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15-year-old stranded 10 hours at Connecticut airport

A teen who was traveling as an unaccompanied minor was told by airline officials that he could not board a flight home and was stranded at a Connecticut airport for 10 hours. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to CTV News in Vancouver, 15-year-old Victor Shmulevich was flying home after completing a summer program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Shmulevich, who is from Richmond in British Columbia, attempted to board a plane at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. But United Airlines gate agents told Shmulevich he couldn’t get on the flight.

“I gave the agent my passport, and I saw him look at me confused. ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m 15.’ ‘We don't allow 15-year-olds on connecting flights,’” Shmulevich said, according to NBC Connecticut

“I replied, ‘This ticket is booked in my name’ ... The agent was like, ‘You can’t board, I’m sorry,’” Shmulevich told CTV News. “I’m just there trying to not freak out because I have nowhere to go back to. I have no relatives in Connecticut.”

Gate agents told Shmulevich he was not allowed to board the plane due to a United Airlines policy that states that minors cannot fly alone on routes with connecting flights.

“They say it’s a safety issue to let a minor on a connecting flight. But is it fine to leave minor miles away from home without any solution?” Victor’s mother told CTV News. 

“It’s ironic that since you’re a juvenile, you can’t fly, but you have to solve the problem yourself,” Dmitry Shmulevich, Victor’s father, said.

>> Related: Unaccompanied teen passenger removed from overbooked flight

United Airline gate agents advised Victor to purchase a ticket with AirCanada, which he did. He arrived home via an AirCanada flight nearly 20 hours after the conflict began.  

“For me, what’s most concerning is that (United) didn’t actually try to assist us,” Victor told CTV News. “They said, ‘Sorry, you’ve got to deal with this by yourself. We can’t do anything.’”

A United Airlines spokesperson issued a statement saying the airline is “looking into the booking process further to determine how this passenger was able to purchase a ticket for a flight that was not part of (its) unaccompanied minor program.”

Read more at CTV News and NBC Connecticut.

Man stands up girlfriend, leaves country on brocation

A Telford, England, man nearly landed in hot water after he ditched his girlfriend and left the country to vacation with his buddies. 

>> Read more trending news

Brent Catterson made plans to meet his girlfriend Kayleigh Thompson for breakfast on June 15. But, instead of grabbing a bite to eat, Catterson headed to the airport and boarded a flight to Spain.

Instead of calling Thompson to cancel, he took a picture with a handmade sign and posted it on her Facebook page. The sign read, “Babe, gone to Spain with the lads. See you in 3 day. Please don’t be mad…”

The bold move came after Catterson’s friend called him up and told him there was an extra spot on their trip abroad.

Catterson told Unilad, “I said ‘yes’ without asking Kayleigh, and I decided it would be a laugh not to tell her and to make a sign and post it to her Facebook wall.”

He said after he posted the picture, he turned his phone off and boarded the plane.

Catterson said he wasn’t nervous about how Kayleigh would react, and although they didn’t speak the entire trip, he insisted they “were fine on (his) return.”

The couple has been together for eight years, and they have two children together.

Outer Banks homeowners, not tourists, allowed back on islands after mandatory evacuation

People living on two islands along North Carolina's Outer Banks are able to turn their lights back on.

>> Watch the news report here

But for visitors, a strict evacuation order is still in effect.

Engineers have been working nonstop to restore power for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands since Thursday when a construction company accidentally cut an electrical line.

As of Saturday morning, one generator had been restored, but there were still about 9,000 homes without power.

The Department of Transportation reports that more than 3,700 people have been evacuated, including vacationers, who, unlike homeowners, aren't allowed back.

Emergency management officials issued a mandatory evacuation order Friday for Hatteras Island visitors because of a widespread power outage that has already prompted thousands of tourists to leave Hatteras and neighboring Ocracroke Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The Dare County Department of Emergency Management said in a statement Friday that the evacuation order is mandatory for all visiting Hatteras Island effective at 6 a.m. Saturday. It includes the island villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras.

>> Read more trending news

Officials say they took that step as a safety precaution and because of growing uncertainty as to when repairs to a major transmission line would be complete. The statement says properly credentialed residents and non-resident property owners, along with essential personal and some others, would be allowed to remain. The evacuation order doesn't include any areas north of Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks.

The county's emergency management department says it's continuing to work with utility officials to restore power to levels that would allow visitors to eventually return.

Gov. Roy Cooper issued a state of emergency for Ocracoke and Hatteras islands Thursday night.

The outage came during peak tourist season, which runs from mid-June through Labor Day.

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

WATCH: Pint-sized Southwest passenger wins over travelers with fist bumps

While the skies have been anything but friendly recently for some travelers, one young passenger won over his flight this month with a simple request.

>> Read more trending news

In a video originally posted on Facebook by Suzann Novak on July 22, a boy can be seen walking down the aisle of a Southwest Airlines plane, saying “hi” and asking for fist bumps from fellow passengers. Most travelers complied, amused by the request.

Southwest Airlines posted the cute video on its Facebook page Saturday morning, along with the caption, "Fist bumpin' for the weekend."

Thanks to Southwest, you can view the solar eclipse from 30,000 feet up

Next month’s total solar eclipse is getting galactic-sized attention. After all, the last time one of these solar phenomenons was visible from North America was 1979, and this time, much of the country will get to see the moon covering the sun. 

>> Read more trending news

For some large swaths of some states, like Texas, the Aug. 21 eclipse will only be partially visible, but Southwest Airlines has a solution: a set of five flights that the airline has figured out will give their lucky passengers a sterling view 30,000 feet in the air.

>> Related: This is what a solar eclipse looks like from space

The five flights serve as the best opportunity to see the eclipse from the air, according to the Tennessean. Plus, passengers on those flights will get special eclipse-viewing glasses (because you should never glimpse an eclipse with the naked eye), as well as “cosmic cocktails.” 

If you’d like to snag a seat on board one of the eclipse-friendly airlines, these are the ones you’ll want to seek out: flight 1375 from Seattle to St. Louis; flight 1368 from Portland to St. Louis; flight 1577 from Denver to St. Louis; flight 301 from Denver to Nashville; and flight 1969 from Denver to Atlanta. Don’t forget to check in 24 hours before the plane takes off to get a prime window seat.

Large electronics will have to be screened under new TSA carry-on policy

Passengers traveling through America’s airports will have to separate large electronics from their carry-on baggage under new screening procedures announced Wednesday by the Transportation Security Administration.

>> Read more trending 

Travelers will be required to remove electronics that are larger than a cellphone from carry-on baggage so the electronics can undergo X-ray screening in an effort aimed at upgrading the nation’s aviation security, officials said. The change does not apply to passengers who are part of the TSA Precheck program.

“It is critical for (the) TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe,” acting TSA administrator Huban Gowadia said in a news release. “By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”

The security change was announced after it was tested in 10 airports, including Boston’s Logan International Airport, Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Puerto Rico's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The measure will be rolled out to the rest of the nation’s airfields in the coming months.

Officials said the strengthened screening policy might lead to additional baggage checks for passengers, but the TSA said it has found ways to speed the process up through “more targeted measures.”

The change does not affect what can be brought through a checkpoint.

Wednesday’s announcement came weeks after Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said flights coming into the United States would be required to conduct enhanced screening of electronic devices and passengers.

Officials announced in March that large personal electronic devices had been restricted at 10 airports in Africa and the Middle East due to security concerns. The restrictions have since been lifted.

TSA ends testing, will not screen passengers’ books separately

TSA officials will not screen and search books separate from luggage during security checks before passengers board planes at airports across the country.

The agency announced the decision to end testing the practice at select airports at the end of June. Testing was being performed at two U.S. airports.

>> Read more trending news

Many people criticized the book screenings, saying TSA agents could potentially choose passengers to search based on the titles and topics of their reading materials.

“Academics are unsurprisingly big readers, and since we don’t simply read for pleasure, we often read materials with which we disagree or which may be seen by others as offensive,” Henry Reichman, chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, said last month. “For instance, a scholar studying terrorism and its roots may well be reading -- and potentially carrying on a plane -- books that others might see as endorsing terrorism.”

Other critics said publicly disclosing reading material could feel like an invasion of privacy to some travelers. 

“A person who is reading a book entitled ‘Overcoming Sexual Abuse’ or ‘Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction’ is not likely to want to plop that volume down on the conveyor belt for all to see,” said notes privacy expert Jay Stanley in an analysis of the TSA’s previous plan.

But the TSA has asserted the the book search, which has been terminated at test airports will not expand across the country as previously planned.

Passengers do not need to remove books from carry-on bags before sending luggage through X-ray machines.

“We’re always testing procedures to help stay ahead of our adversaries. We were testing the removal of books at two airport locations and the testing ran its course,” the TSA said in a news release. “We’re no longer testing and have no intentions of instituting those procedures.”

In the release, the TSA said it implemented the book screening test because “adversaries seem to know every trick in the book when it comes to concealing dangerous items, and books have been used in the past to conceal prohibited items.”

“We weren’t judging your books by their covers, just making sure nothing dangerous was inside,” TSA said

Air France to launch new airline specifically for millennials

Air France will launch a new airline specifically for passengers aged 18 to 35.

On Thursday, the airline announced its new airline, Joon, which will begin operating routes this fall. 

>> Read more trending news

According to a news release, Joon’s targeted clientele is young working professionals whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology.

“Designed for our millennial customers, (Joon) will offer more than just a flight and a fare -- it will offer a global travel experience,” Dominique Wood, executive vice president of brand and communications at Air France, said in a statement.

Joon’s flight attendants will wear casual, chic uniforms.

Joon will begin operating flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle this fall, with plans to expand to longer routes by next summer.

The airline will not be a low cost airline. 

>> Related: Low-cost airline considers replacing seats with standing space

Wood said the airline plans to release more details about Joon’s destinations and fares in September.

“This generation has inspired us a lot,” said Caroline Fontaine, vice president of brand at Air France. “They are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others. Joon is a brand that carries these values.”

Woman live tweets ‘nightmare’ encounter with feet on flight

There are some things you should and shouldn’t do on a plane; one of those is rub your feet on the armrests of the person in front of you.

>> Read more trending news

Jessie Char, 30, shared on social media that she had a “nightmare” flight due to a pair of unwelcome feet.

Char live tweeted her experience, which was horrible for her but entertainment for others.

>> Tour de France cyclist shares gruesome photo of veiny legs

It all started with an empty row on her JetBlue flight from Long Beach to San Francisco where she took her seat, “Today” reported. 

Frontier Airlines to add 21 cities, 85 routes

Low-cost airline Frontier Airlines will add 21 destinations and 85 routes to its lineup, the company announced Tuesday. 

>> Read more trending news 

The airline plans to grow to a total of 82 cities total with more than 1,000 routes by next summer, according to a news release. That’s more than double the current number of total routes offered by the airline.

>> Related: Pilot 'congratulates' passengers for drinking all alcohol on plane

The airline also plans to add more planes to its fleet, growing from 63 to 76 jets by the end of 2018, according to USA Today

“Customers will benefit not only from the broad new selection of nonstop routes, but our growing network will provide more than 1,000 new connecting route options,” Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said in a statement. “By taking advantage of our natural share of connecting passengers, we can offer our low fares to even more of America.”

>> Related: American Airlines to decrease legroom for passengers

To celebrate the announcement, the airline is offering limited-time one-way fares as low as $39.

Among the 21 cities that the airline will service, 18 are destinations the carrier previously serviced. 

>> Related: Low-cost airline considers replacing seats with standing space

Buffalo, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; and Pensacola, Florida, are the new cities added to the airline’s route map. The 18 cities it will restore service to include the following: 

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Fargo, North Dakota 
  • Fresno, California
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Ontario, California
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Reno, Nevada
  • San Jose, California
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma

At least 20 new destinations are being added to Frontier’s Denver flight schedule, “suggesting that it's looking to funnel more connecting passengers through the airport,” USA Today reported. Frontier Airlines’ largest hub is in Denver.

>> Related: Baby born on flight gets free plane tickets for life

It’s unclear when exactly the airline will begin offering many of the new routes between cities. Frontier said it planned to add all newly announced routes by Spring 2018 but did not provide specific dates. 

Read more at Frontier

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