While pay cards certainly offer a myriad of advantages over cash, there is one thing that can now be said for good old-fashioned greenbacks that can no longer be said about cards: Cash never forced a plane to land.
And in fairness to cards, a pay card itself did not force an Alaskan Airlines flight to make a sudden emergency landing en route to Seattle from New Jersey. It was the card-reading device that began smoking mid-air.
According to the airline, a Boeing 737 carrying 181 passengers and six crew managed to land safely in Buffalo. No injuries were reported, and no further incidences occurred. The devices staff use to ring up purchases in air are apparently new and, for now, will be taken out of the planes for further inspection. In the meantime, Alaska Airlines is going back to its old — presumably not on fire — card-reading tech.