Airports provide the perfect environment for storytelling
Tiny toy gun confiscated at St. Louis airport
Music group holds impromptu concert for stranded passengers
Airline offers passengers a chance at "Christmas miracle"
Anywhere large numbers of humans gather, strange and wonderful stories are likely to emerge. Over the past week, at least three noteworthy tales surfaced at separate airports.
The first involves the Transportation Security Administration and an unlucky puppet.
The TSA confiscated a toy pistol from Rooster Monkburn in St. Louis on December 3. It would have gone unnoticed except for the fact that Monkburn is a monkey sock puppet and the gun is 2 inches long. Passenger Phyllis May, who modeled this particular puppet after the “Rooster Cogburn” character in the John Wayne movie “True Grit,” was carrying the puppet through TSA security, and she told CNN affiliate KING 5 about the incident.
May said the TSA agent told her, “If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not.”
May’s response was, “Really?”
It’s true that realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.
“TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation’s transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public,” TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein wrote in an e-mail. “Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.”
It’s not the first time a gun replica has delayed a passenger. In 2011, Virginia Gibbs’ gun-themed purse was flagged as a security risk by TSA officials at the Norfolk, Virginia, airport.
The second story took place at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where the all-vocal rock group Face held an impromptu holiday concert for stranded passengers on December 8.
The group posted about their adventure on Facebook. Weather delays hit the airport especially hard, with thousands of flights delayed and/or canceled over the weekend. Members of Face spent six hours there before finally boarding a flight to their hometown of Denver.
And there’s the tale of Canadian airline WestJet treating 250 passengers to an early Christmas.
The company created a virtual Santa where passengers could scan boarding passes and tell “Santa” what they wanted for Christmas. Children and adults alike were encouraged to reveal their wishes. Although one passenger humbly asked for socks and underwear, other gifts included snowboards, TVs and Android tablets. When the passengers arrived at their destination, their gifts were on the baggage carousel. It’s going to be tough for other airlines to compete with this upgrade.
Since it was posted Sunday, the video has received more than a million views on YouTube and 14,000 mentions on Twitter and become a trending topic on Facebook.
Have you had a unique experience at an airport recently? Please tell us about it in the comments!