‘Horny’ passenger on United flight fired after allegedly molesting female seatmate

A man accused of molesting a woman on a United Airlines flight in July 2016 has been fired from his position as a commercial pilot at FedEx.

A drunk Monte Wedl was onboard a United flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco when he allegedly told a flight attendant he was “horny” before inappropriately touching passenger Anne Dowling sitting beside him, court documents say.

UNITED AIRLINES CEILING PANEL FALLS ON PASSENGER WHEN PLANE LANDS IN WASHINGTON

Dowling was scheduled to fly to SFO in economy class on her July 2016 flight. However, when boarding, United upgraded Dowling to business, where she sat next to Wedl, 47.

According to the lawsuit Dowling filed last week, Wedl was served “at least three to four vodka sodas,” which he drank along with the sleep drug Ambien.

Wedl allegedly got out of his seat at one point during the flight to tell crew member Eva Yu that he “missed his wife” and that he was “horny,” the suit says.

Yu had the man return to his seat – which he did – but once he was seated, Dowling claims Wedl placed his “hand on the back of her leg near her buttock.”

She “removed his hand and fell back asleep,” the lawsuit states, before waking up again to Wedl “rubbing her thigh, grabbing her butt, and attempting to reach into her pants.”

Dowling said she “cried ‘stop’ and he withdrew his hand from her body.”

Dowling alleges she asked Wedl what he was doing, but he only “creepily smiled at her in response.”

At another point during the flight, the lawsuit claims Wedl “forced his hand between Dowling’s body and her own hand. He then firmly began rubbing her vagina through her clothes,” while “rapidly masturbating underneath his blanket.”

Dowling asked him to stop and then reported the incident to a flight attendant. She asked to be moved, but according to the suit, the United crew member told her there were no open seats and suggested she talk to her assailant instead.

Eventually a purser moved Dowling to another seat, but in the same row.

Once she landed, Dowling reported the incident to Untied, San Francisco police and the FBI. A criminal complaint was filed against Wedl in December 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but he was acquitted of all charges in June 2017.

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Dowling is seeking $75,000 in damages from both the airline and Wedl, claiming she suffers from PTSD, and other psychological conditions because of the July 2016 incident.

She also insists United “took absolutely no precautionary measures” to prevent the attack and served Wedl “excessive alcohol” while on the flight.

United refused to comment on the case “because of pending litigation,” but told Fox News, “Safety is our top priority and we’re always looking for more we can do to ensure the safety and security of the hundreds of thousands of people who fly United every day.”

Meanwhile, representatives for FedEx offered Fox News the following statement, confirming that Wedl’s employment has since been terminated.

“Wedl has not flown for the company since we were first made aware of these allegations. He is no longer an employee,” a spokesperson said. 

While FedEx wouldn’t say when Wedl was fired, his LinkedIn page shows he was employed by the company for over 16 years and left in May 2018.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Warner Bros. proposes solution to Hollywood sign tourist traffic with $100 million aerial tramway

Warner Bros. studios has offered to fund a $100 million aerial tramway that would take tourists to and from the Hollywood sign in an effort to combat traffic.

The proposed tramway, tentatively named the Hollywood Skyway, would take six minutes and would transport tourists more than a mile up Mt. Lee to a new visitors’ center near the sign, accompanied with a viewing area. It would start from a parking structure next to Warner Bros.’ lot in Burbank.

The proposed tram would take six minutes, transport tourists more than a mile up Mt. Lee and would start from a site beside Warner Bros.’ lot in Burbank

 (Warner Bros.)

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Under the proposed scheme, which would take about five years to complete, Warner Bros. would share revenue with the city.

Residents living near the famed sign have been complaining for years about the volume of tourists visiting, which they say has worsened with the rise in popularity of photo-sharing social media sites like Instagram, ridesharing apps and GPS systems.

Jon Gilbert, Warner Bros. facilities head, told The Los Angeles Times that their proposed structure would minimize the effect on wildlife at Griffith Park as well as avoid obstructing views of the sign from other parts of Los Angeles.

“This requires a bold solution,” Gilbert told the Times. “If we really want to make a difference… it’s got to be something compelling. 

“Partial solutions are not going to do the trick, and people will continue to inundate the neighborhoods.” 

ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD SIGN? REPORT SAYS SECOND LANDMARK COULD STEM TOURIST TRAFFIC

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. told Fox News: “Given our close proximity to the north side of the Hollywood sign, we believe we offer a solution that has the least impact on the environment — protecting and preserving Griffith Park — and the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

“We understand there are a number of possible solutions being considered, but we are confident the City’s feasibility study will show our proposal to be the best option — an option that can be built and operated at no cost to the taxpayer and that will provide public benefit to the City of Los Angeles and its residents.”

The tramway is just the latest proposed solution to a problem that has blighted the Hollywood Hills neighborhood.

Last December, media mogul Barry Diller, his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and her son Alexander, floated a $25-$30million gondola project that would transport tourists from LA Zoo to the sign.

In May 2017, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti also suggested the idea of a gondola starting at Universal Studios.

The idea of an aerial tramway has been proposed several times over the years but has never taken off.

In January of this year, the Los Angeles City Council announced a number of solutions to the traffic problem in a report, which included the building of a replica Hollywood sign on the opposite side of the same slope.

The report also offered solutions including paid parking and permit parking. 

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The 44-foot tall, 352-foot long Hollywood sign, which originally read Hollywoodland, was created in 1923 as an advertisement for local real estate development, but was left up due to its popularity. 

Chris Irvine is Senior News Editor at Fox News. His Twitter can be found @chrisirvine86

Man and child visiting Gatorland get stuck on zipline above alligator pool

A trip to the Gatorland theme park in Orlando turned frightening for a man and child after they became stranded on a zipline 40 feet above a pool of alligators.

Footage of the incident, which was shared to Facebook on Saturday by WESH anchor Stewart Moore, shows the man and boy stuck midway through the ride. The man is also seen cradling the young boy, who is clutching one of the ropes attached to their harnesses.

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“You really think you’re having a bad day?” a man can be overheard asking in the footage. “Lemme show you what a real bad day looks like,” he added as the camera panned toward the stranded zipliners.

Additional footage shared by Moore shows the man and boy being reeled back toward the zipline tower, while another photo shows what appears to be a staffer coming to meet them in midair. Moore also confirmed the two had ultimately gotten down safe.

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Nick Cahippina, the manager of the zipline ride, has since told WESH that the man and child were not in danger. The site also reported that Cahippina said this type of thing happens “fairly often,” and that employees are trained for these situations specifically.

The manager also blamed wind gusts for slowing the riders to a stop, but added that due to the pair’s weight, they were stuck on the zipline for about 10 minutes longer than most stranded riders.

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Gatorland currently boasts two zipline rides at its park, which transport riders over wildlife exhibits including its “Alligator Breeding Marsh” and Cuban and Nile crocodile exhibits.

Couple loses passports, $1,800 hotel reservation on ‘nightmare’ vacation

Next time you board an international flight, double — no, triple — check that your passport is with you. Otherwise, you may run the risk of ruining your vacation, just like 27-year-old couple Lewis Mundy and Kimberley Floyd did. 

According to the pair, who spoke to the Daily Mail, they had been planning a trip to Akti Hotel on the island of Kos in Greece for some time. They excitedly boarded their plane at London Gatwick, which is where the trouble began.

You see, according to the couple, they both put their passports in the seat pockets in front of them, buckled their seat belts, and settled in for the flight. Upon landing, the two stepped off the plane only to realize they both forgot their passports on board.

More on this…

However, when they searched the plane with the crew members, their passports were nowhere to be found. So, according to the couple, they were not allowed into Greece as they had no identification. Instead, they were sent home to the United Kingdom on a flight 30 minutes after they had arrived. 

“We were supposed to be sunning it up in Greece but instead ended up at Stansted,” Mundy told the Daily Mail. “There’s no sign of our passports and we’ve had no help, no compensation, nothing. We’ve done everything we could but no one seems to care.”

To make matters worse, the pair said they also had to forfeit their $1,800 reservations at the hotel.

“They didn’t care, they gave us a boarding pass and chucked us on the next flight, we didn’t get a choice — it was disgusting,” Floyd said. “It was a nightmare, the biggest you could imagine,” Mundy added.

However, according to a statement by TUI UK, the airline the couple flew with, there was nothing they could do.

“We’re sorry to hear of Mr Mundy and Ms Floyd’s very rare experience on their flight to Greece,” a spokesperson said. “As a result of not having their passports they were not allowed into the country and were flown back to the UK. After searching the aircraft thoroughly we can confirm their passports were not found. We would like to remind customers, as we generally do before they leave the aircraft, to ensure they have all their personal possessions with them and to take responsibility of their personal items at all times.”

So, remember, when they say to make sure to bring all your personal belongings with you, they really, really mean it.

Las Vegas’ MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment workers to be given panic buttons

Staffers at Las Vegas’ MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, two of Sin City’s largest hotel and casino resorts, are set to be provided with panic buttons to report any abuse they encounter on the job.

On July 4, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 established contracts for roughly 38,000 workers at properties owned by the two giants which “include language that require panic buttons for workers like housekeepers who work alone in guest rooms and may be subjected to sexual harassment or other crimes,” Fox 5 Vegas reports.

HOTELS ARE SPENDING BIG BUCKS IN FIGHT AGAINST BED BUGS

According to Yahoo Lifestyle, the buttons will be “car remote sized” and will alert managers to the name and location of the employee in trouble when pressed.

“We are here to do our jobs and provide incredible, world-class customer service for our guests,” MGM Grand housekeeper Maria Landeros said in a press release issued by the Culinary Union. “We are not here to be abused or have people think that just because it’s Las Vegas, anything goes.”

Debra Jeffries, a cocktail server at Bally’s, which is owned by Caesars Entertainment, voiced agreement as she recalled a harrowing encounter on the job.

“I was carrying a heavy tray full of drinks on the casino floor, and a high roller at the dice game grabbed me by the neck with both of his hands and forced me to kiss him for good luck,” she mused in the release. “I have permanent nerve damage from that incident and I live in pain every day.”

The contract negotiations petitioning for the distribution of panic button were formulated in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the resignation of Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn, amidst allegations of sexual misconduct earlier this year, Yahoo states.

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The news marks the second time that the distribution of panic buttons for hotel workers has made headlines this week. Days ago, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance requiring hotels to provide panic buttons for housekeeping staff and others who work alone in guest rooms to report sexual harassment and other crimes.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

Passenger arrested with 60 pounds of marijuana at Nashville airport claims he had ‘no idea’ it was in luggage

Not even Febreze could mask one man’s alleged attempt to smuggle nearly 60 pounds of marijuana into Nashville International Airport, a stunt for which he was soon arrested.

On July 5, Jose Medina Ayala was charged with trafficking the hefty load into the Music City air hub from Los Angeles, News Channel 5 reports.

Metro Nashville Police told the outlet that they received a tip someone was traveling from L.A. to Nashville with drugs. Upon deplaning, a K9 named Boston soon discovered Ayala’s stash, WSPA notes.

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It remains unclear at this time what airline the man was traveling on.

Heap of marijuana

Police say Ayala was found with 51 vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, each containing just over a pound.

 (iStock)

According to the outlet, authorities found 51 vacuum-sealed bags with a little more than a pound of marijuana in each one. They were distributed in two suitcases, totaling “just under” 60 pounds. Notably, the drugs had been doused in Febreze to “try to mask their scent,” News Channel 5 reports.

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At the time of his arrest, Ayala was also carrying $2,870 in cash, detectives say. The man further told investigators he had “no idea” there was marijuana in the suitcases.

Booked on felony drug charges, Ayala was being held on $100,000 bond, according to News Channel 5.

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This isn’t the first time that a major drug trafficking bust has been made at Nashville International Airport. In August 2017, two people were busted for bringing nearly 36 pounds of pot into the air hub from a Southwest flight that departed from Oakland, Calif., Fox 17 reported.

Months later, in November, a man tried to tried to smuggle over 40 pounds of marijuana into the Nashville Airport on a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle. 

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

Allegiant passengers claim they weren’t allowed to evacuate ‘smoke-filled cabin’ after emergency landing

An Allegiant flight had to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff when it experienced mechanical issues Wednesday.

Flight 101 was on its way to Phoenix from Cedar Rapids, Iowa when it was forced to turn around and head back to the airport.

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After landing safely, the aircraft was met by the local fire and rescue crews, but they found nothing out of the ordinary.

Two different people on Twitter claimed that the cabin was filled with smoke and passengers weren’t allowed to immediately evacuate.  

“Allegiant flight 101 got an electrical smoke filled cabin, landed and stuck on the runway while everyone is burning up inside with no air running for almost 45 min while they inspect the outside of the plane,” Chris Pelton wrote.

“Gf is on Allegiant flight CID to Phoenix. Plane took off filled with smoke, landed in CR, emergency crews on the ground. They won’t let the passengers leave the plane!” C. Willis Smith wrote in a now deleted tweet.

A spokesperson for Allegiant told Fox News the crew declared the emergency “out of an abundance of caution” and all 157 passengers “deplaned normally.”

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“As far as the wait to deplane, we had to wait for a few minutes for an available gate at the airport — something we obviously wouldn’t have done if the plane really was ‘filling with smoke.’ The aircraft was not filling with smoke, and there was no need to evacuate,” the spokesperson said.

The passengers were later flown to Phoenix on a different aircraft.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Woman plays accidental matchmaker on airplane, shares live updates as romance unfolds

A woman played unintentional matchmaker on a recent flight and posted social media updates on the romance live from the plane.

Rosey Blair shared the epic love story on Twitter Tuesday, sparing none of the juicy details.

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Blair was traveling home to Dallas, Texas from New York City on Alaska Airlines when she asked a woman to trade seats so she could sit near her boyfriend. She told her boyfriend she hoped the woman’s new seat partner might be the love of her life.

She then proceeds to witness the unfolding of what her and thousands of others who’ve now seen the posts hope is the start of a beautiful new relationship.

The thread of posts on Twitter has since gone viral, with over 250,000 shares and 637,000 likes as of Wednesday afternoon.

Even Monica Lewinsky couldn’t help but become enthralled by the story, asking Blair on Twitter when her next set up is.

Thanks to some seriously skilled internet stalking, Blair and her boyfriend were able to find the two love birds on Instagram and note that they are both now following each other, are both single and appear to be located in the same city.

The guy, dubbed “plane bae,” has been identified as former pro soccer player Euan Holden. He joked about the situation on Twitter.

The woman has chosen to remain a mystery, though according to Blair, she “feels positively about all of this.”

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Now the only question that remains: when’s the wedding?

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Stranded Frontier passengers offered $400 vouchers that allegedly won’t arrive for 30 days

Passengers planning to spend the holiday break in Las Vegas were left stranded in North Carolina after Frontier Airlines cancelled their flight last minute Monday night.

Flight 115 was set to depart from Raleigh-Durham International Airport at 9:25 p.m. but never left the airport, WRAL reports.

As passengers were preparing to board, the airline informed them that one of the flight attendants had worked too many hours and would not be able to fly.

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Passengers told WRAL the airline offered them all $400 vouchers for the cancelled flight — but they wouldn’t be receiving them for another 30 days.

Many upset customers returned home, unable to take their planned trip. Others rebooked on different airlines but at a much higher cost because of the last-minute circumstance.

“They’ve gone from $129 to $800 per ticket,” David Eilers told WRAL. “So that’s $1,600 dollars, and they’re saying they going to give us $400 in air credit. Everyone here is pretty disgusted. We’re all on the same boat.”

Passengers did say Frontier offered to pay for overnight lodging. Frontier Airlines did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

This Fourth of July is expected to see a record number of Americans traveling for the holiday.

AAA estimates around 46.9 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home for Independence Day. This number is a five percent increase over last year and the highest number since the company’s first report 18 years ago.

Frontier cancelled another flight on Friday, leaving passengers heading from Cleveland to Seattle in a lurch.

Two hundred and thirty people were stranded when the airline had to cancel due to a “maintenance issue with the aircraft,” WKYC reports.

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The airline offered passengers several options, including a $500 travel voucher, or the choice to rent a car or fly another airline with up to a $400 reimbursement per person, according to WKYC.

Some travelers, however, say their new last-minute travel arrangements cost much more, with one man telling the station he had to pay $1,200 for another flight to Seattle.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Airbus’ Beluga plane gets cute new makeover

Airbus BelugaXL plane has received a quirky new makeover — and it’s already making people smile.

The aeronautics company rolled out the new look, in which the massive plane now resembles a white beluga whale.

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The adorable paint job was voted on by Airbus employees, who wanted the design to look more like a whale. Forty percent voted in favor of the animal design, which included bright blue eyes and a smiling black mouth.

So far, those who have seen photos of the plane, unveiled last week in France, have been pleasantly surprised.

beluga airbus 2

The Airbus employees voted on the new paint job.

 (Airbus)

“I like the custom paint job that Airbus put on their ‘Beluga XL’ transport plane,” one person wrote on Twitter.

“Love the new Beluga XL,” another tweeted.

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The Airbus was originally called an A300-600ST, but it quickly earned its whale nickname because of the uncanny resemblance the plane had to the white beluga whale, with its signature forehead hump.

The BelugaXL, which was designed in 2014 aiming to address the need for larger planes, will enter its cute new look into service in 2019, the brand said in a press release.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Passengers evacuate United Express flight via emergency slide after smoke detected in cabin

Passengers onboard a Mesa Airlines flight, operating as United Express, from Arlington, Va., to Houston, Texas, had to deplane via the emergency slide after smoke was detected in the cabin, authorities said.

According to reports, the flight was taxiing for takeoff from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport when the air crew noticed smoke.

Passengers were quickly deplaned. Fire engines and ambulances were on the ground to meet them.

No passengers were hurt during the evacuation, authorities reported.

The source of the smoke is not known. The aircraft is currently being inspected, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority confirmed.

The airline released a statement to Fox News:

Mesa Airlines flight 6122, operating as United Express, evacuated safely after smoke was detected in the cabin. We are currently investigating the cause and are working with our team to secure alternate flights for customers onboard.

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This is an ongoing investigation.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Disney’s Toy Story Land to officially open this weekend

It’s a big weekend for Walt Disney World enthusiasts, as the highly anticipated Toy Story Land will open at last on June 30.

Upon arriving at the park in Orlando’s Hollywood Studios, guests instantly “shrink” to the “size of a toy” as they are greeted by an oversized Woody, rising at nearly 20 feet tall, according to a Disney Parks blog post. They can score also excellent photo ops with sculptures of Buzz Lightyear, Green Army Men and the like.

toy story land disney

Parkgoers will delight in a quintessentially playful experience that has become a hallmark of the franchise.

 (Disney)

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toy story land disney

Guests can score excellent photo ops with sculptures of Buzz Lightyear, Green Army Men, and the like.

 (Disney)

From hanging on quirky benches made of dominos and popsicle sticks to hopping aboard exciting rides like the Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, parkgoers will delight in a quintessentially playful experience that has become a hallmark of the franchise since the first film debuted 22 years ago, People reports.

toy story land disney

“The inspiration is everything we wished our moms put in our lunch box,” said Robert Adams, culinary director.

 (Disney)

Guests will be wise to come hungry, as Woody’s Toy Box offers a seriously sophisticated menu, including “brisket sandwiches, grilled cheese, loaded tater tots and scratch pastry tarts,” as well as a new cocktail dubbed Grown-Ups’ Lemonade.” 

“The inspiration is everything we wished our moms put in our lunch box,” said Robert Adams, culinary director for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

toy story land disney

Exciting new rides like the Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers have debuted at last.

 (Disney)

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toy story land disney

It’s a big weekend for Walt Disney World enthusiasts, as the highly anticipated Toy Story Land will open on June 30.

 (Disney)

According to Travel + Leisure, all the rides in Toy Story Land take FastPass reservations, but selections are “tiered” and guests can only chose one.

Fortunately, wheter or not you score a spot in line, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is set to extend its operating hours and also add Extra Magic Hours through both the morning and evening.

To infinity and beyond, indeed.

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Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak