.
December 21st, 2007
12:52 PM ET

Airline Glitches and Delays

ALT TEXT

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?

John writes:
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.

Ed writes:
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.

J.W writes:
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.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. JACK PAYNE

    YES! They should be punished for ever delay, by having to cancel a flight the following day. In fact the entire airline industry should be reduced by 5%, there is to dam many planes up there now, we are just waiting for a major disaster

    December 21, 2007 at 1:08 pm |
  2. JACK PAYNE

    YES! They should be punished for ever delay, by having to cancel a flight the following day. In fact the entire airline industry should be reduced by 5%, there is to dam many planes up there now, we are just waiting for a major disaster

    December 21, 2007 at 1:09 pm |
  3. JACK PAYNE

    Yes!
    Force them to reduce traffic by 5 percent.
    There are to dam many flights up there now, we are just waiting for a major disaster,

    December 21, 2007 at 1:14 pm |
  4. Tom Bulger

    Jack,

    No one is above the law, not George Bush, and not corporations. What airlines have done to customers in the past sounds like kidnapping and endangerment. To my knowledge, no passenger has actually died, but that's what will happen sooner or later if airlines are not forced to act responsibly when passengers require medical attention and are instead being detained on board.

    December 21, 2007 at 1:23 pm |
  5. tj henderson kingsville texas

    the lack of compassion lears its ugly head when it comes to greed,.but to pay for this kind of treatment has to be a sin,.nevermind the air quiality while ur waiting off n on planes.,like cattle in a pen ready to be shipped due to the wait before the take off.,.,i dont fly for this reason .,i can see why people go nuts.,.,the question is why are so many people flying so much

    December 21, 2007 at 1:30 pm |
  6. Tom Bulger

    If CEO's receive rewards for greed and bad citizenship, we'll get more of both in the future. A change in Washington won't solve all of our problems. We need a resurgence in responsible behavior throughout the country. What happened to, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

    December 21, 2007 at 1:30 pm |
  7. W B in Las Vegas

    the airlines get the blame for many factors that are beyond their control. as a retired airline captain I can tell you that there are just too many unforseen variables such as bad weather, a maintenance problem that needs to be fixed for safety reasons and air traffic control saturation, especially in the northeastern United States, that can cause delays.

    a better question would be "should the US Government be using the Airline Ticket Tax to actually upgrade the Air Traffic Control System instead of using it to offset the current Federal budget deficit" which has been done for decades. we have a mid 20th century Air Traffic Control system in a 21st century air transport world. it's yet another transportation Infrastructure problem, like roads, bridges and levees that has been ignored and underfunded for years.

    December 21, 2007 at 1:35 pm |
  8. Karl

    How can the airlines be at fault for delays when it's the Air Traffic Controllers that control the operations? A plane can't land, take off or leave a gate until the Air Traffic Controller tells them to. I'd say the airports need to cut back on the number of flights they allow so as to not overload their system.

    December 21, 2007 at 1:39 pm |
  9. Jenny from New York

    If you're asking if they should be grounded, the answer is no.

    December 21, 2007 at 2:19 pm |
  10. Rich, McKinney Texas

    The only time an airline should be punished for delays is when they could have prevented it in the first place. Airlines should always get a pass on weather, passenger medical emergencies and mechanical problems if another aircraft is available. If a member of the flight crew becomes ill another crew member can usually be found to replace them in a reasonable time frame. Acts of God or cataclysm can not be avoided just like if a person gets sick going to the airport they should get a refund minus handling charges. We tend to forget that airlines are ran and equipped by human beings just like the ones that fly as passengers on them. Without human beings neither would be possible. Humans fail from time to time and that is just part of life.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:05 pm |
  11. Jason L

    Jack

    First the Airlines themselves should NEVER be over-selling a flight, which causes passengers to be bumped ALL the time. 2ndly the Airlines should be forced to refund a person's FULL ticket if they have to wait more than 4 hours for a flight to arrive inbound and still get that person to their destination, or if they are stuck in the plane on the tarmac for more than 4 hours. 3rd the airlines should have LESS control over passengers once they are on the plane. We have passed security and been screened, etc. If we want to get up and move around we have that right. The flight attendant's are like the gestapo up in the air. $3.00 9/11 tax for what? Lets overhaul the air traffic control system, in which the controllers won't have to use private cell phones in order to land planes in the future, when the system fails. Its over 35 years old and needs a MAJOR update.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:08 pm |
  12. Terry O'Flaherty

    Jack
    If a flight is delayed every passenger should receive money back on the price of their fare according to how long the flight was delayed. If each airline would reduce the amount of flights in these busy airports there wouldnt be as many delays.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:11 pm |
  13. Greg from PA

    I hate to say it Jack, but ever since President Reagan deregulated the airline industry it has been royally screwed up and it's only going to get worse. Perhaps it's time to consider doing what some other countries have done and nationalize air transportation. With tax payers already splitting the bill for many of the commercial airlines and nation's airports it only makes sense to eliminate the redundancies in our current system and create our own national domestic carrier. As much as I dislike big government I'd like to get rid of corrupt big business and meddlesome unions even more.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:14 pm |
  14. James S. Lenon

    Airlines need to reduce the number of flights departing simultaneously at all major airports. Passenger safety needs to be considered more than business traveler convenience.
    No airline should be penalized for weather related delays or for maintenance required delays. However, the various airline CEO's should be fined heavily each time an employee utters the word "issue" instead of "problem."

    December 21, 2007 at 3:21 pm |
  15. jay, sanfrancisco

    Are you kidding. I definately don't think so. The airlines will endup jeopardizing passengers lifes. They won't take the necessary precautions before taking off. I'm afraid, let the customers decided.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:35 pm |
  16. Dominic Grillo

    Jack : For me give me a Airline with a 100 % safety and a on time percentage of 50 %. than a Airline with a 100 % on time record but ONLY a 99 % SAFETY RECORD Dom Grillo Dunedin Fl. P.S. let's see if we can't inprove the screening process.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:39 pm |
  17. bob klepak

    They already are, Jack. Ity's called the "Free-Market System" aand a couple of us know about it. We can actually punish the offending airlines our selves by patonizing their on-time competitors. Who do you think airlines get to pay when the Government fines them or forces them to refund money to passengers? That's right, we pay our own fines and refunds in the form of higher fares next time. If that weren't bad enough, then the airline marks up the fines and refunds and charge even more. Let's just leave bad enough alone and keep Government out of it.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:40 pm |
  18. Ed

    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 airtravel is impractical and inefficient without government aid, prices would reflect that and air travelers would be fewer. Fewer travelers means less delays.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:40 pm |
  19. Christoph Kelsey

    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.

    If anything, we're paying (in time) for our ignorant demand for convenience of departure times. If there were fewer flights but on larger planes, air traffic would be significantly reduced and delays less likely. But replacing one 200-seat plane with 8 50-seat smaller planes just so you can offer all those convenient departure windows....You do the math.

    The only way to solve this now, I imagine, is for our nation's air traffic system to be redesigned by whomever invented FedEx's package sorting system.

    Christoph
    Saint Paul, MN

    December 21, 2007 at 3:42 pm |
  20. Dominic Grillo

    Jack: For me give me a Airline with a 100% safety record and a on time percentage of say 50 % rather than a Airline with a 100 % on time record but only a 99 % SAFETY RECORD. Most delays I think are weather related and screening problems. Dom Grillo Dunedin Fl 34698

    December 21, 2007 at 3:46 pm |
  21. John Carr

    Jack,

    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.

    However, the real demon in today's air traffic mess is the Failed Aviation Administration (FAA.) Always a second-class agency, the FAA recently shed Marion Blakey after five years of pathetic lack-of-leadership. On her watch the agency went to the bottom of the barrel in employee satisfaction, and of course the 49 dead in Lexington will not be able to tell you about her failed staffing policies. She forced work rules on her controller workforce and they headed for the exits. The FAA lost ten percent of their workforce last year, and in their place hired 1800 students who will take three to five years to train.

    I am the immediate past president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA.) I write a blog called "The Main Bang" at http://www.themainbang.typepad.com where for two years I have documented FAA waste, fraud, abuse, malfeasance, corruption, and a trail of broken promises, decrepit buildings and employee abuses that would make Enron and Worldcom blush.

    Stop by some time and comb the archives. You will be amused, disgusted, amazed, and booking Amtrak faster than you can say "the sky really IS falling!!"

    Best personal regards,

    John S. Carr
    Immediate Past President, NATCA
    Air Traffic Controller, Retired
    Author, "The Main Bang"
    http://www.themainbang.typepad.com

    December 21, 2007 at 3:51 pm |
  22. David Cissner,San Bernardino,CA.

    All the problems in the airline industry can be traced back to Ronald Reagan. His firing and the de-regulation have led to the meltdown of service. Decades old air traffic equipment,no new airports having been built,mass firing of airline employees,lack of experience and courtesy,absence of service,massive pay and bonuses for greedy and clueless executives and the complete lack of oversight and regulation by the government has led to the total breakdown in the air travel system. I don't think it can ever be fixed.

    December 21, 2007 at 3:51 pm |
  23. Patricia

    OK... Yes, there are too many airlines over booking their flights & they need to be fined for that. Yes, there are too many planes in the air & yes the airlines need to be fined for that. Here comes the tricky part, there are some airlines that do act responsibly & because they do customers flock to them & they have become the work horse of air travel,(Southwest comes to mind). But, during the winter months, it's the weather that really plays havoc with air travel & we should know that. Yet we go to the airport, go through the TSA nightmare, & then try & go some-place we know is going to have snow fall until it covers our knees. Or there's those of us who are up to our knees in snow already trying to leave an airport to go someplace where there's no snow. Now, just who's the stupid 1? The airlines because they are trying to get you where you want to go, or you for picking the worst days to travel on?
    Add to the fact that air traffic controlers are quiting their profession because they have been abused since Ronald Reagan broke the union & they don't want to work in a place where they have no say in what happens on the job & I say we are pretty much getting what we deserve. We don't want to pay more for an airline ticket, because we don't want to pay for airline services, & we don't want to pay more taxes, because we don't want to pay for air traffic controlers, who damn sure do deserve more money & better working conditions.
    You all need to get a grip, either shut-up & bite the bullet & pay for the services you want, or shut-up & stop trying to travel to areas you know are going to have trouble getting you out on time, or getting you in on time. Either way, shut-up, because your whinin' is boring the hell outta me!!!!

    December 21, 2007 at 3:56 pm |
  24. Sander

    I'm sure the airlines would try MUCH harder to be on time if they deducted a dollar off of each passenger's ticket price for each minute of delay. Two hour delay? 120 dollars cheaper!

    December 21, 2007 at 4:12 pm |
  25. Bascom

    Airlines that can't even meet their scheduling obligations now are asking for more landing and takeoff slots to operate more flights. Any awards of more slots should take into account the on-time record of that airline, with a steep penalty for a poor record, including the number of late flights and the lengths of those delays. The excuse of weather is too often just that; an excuse.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  26. Beth

    Of course they should be punished !!! and the only thing they understand is money, so therefore......UNLESS the delay is caused by weather or a passenger emergency, the airline should be penalized..I bet a small refund to those forced to wait would bring about a significant improvement in short order

    December 21, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  27. Jon

    Yes they should definately be punished. How about a 10% reimbursement on the cost of the flight for every hour that its delayed? We can never regain the time lost waiting for an underprepared screener to frisk us, but its a start.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  28. Suzy

    Airline travel is the safest way to travel by far, and just because they are over booked, understaffed, and barely able to break even doesn't mean that they need to be punished for delays. With the pilot shortage, lack of airplanes and high operating costs, they are doing the best that they can.
    Suzy
    Anchorage, AK

    December 21, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  29. robert medina

    Yes, airlines should be punished for delays. They should compensate the delayed passengers with cash vouchers for future flights valued on a scale tied to the length of the delay. This way, the passengers get something for an inevitable inconvenience, and the airline gets repeat customers.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  30. Jon Curtis

    No, they should not be punished. The traveling public demands cheap fares and then demands luxury service. They arrive at the airport late and then try to get prohibited items through security. They are too lazy and overweight to walk so they want a wheelchair. They miss their flight and complain.
    Actually the reason for more delays is that the FAA is requiring automatic computer flight posting so the airlines can't fudge the actual times anymore. The computer records the door closing and the wheels moving.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  31. David Black

    Jack, no the airlines should not be punished by the government for inefficiency in their business. Regardless of how involved the government is in the aviation industry through regulation, it would be a gross infringement of rights to involve themselves in the internal business of the airline companies themselves, and that is exactly what punishment would be. Instead the airlines should face what any other business that cannot provide the service it solicits faces, revenue loss due to the public simply not flying with them when there is any other viable option. Bus from Houston to Dallas instead of flying. With delays you are not even losing time.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  32. Daniel Stafford

    How can you blame an airline for delays because they are doing mainenance and refeuling? Isn't it better to arrive alive?

    The airline industry is jacked, and it has been for YEARS. Many YEARS.

    The fact of the matter is that it is up to yourself to get where you are going on time. Being late is noone's fault but their own. Do you think your boss is going to care that you were late because you had to stop and get gas or have your alternator changed? I think not.

    D

    December 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  33. Tony

    Yes I think they should be punished but only for things that are in their control. They should also be punished for things that come from their own employees such as if pilots are late or their staff didn't repair the plane in time.
    But if something isn't in their control like weather or their plane needs serious repair they should not be punished but they should still offer something to the flyers.
    The best thing they could do is give back to the flyer. If they could give the flyers cards for free miles or give them a small refund it might be enough to ease some frustration and give the flyers a more pleasant experience.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:19 pm |
  34. Brad Miller

    No! Does the government punish a restaurant for providing bad food? No, the people just do go there. The airlines need to realize that they are providing us, the public, with a service. If they don't provide a good service, we will go somewhere else for that service. That's why there several airlines to pick from. The government isn't in charge of keeping businesses from doing poorly, the consumers have that job.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:19 pm |
  35. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Jack lets look at it this way. You’re a shop owner. Your shop is open from 9 to 5. I come to your shop to buy a widget. Your power is out because of a storm. I still need my widget. You should therefore give it to me free or at a reduced rate because the power is out and I have to wait for you to find a flashlight and your cash register will not open because you have no power. It is not my fault the power is out and you lost other customers or your freezers are melting and your about to be out thousands of dollars, that’s your problem. I want my widget damit! Now I have driven all the way over here. I really have spent very little out of pocket but you on the other hand are losing your butt. Same thing with airlines Jack. Sometimes it isn't there fault. There is no since punishing them for things beyond their control. You would go out of business and so will they it will drive the ticket prices up so high a common man/woman won't be able to fly. By the way I still want my widget!

    December 21, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  36. suzie from atlanta, GA

    In the cases where the airline, and only the airline is responsible for the delay, yes.
    However, those instances are few, especially when it comes to weather and traffic delays. One delay in Chicago, New York or Atlanta will ripple accross the country, and even impact International flights. And frankly, there are times when a delay is good, like when WE are delayed by security checks. I did some consulting work with an airline, and trust me, they want to be on time, because delays cost them a lot of money, "air time" for flight crews and wasted fuel. This is not a one sided issue, or a simple problem to be resolved. We need to fix the entire system, and not just hammer the airlines.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  37. Dave Brodeur

    With respect to whether airline should pay for delayed flights, I Think it makes a difference whether the flight delays are caused by unavoidable circumstances as weather, emergency mainrenance or an emergency situation at the needed airport or by the airline itself..

    As for Chicago, I used to try my best to avoid O'Hare because United would delay on the promise of a snowflake. I did not run into nearly as many delays by altering my flight route aroung O'Hare.as using Midway whenever possible. Most of the delays were actually a result of overburdening the parking areas for the flights and they were management issues. In this case the airlines should be fined or make restitution for their neglegence.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  38. Jarod from Joplin

    Jack,

    The notion of punishing airlines for delays is outlandish right now. A more effective way to take care of the airline crisis is to do something about the cause of it. Why do we think the solution to all our problems is making something punishable, what happened to taking on problems at the source. Whether it's corrupt industries, abortion, gun control, or anything else. Why don't we take a more proactive approach to the issues? The way to eliminate a weed in your garden is to take care of the roots, am I right??

    December 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  39. Richard Williams

    Just cut back on the number of flights by, at least, 50%. There is too much traffic in the skies. It won't be long before we see a massive mid-air collision of 20 aircraft.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  40. Melina Cemanovic

    Yes. However, the punishment should be in the form of educating the staff and airline workers. Training and education will go a long way once the airlines figure out exactly what is causing the delays. I believe that a lot of little glitches add up causing delays and chaos in airports. Everyone plays a role and no one thing or person should be blamed for the delays.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:29 pm |
  41. Bob

    Jack,

    We can trace the airline problems,(not to mention a score of other problems created by goventment deregulation) back to our old Hollywood buddy, Ronald Reagan. Bonzo really did go to Washington it seems.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:35 pm |
  42. John Carr

    Jack,

    Don't forget this one....If The Airlines Sold Paint

    Customer: Hi, how much is your paint?

    Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends.

    Customer: Depends on what?

    Clerk: Actually a lot of things.

    Customer: How about giving me an average price?

    Clerk: Wow, that's too hard a question. The lowest price is $9 a
    gallon, and we have 150 different prices up to $200 a gallon.

    Customer: What's the difference in the paint?

    Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same paint.

    Customer: Well, then, I'd like some of that $9 paint.

    Clerk: Well, first I need to ask you a few questions. W hen do you
    intend to use it?

    Customer: I want to paint tomorrow, on my day off.

    Clerk: Sir, the paint for tomorrow is the $200 paint.

    Customer: What? When would I have to paint in order to get the $9
    version?

    Clerk: That would be in three weeks, but you will also have to agree
    to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting
    until at least Sunday.

    Customer: You've got to be kidding!

    Clerk: Sir, we don't kid around here. Of course, I'll have to check
    to see if we have any of that paint available before I can sell it to
    you.

    Customer: What do you mean check to see if you can sell it to me? You
    have shelves full of that stuff; I can see it right there.

    Clerk: Just because you can see it doesn't mean that we have it. It
    may be the same paint, but we sell only a certain number of gallons on
    any given week. Oh, and by the way, the price just went to $12.

    Customer: You mean the price went up while we were talking?

    Clerk: Yes, sir. You see, we change prices and rules thousands of
    times a day, and since you haven't actually walked out of the store
    with your paint yet, we just decided to change. Unless you want the
    same thing to happen again, I would suggest that you get on with your
    purchase. How many gallons do you want?

    Customer: I don't know exactly. Maybe five gallons. Maybe I should
    buy six gallons just to make sure I have enough.

    Clerk: Oh, no, sir, you can't do that. If you buy the paint and then
    don't use it, you will be liable for penalties and possible
    confiscation of the paint you already have.

    Customer: What?

    Clerk: That's right. We can sell you enough paint to do your
    kitchen, bathroom, hall, and north bedroom, but if you stop painting
    before you do the bedroom, you will violation of our tariffs.

    Customer: But what does it mater to your whether I use all the paint?
    I already paid for it!

    Clerk: Sir, there's no point in getting upset; that's just the way it
    is. We make plans upon the idea that you will use all the paint, and
    when you don't, it just causes us all kinds of problems.

    Customer: This is crazy! I suppose something terrible will happen if
    I don't keep painting until after Saturday night!

    Clerk: Yes, sir, it will.

    Customer: Well, that does it! I'm going somewhere else to buy my
    paint.

    Clerk: That won't do you any good, sir. We all have the same rules.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:39 pm |
  43. Dave Brodeur

    As an Independent voter, I am making a comment about Hillary Clinton's statement stating that when "they" were runing the country that she helped many of the poor. Yes they got a bunch of welfare recipients to get off from it. This caused much money for child care, special needs and some dismal form of training so that these poor folks could enter the job market for minimal pay that couldn't sustain anyone with a living income.

    Did she run the country or did "Slick Willy". If she has all kinds of experience, it is of the same types of politics that we have in Washington now. She has shown a defiance to working with a common consense by crossing accross the Aisle and she come off as a phony, slick Politician who will say anything in order to make it look like she has contributed for many things she did not do.

    Her medical benefits package that she initially tried to get passed did not make it because she kept trying to force Americans to pay for the legalized mudering our unprotected unborn children through abortion.

    With Hillary in office, nothing will be done for the common good of the people if she and Bill can't profit from it. This is why I would support Obama. He represents change and would work to heal our country by the rifts deviding us.

    December 21, 2007 at 4:43 pm |
  44. Suzy

    The airline industry is by far the safest method to travel because they take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the aircraft, resulting in delays. Would you rather punish the airline, forcing them to hurry maintenance and push weather- that is an accident waiting to happen. Let them do what they need to do to get the flight going safely. As a pilot myself, I think people should educate themselves on the reason for the delays and then they would learn not to complain.
    Suzanne
    Anchorage, AK

    December 21, 2007 at 4:44 pm |
  45. Dave Brodeur

    I think you have written off Mike Huckabee too soon. As an Independent voter. We need someone who can lead us towards healing our wounded nation, isn't afraid of genuine compassion aqnd trying other things for the good of all Americans is the best choice. Yes, his financial plans may irritate those who are corrupted by money, power and the wall street mentalities because he is trying to put all of us on a level playing field.

    Of all the pardons he did, how many of them were repeat offenders? Isn't it better to err on the side of mercy than on revenge? Long prison terms go beyond the law of diminishing returns and makes for more vicious criminals once they get out. Isn't mrcy much more powerful than revenge?

    I think that he would garner most practicing Catholics as no one can be a good Catholic (bear in mind that anyone who.supports or promotes evil, as the culture of death,.goes against the teachings of Jesus and the Church faces self excommunication and are a disgrace to the catholic faith. Abortion is an intrinsic evil as is racial discrimination. I didn't approve of going into an unjust war caused for the powerful oil companies who were afraid of losing control and the manipulation of it in Iraq. The war in Iraq isn't a justified one. However, now that we are there, we can not leave the Iraqis . If we are just in our war efforts, then God will help us.

    December 21, 2007 at 5:00 pm |
  46. John

    Regarding airlines and "on time" isssues, what the country needs to do is reduce their flying time. The corporate and government flying done in the interest of gratuitous conferences (boondogles) and sensless meetings is at an all time high while the excellent information technology available, such as teleconferencing, is being all but ignored. "Business Travel" is the big lie, it should be unmasked for what it is, conversion of stakeholder and taxpayer monies for personal gain in the form of vacations masquerading as work travel.

    December 21, 2007 at 5:26 pm |
  47. Dave

    If governmant would keep their NOSE out of the airlines we wouldnt have the problem we do today. What ever happen to less government involment?

    December 21, 2007 at 5:30 pm |
  48. Marcia from Indiana

    I was on a flight from NY LaGuardia last Monday.The incoming plane was held in Memphis for 1 hour by air traffic controllers due to excess traffic at LGA. So my flight arrived an hour late,then was cleaned and loaded with flight attendants yelling at everyone to hurry up and sit down so the plane could take off. Then the plane was in line for take off 25 minutes. When we arrived in Indiana we were late and alive. So who should be punished for taking me from New York to Indianapolis in 1 hour and 35 minutes ?? My thanks to the airlines for all the convenience and safety. Of course, I could have driven for only 10 hours instead. So despite the inconvience of traffic delays-think of driving. We do need to update the whole system but airlines cannot be punished for forces outside their control.

    December 21, 2007 at 5:41 pm |
  49. Dixon, Des Moines Iowa

    I know there are many horror stories out there that the airlines should take the heat for. However, I think we have to take responsibility for our part as citizens. We don't want to pay for upgrades to pay for equipment and personnel that keeps us safe in the air. We don't want to compensate the people who are responsible for our safety while we are flying. Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, TSA and airports in general. People want to be safe and will sue at the drop of a hat if something happens. However, not many want the safety issues to "inconvenience" them. God help us if we had to pay more for any of this. As I remember we allowed all of our experienced Controllers to be fired back in the early 80's. Now the replacements are retiring and we haven't done a thing to prepare for this. TSA staff has to deal with child like behavior from full grown adults upset they have to pass through screening. In the end this is all on us and it will be up to us to make the changes.

    December 23, 2007 at 7:45 pm |
  50. Dixon, Des Moines Iowa

    By the way, I am not employed with any of these positions.

    December 23, 2007 at 7:49 pm |
  51. Jim Jensen

    First, we have an antiquated air traffic control system that has needed to be redesigned for years and no one seems to want to do anything but say, "Yup, it sure does need to be redesigned.". Most of our major airports are too small and can't handle the increased air traffic they now are forced to handle. Finally, the airline industry, just like any other big business, is really only interested in operating with the lowest overhead possible and making the largest profit possible. If that causes poor service for the consumers so what! What are they going to do instead, walk from one destination to the other? When the consumers finally get fed up enough to really make a lot of noise and take whatever action it takes to have these long overdue changes made, those responsible will probably do something. Until then we'll all just sit around in airports and wait and wait and wait.

    December 24, 2007 at 12:04 pm |
  52. Ronn Garton

    What the airlines, especially United Air Lines, has done to its employees, while paying bonuses to those who did the hachet job, is criminal, treasoneous, and unChristian. What more can I say? Their employees have suffered and Congress looked the other way. The 2008 election will be a referendum on Big Government that has failed to protect the little guy and sided with Big Corporate interests.

    A pox on all of them!

    December 24, 2007 at 1:39 pm |
  53. Len Albuq New Mexico

    Have you ever seen one of those maps that show current air traffic flying over the U.S. Just calculate how many people are on those planes. Have you ever thought about how much luggage they transport. Do you ever think about how many people they employ. I applaude the airlines for doing an exceptional job. If you don't like flying, take the damn bus. Oh Yeah. Don't forget about all the rules and regulations the TSA requires the airlines to comply with, for your frickin safety. These people still do their job with a pleasant attitude and a smile on their face.

    December 25, 2007 at 12:06 am |
  54. allil

    It's the politicans running for president experience, That has this country in so much trouble, People if we don't elect SENATOR OBAMA for president to start turning this country around. Tell me what experience Bush had to be president? President bush was the bigest mistake this country ever made and to elect anyone with any of his ideas is CRAZY! The republicans have us in a lot of trouble with the help of experienced demacrates ! If this country has been ran on experience were in trouble for years and years to come

    December 29, 2007 at 6:22 am |
  55. Bob Sparkes

    It's not so much a matter of punishing airlines, as customer service.
    But why should passengers be punished, by such mistreatment?
    If there isn't a vacant ramp to bebark, then get a bus ramp to the plane.
    At the very least supply air, water, food, & clean washrooms.

    January 3, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  56. Rod Taylor

    Excuse me, but wasnt it Ronald Reagan who wanted to deregulate the airlines, break the traffic controllers union and let the "free" market take over? I believe it was! Just like the fellow says, "Carefull what you wish for, you just might get it"! Just some more good old Republican economics at work folks! Ain't it grand? Next time your flight gets cancelled, you know who to thank!
    Rod Taylor

    January 3, 2008 at 5:48 pm |