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What We're Reading: Plane Passengers Rescue Stranded Sailor

This week, we're reading a heartwarming story about Air Canada passengers who became heroes after saving a stranded sailor. Get the scoop on this and other interesting travel stories in our weekly roundup, below.

Plane Passengers Rescue Stranded Sailor

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Australian sailor Glenn Ey became stranded at sea last week after his yacht was damaged in a storm. Ey was drifting in the Tasman Sea, with no sails and little fuel, when salvation appeared in the sky. According to a report from Today News, "Since the jet was the closest aircraft to the emergency beacon signal, its captain helped Australian authorities to locate the damaged yacht. The jet’s captain, Andrew Robertson, took the Boeing 777 from 38,000 feet to 4,000 feet and told the crew and the 270 passengers to look out the window to try and spot the vessel."

Some sharp-eyed passengers carrying binoculars spotted his vessel from an Air Canada plane, and Ey returned to the mainland 24 hours later.

Fear of Flying Can Be Cured

That's essentially the headline of a recent Associated Press story, which features interviews with several experts who claim that "the treatments we have for this are so effective for fear of flying that upwards of 80 percent and sometimes even more people who get the treatment can fly."

One expert cited in the story, psychologist John Hart of the Menninger Clinic in Houston, warns against using Xanax because it "can actually interfere with the process" of coping with anxiety. However, since Hart's clinic sells fear-of-flying workshops—and Hart himself is a psychologist who cannot prescribe medicine in the state of Texas—we don't exactly see him as an unbiased source. Bottom line: Talk to your doctor if you suffer from a phobia of flying.

Southwest Bans Passenger Carrying Holy Water

Val Maswadi, who claims that Southwest refused to let her check in for her flight because she was carrying holy water, contacted consumer advocate Christopher Elliott with her story. And Elliott, as always, took the issue to his blog. Maswadi, who was reportedly carrying large jugs of unmarked liquid in her checked luggage, argues that Southwest discriminated against her because of her religion. Southwest, on the other hand, said that it couldn't accept the luggage because "if the containers were to get damaged, there is a high chance that their contents would spill out, potentially damaging other Passenger’s checked luggage" and cited Maswadi's alleged "threatening and confrontational behavior" as the reason she was banned from boarding.

Who's right and who's wrong? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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