March 2012 Volume 55 / Number 3
Sorry to say that at this late date, we’re still occasionally attempting to stay aloft on low-octane air—and just about the time you think you’ve heard it all, there’s a different twist. This winter there was a news story about westbound United/Continental Airlines Boeing 757s stopping off in Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, and Canada to take on fuel. As a passenger on what was billed as a nonstop flight, would you be irritated, amused, or reassured?
The London Daily Mail reported, “Carriers like Continental Airlines have been making unscheduled pit stops as they fly west—in fact, every 43 out of 1,100 flights were diverted in December in Boeing 757 aircraft, reports say. A year ago, that number was only 12”.