "chauvinistic" comment, he also repeatedly explained to employees and the press why the company wasn't the ugly girl -- thus losing any chance at the Miss Congeniality title.

3. Airport Screener Flips Out After Jeers About His Small Package-- Federal airport screener Rolando Negrin's private body parts were observed in a Transportation Security Administration full-body imaging machine training and when a colleague allegedly made cracks about the size of his genitalia, Negrin later used a expandable police baton to beat him up in the parking lot May 4, according to police. Trouble had been brewing between the pair for a month, police said, and Miami International Airport screener Negrin "lost his mind" when he forced the coworker to his knees and made him apologize. Negrin was released on $7,500 bond and charged with aggravated battery. It was obvious Negrin would have to be penalized.

2. Here's the Poop. And here. And here. And here. -- Warning: After reading this, you may want to take a shower. About 1 in 6 hotel pools are a toxic stew of feces, urine and disease-causing bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the a root cause may be small children with dirty diapers and behinds, hotels should inform guests about hygiene and move the diaper-changing away from poolside. Now how about that shower?

1. Woman Locked Into Plane After She Fell Asleep Sues for $100K -- Ginger McGuire, a Michigan woman, fell asleep on a plane trip from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, and claims she awoke to find herself locked into the aircraft more than three hours after it landed. The plane landed around 12:30 a.m. but McGuire said she woke up around 4 a.m. with no flight crew attempting to wake her. She wasn't aware that the cleaning crew had discovered her sleeping and called authorities. After pacing the airplane for 15 minutes, she was met by a TSA agent and two police officers who questioned her for 10 minutes. She's now suing Trans State Airlines, operators of the United Express flight, for "$25,000 and $75,000, on claims of negligence, infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and breach of contract." Maybe she just should have had a cup of coffee?

Photo: Ti.mo
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