Friday, April 14, 2017

A family intending to fly from New York to Florida kept getting bumped from one flight to the next and ended up pocketing $11,000

Over the past week, Delta Air Lines has encountered epic travel delays after unprecedented storms forced the cancellation of thousands of flights. Last weekend, a family profited from Delta’s travel issues big time and was paid $11,000. They were flying from New York City to Florida during some bad weather. After hours of delays, Delta Airlines started offering money for volunteers to give up their tickets on our overbooked flight, which had 60 standby passengers hoping to get a seat. When the compensation for volunteers got to $900 a ticket in gift cards (American Express, Target, Macy’s and so on), the husband approached the gate agent and offered to give up the family’s seats for $1,500 apiece. She countered: $1,350 each. So they volunteered to give up the seats and headed home with a big chunk of change and confirmed seats for a Saturday flight. When the family checked in online on Saturday, they saw that the flight was delayed by more than an hour and that Delta was already asking for volunteers to give up their seats. Indeed, they postponed their trip again, and took the offer of $1,300 per person. The airline also threw in lunch ($15 each) and round-trip taxi fare (worth about $50). Do the math — that’s almost $4,000 for a family of three. The airline assured them they would get confirmed seats on Sunday. After our flight departed, the airline was still struggling to figure out rebooking three confirmed seats the next day, but it turned out that Delta flights to Florida were fully over-booked until Tuesday. At this point, the family was drained decided the plans of a long-weekend trip was looking far less appealing. Finally suggesting to the gate agent they were open to volunteering their seats again by cancelling the trip altogether, the offer was met with smiles and another $1,000 per person in advance compensation. Delta sweetened the deal by refunding the cost of the three plane tickets. They accepted Delta’s offer and went home. They were sad to miss the trip, but not so sad about the lucrative results. (Forbes)

 

Pope opens free laundromat for Rome’s poor

Pope Francis has opened a free laundromat for the poor in Rome. It has six washing machines, six dryers and a number of irons have been donated by the Whirlpool Corporation, while Proctor and Gamble are furnishing laundry detergent and softener. In the next few months, the Vatican plans to add showers, a barbershop and medical services at the location. The laundromat is in the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, not far from the Vatican, in an old hospital complex now run by the Community of St. Egidio. This is the second facility the Pope has opened in Rome for assisting the poor. Two years ago, he opened a shower and barber service next to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and a dormitory nearby. The Vatican said the Pope’s laundromat is a service to “restore dignity to many people who are our brothers and sisters.” CNN

 

Funeral-goers watch in horror as ceremonial dove is released and flies directly into an oncoming truck 

A Florida company that specializes in releasing doves at funerals will have to find a couple of replacements. A group of mourners gathered around the dove and its trainers as they held the birds, which are commonly used at ceremonies for their religious connotations. When the three white doves representing the Holy Trinity were released, one sped off towards the roadway to its death, much to the horror of onlooking funeral goers. The audience gasped while the dove handlers looked awkwardly towards the cameraman. The ceremonial release of doves has drummed up some controversy over the possibly dangerous ramifications for the birds. Being thrown or released is often confusing for them, and can lead to them jetting off in random directions, similar to what occurred in this case. However, many still view it as a touching tribute for deceased loved ones. (Daily Mail)

 

This Burger King Ad Is Trying To Control Your Google Home Device

Burger King has released an ad for its Whopper sandwich that’s designed to trigger viewers’ Google Home devices. The video starts out with a Burger King employee holding up the sandwich. “You’re watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich. But I’ve got an idea,” the man says before leaning forward. “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?” Anyone with a Google Home device within earshot might then hear their Google Assistant activate at the sound of the wake words, “OK Google.” It would then read off the first sentence on the Whopper sandwich’s Wikipedia page. Critics claim there are some privacy concerns with this type of advertising, but the ad appears to be the first intentional use of a voice-activated digital assistant in an ad. That’s not to say that AI devices haven’t been accidentally activated by commercials and other TV segments before. (Huffington Post)

 

Taiwan first Asian country to ban eating cat and dog

Taiwan has made history becoming the first Asian country to ban the sale and consumption of cat and dog meat. The country’s legislature passed a legal amendment to the Animal Protection Act state that offenders could be punished with a steep monetary fine. The amendment’s sponsor said that while some localities already had measures banning dog and cat meat consumption, national legislation was needed. Several other amendments were also passed, in a step towards making the country more animal friendly. Stiffer punishments will be enforced for those who intentionally harm animals which include a maximum of two years’ imprisonment and fines. Pet owners will now be penalized if they are seen with their leashed dogs running alongside their scooters. The amendments come in response to several high-profile incidents of animal cruelty. (Yahoo)

 

8-year-old drives younger sister to McDonald’s after craving a burger

An 8-year-old Ohio boy wanted a cheeseburger so badly, he got behind the wheel of his dad’s van and took matters into his own hands, police said. The boy said it was simple: He just watched some YouTube videos on how to drive a car, according to investigators. Before long, they said he chauffeured his sister effortlessly to the McDonald’s half a mile from his East Palestine home while his parents were sleeping. Witnesses said the 8-year-old obeyed all traffic laws like making sure to stop properly at red lights, waiting for traffic to pass before taking a left turn, and staying within the speed limits. When the two siblings pulled up to the drive-through window with piggy bank money in tow, the McDonald’s workers were convinced this was all a prank. One of the workers told authorities that they thought the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren’t. When confronted by the police, the boy realized he had done something wrong and told Koehler through tears that he just really wanted a cheeseburgers. The children did get to eat at McDonald’s while they waited for their grandparents to pick them up. No charges are being filed. (Fox News)

 

Transgenders in Wisconsin file lawsuit to force taxpayers to pay for gender reassignment surgeries

Two transgender employees at the University of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit Friday against the UW system, its board of regents, and its insurers over refusal to pay for gender reassignment surgeries. With the help of the ACLU, the plaintiffs have alleged that they are being discriminated against because their taxpayer-subsidized health insurance plan denied coverage for gender reassignment surgeries. The plaintiffs, Shannon Andrews, a research assistant at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and Alina Boyden, a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were both born as males but identify as females. Andrews paid for his gender reassignment surgery out-of-pocket and was denied reimbursement by the insurer. Boyden has not undergone gender reassignment surgery yet because he knows the claim will be rejected by the insurance company. “As a result of (state policies), plaintiffs’ health insurance plans single out transgender employees for unequal treatment by categorically depriving them of all medical care for gender dysphoria, a serious medical condition codified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and International Classification of Diseases,” the lawsuit read. The state has excluded gender reassignment surgery from their policy for many years. Last year, the state considered making the change to cover gender transition surgery, but ultimately decided to keep the exclusion in place. Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s spokesman, Tom Evenson, said forcing the state of Wisconsin to pay for gender reassignment surgeries would be unreasonable. (Journal Sentinel)

 

Emergency crews called to airport after man reportedly stung by scorpion on flight to Calgary

United Airlines just can’t seem to catch a break lately. From a viral controversy about leggings, to  videos of passengers being dragged off the plane, to contradictory letters from the CEO to his staff, to allegations of public corruption, this latest story is not a public relations nightmare as much as it is a story straight out of a nightmare. Richard and Linda Bell were returning from a nice vacation in Mexico, and were flying home from Houston to Calgary on United Airlines flight 1418. Richard was minding his own business, when a small, eight legged creature fell from the overhead bin and landed in his hair. “I look down and I thought, ‘aw, it kind of looks like a little lobster,’” says Linda. The “lobster” was a honey colored, one-and-a-half inch long scorpion. Richard reportedly dropped it onto his plate in front of him, and picked it back up. That’s when the creature stung him, reminding him of a “wasp sting.” The scorpion didn’t get away with attack, as it was reportedly stomped on by another passenger, and its remains were thrown in the toilet. Richard, he was disappointed the scorpion was flushed away, because he wanted to show it off. The moment they landed in Calgary, emergency personnel boarded the flight and gave Richard a thorough examination, but refused treatment, and medical personnel could find no acute conditions as a result of of the sting. (Global News)

 

Finally Friday is upon us again!! It comes with a side order of:

*American Fancy Rat & Mouse Day
*Children with Alopecia Day
*Dictionary Day (Always part of Library Week)
*International Moment of Laughter Day
*National Dolphin Day
*National Ex-Spouse Day
*National Pecan Day
*Pan American Day
*Pathologists’ Assistant Day
*World Marbles Day (Always on Good Friday)

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