FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Just in time for your holiday travels, a new report finds that airline "glitches" top "weather" and "congestion" as the leading cause of flight delays.
"USA Today" reports that crew shortages, excessive refueling and mechanical breakdowns are to blame for 23.8 million minutes of delays this year. And that number only goes through October. Airway congestion, on the other hand, accounted for a mere 23.3 million minutes.
The airlines are not disputing these numbers - the "USA Today" analysis sorted through data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. But they do claim that some of the delays attributed to them were due to bad weather earlier in the day.
But layoffs, strikes, and other labor problems that have plagued this industry for years probably had something to do with it too.
Here’s my question to you: Should the airlines be punished for flight delays, and if so, how?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The airline industry could screw up a one-car funeral. They haven't had a decent business model since the Wright Brothers ran down the sand dunes at Kitty Hawk. If the federal government didn't prop them up with post 9-11 handouts and lawsuit immunities, half of them would be bankrupt now and the other half would be on life support.
Albert from Las Cruces, N.M. writes:
Good grief, Jack. Why on earth should the airlines be punished for flight delays? When was the last time you got to see your doctor or dentist at the exact time your appointment was scheduled for? Waiting is a wonderful chance for our spoiled society to moan and groan about how badly life is treating them.
Dom from Dunedin, Florida writes:
For me, give me an airline with a 100 percent safety record and a on-time percentage of say 50 percent rather than an airline with a 100 percent on-time record, but only a 99 percent safety record.
Yes, they should operate as a free market enterprise. They should lose government subsidies and not expect government bailouts such as after 9/11. They should however be allowed to operate as a free enterprise. If air travel is impractical and inefficient without government aid, prices would reflect that and air travelers would be fewer. Fewer travelers means less delays.
Mike from Hot Springs, Arkansas writes:
The free market provides sufficient punishment for flight delays. Just do not take that airline again if the service is not satisfactory. The Feds cannot be expected to take care of everything.
Christoph from Saint Paul, Minnesota writes:
No. That doesn't make sense. How can you guarantee the exact times of flights? Too many things need to happen in order for it all to work right. Can it be better? Yes. Can it ever be flawless? Certainly not. The only way to solve this now, I imagine, is for our nation's air traffic system to be redesigned by whoever invented FedEx's package sorting system.
I say we put those airline people in real uncomfortable seats for long periods of time, make 'em sit next to fat folks with one armrest between them, make 'em breathe stale and contaminated air, make 'em listen to inane cell phone chatter at high volumes, give 'em six peanuts for dinner, make 'em smell rich folks dinner and charge them for a sandwich. And finally a little torture by telling them when they can get out of those uncomfortable seats, but delay, delay, delay until they get just a bit crazy.
Maybe Jack will read yours tomorrow.