HIGHTOWER: Air Bangor

Travel again with Hightower Radio into the Far, Far, Far-Out Frontiers of Free Enterprise.Today, Spaceship Hightower takes you into the sometimes turbulent universe of airline travel, where beligerant passengers can quickly turn the skies unfriendly. What to do with a passenger caught up in Air Rage? A few examples: Bryan Neal, flying northeast from Orlando to England, had way too many drinks and began smashing things, including ramming a window and shouting that all the passengers were going to "get sucked out and die" -- the crew strapped him down, diverted to Bangor, Maine, and dropped him off; Wallvin Blake, a drug smuggler flying to Amsterdam, had a cocaine filled balloon rupture in his tummy causing him to go berserk, pounding a bathroom door to pieces -- the crew strapped him down, diverted to Bangor, Maine, and dropped him off; and Christopher Bayes got sloppy drunk before getting aboard his Atlanta to England flight, so was denied an eighth libation, which prompted him to throw a tray of food, get in a fight, cut his lip and bleed all over First Class -- the crew strapped him down, diverted to Bangor, Maine, and dropped him off.These stories from reporter Dan Fesperman of the Baltimore Sun don't all end up in Bangor, Maine, by accident. Indeed, Bangor International has become what Fesperman calls the "Air Rage Capital of America" by design, marketing itself as an efficient, convenient, and affordable diversion point for airline trouble on trans-Atlantic flights. Emergency fueling needs because of unexpected headwinds? A seriously ill passenger? Some lunatic gone looney on board? Bangor is your diversion airport of choice. Unlike Boston or New York, Bangor is an uncrowded, easy in-and-out airport offering a special lounge for inconvenienced passengers and a special emergency staff that can be ready to serve within 20 minutes -- the ER of airline emergencies.This is Jim Hightower saying ... Here's to the good folks of Bangor -- a modern -day testiment to Yankee ingenuity!

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