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The 'creaking' US airline industry



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 9th, 2008, 07:36 AM posted to rec.travel.europe,rec.travel.asia,rec.travel.latin-america,rec.travel.caribbean,rec.travel.usa-canada
Ned Flanders
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 42
Default The 'creaking' US airline industry

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...nt/7389575.stm

Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 13:57 UK

The 'creaking' US airline industry
By Matthew Price
BBC News, New York

American air passengers are being told to brace themselves for a
summer of delays, lost bags, cancelled flights, and rising travel
costs as a sense of crisis takes hold in the US airline industry.

A plane flies over the Manhatten skyline (Photo:Clive Brunskill)
The Federal Aviation Administration has been concerned about safety

There is a stunning optical effect it is worth trying to catch when
flying into New York.

It is on the approach to La Guardia airport and you should be on the
left side of the plane, preferably right up against the window. It
must be dark outside.

The plane will swing round over Statten Island and the Statue of
Liberty, way down below, will raise her torch up to you. You will
straighten up to glide along the eastern side of Manhattan.

And one by one, as the plane makes its final approach, the streets of
New York's grid pattern - perpendicular to the plane - flicker into
view.

One street is white with car headlights, the next red with brake
lights. White into red. White into red. There is the occasional
mixture of both on the two-way routes.

The streets fade in and out as if on a dimmer switch. They get busier,
the lights gradually brighter, as each one passes.

And then a brilliant white light hits your eyes and you pass Times
Square.

It is quite a meditative moment, which is just as well since most of
the times I have flown into La Guardia, or any of New York's three
airports for that matter, it has marked the end of a stressful
journey.

Quality review

Flying into the States is not exactly a calming experience. Yes, yes,
what about Heathrow?

Well, you have a point. But I have never been so consistently unsure
as to whether or not I would actually make it on time as I have been
flying around the States.


The number of complaints went up 60% last year

I thought I was just unlucky until the annual Airline Quality Review
came out a few weeks back.

More than a quarter of flights are late and the number of bags lost,
damaged, or stolen is rising.

There is overbooking and lots of passengers are simply being bumped
off.

The number of complaints went up 60% last year.

String of excuses

Chicago seems like a good place to start the anecdotes.

At the start of this year's presidential primary campaign I spent 11
hours waiting for a connecting flight to Des Moines out of Chicago
O'Hare airport.

American Airlines plans on the tarmac (Photo: Joe Raedle)
Several airlines have been forced to carry out safety checks

First we were told we were waiting for an aircraft. Then we were told
we were waiting for a crew. Then for another crew as the first one, by
then, was over shift.

After a day of "we expect the crew to arrive momentarily", I finally
asked for a straight answer.

The woman at the gate looked at me sympathetically.

"It's not going," she said.

"No crew?" I asked.

"Bad weather," she replied.

"If it was no crew you would have to compensate me, wouldn't you?"

"Yes," she said. "Next, please."

Strange acceptance

There are a few rules you should follow when flying domestic in the
States...

* Do not travel to or through Chicago
* Factor in lots of time for delays
* Know your airport restaurants - you will be spending a lot of
time in them

Oh, and pack a lunch for the flight. Even when flying coast to coast
often all you get is a snack bag of pretzels and a soft drink, or $5
(£2.55) a beer.

Ok, I suppose I am moaning a little, but it really is that bad. And
along with the delays the cost of travel is rising as aviation fuel
gets more expensive. The airlines are struggling as business
travellers scale back thanks to the bumpy economic conditions.

Passengers wait at an airline check-in desk
In April 2008 American Airlines cancelled thousands of flights

Then there is the safety issue.

Whistleblowers recently accused the Federal Aviation Authority of
turning a blind eye to safety violations.

That led a number of airlines to temporarily ground so many planes
that the country's airports were in chaos.

Americans though seem to take it all in their stride.

On one flight I remember a huge delay. When we finally got on the
ageing 737, the pilot welcomed us on board.

The power promptly failed, the lights went out, and we were all told
to pick up our bags and get off.

No-one really seemed to complain, but I huffed and puffed.

The man next to me just sat there calmly. "Can't do anything about it.
It's just what happens," he said.

Like much of America these days, the airline industry feels tired,
worn down, and old.

That is surprising in a country that often likes to think of itself as
the best.

Arguably, it once was, but the airline industry - like the health
system, like schools, roads - you name it, feels like it is just
creaking along and leaving its passengers ever more frustrated.

I had hoped my problems might end as we left behind the unpredictable
winter weather. Then came another report predicting a bad summer.

As one congressman put it, if anyone thinks flight delays are going to
be sorted out "they are smoking the funny weed".

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Thursday 8 May, 2008 at
1100 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for
World Service transmission times.
  #2  
Old May 9th, 2008, 07:53 AM posted to rec.travel.europe,rec.travel.asia,rec.travel.latin-america,rec.travel.caribbean,rec.travel.usa-canada
Alan S[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,163
Default The 'creaking' US airline industry

On Thu, 8 May 2008 23:36:48 -0700 (PDT), Ned Flanders
wrote:

Well, you have a point. But I have never been so consistently unsure
as to whether or not I would actually make it on time as I have been
flying around the States.


I've flown on 11 AA flights in the past few years. I
commented to the guy beside me last month on the final one,
DFW-HNL, as we taxied out to take off that it was the first
that had left on time.

That was the moment when we stopped and sat on the taxiway
for about 45 minutes:-)


Cheers, Alan, Australia
--
http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/
latest: Cambodia http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2008/03/cambodia.html
  #3  
Old May 9th, 2008, 08:13 PM posted to rec.travel.europe,rec.travel.asia,rec.travel.latin-america,rec.travel.caribbean,rec.travel.usa-canada
Runge11
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 824
Default The notorious michaelnewpoort crossposts OT again


"Ned Flanders" a écrit dans le message de
...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...nt/7389575.stm

Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 13:57 UK

The 'creaking' US airline industry
By Matthew Price
BBC News, New York

American air passengers are being told to brace themselves for a
summer of delays, lost bags, cancelled flights, and rising travel
costs as a sense of crisis takes hold in the US airline industry.

A plane flies over the Manhatten skyline (Photo:Clive Brunskill)
The Federal Aviation Administration has been concerned about safety

There is a stunning optical effect it is worth trying to catch when
flying into New York.

It is on the approach to La Guardia airport and you should be on the
left side of the plane, preferably right up against the window. It
must be dark outside.

The plane will swing round over Statten Island and the Statue of
Liberty, way down below, will raise her torch up to you. You will
straighten up to glide along the eastern side of Manhattan.

And one by one, as the plane makes its final approach, the streets of
New York's grid pattern - perpendicular to the plane - flicker into
view.

One street is white with car headlights, the next red with brake
lights. White into red. White into red. There is the occasional
mixture of both on the two-way routes.

The streets fade in and out as if on a dimmer switch. They get busier,
the lights gradually brighter, as each one passes.

And then a brilliant white light hits your eyes and you pass Times
Square.

It is quite a meditative moment, which is just as well since most of
the times I have flown into La Guardia, or any of New York's three
airports for that matter, it has marked the end of a stressful
journey.

Quality review

Flying into the States is not exactly a calming experience. Yes, yes,
what about Heathrow?

Well, you have a point. But I have never been so consistently unsure
as to whether or not I would actually make it on time as I have been
flying around the States.


The number of complaints went up 60% last year

I thought I was just unlucky until the annual Airline Quality Review
came out a few weeks back.

More than a quarter of flights are late and the number of bags lost,
damaged, or stolen is rising.

There is overbooking and lots of passengers are simply being bumped
off.

The number of complaints went up 60% last year.

String of excuses

Chicago seems like a good place to start the anecdotes.

At the start of this year's presidential primary campaign I spent 11
hours waiting for a connecting flight to Des Moines out of Chicago
O'Hare airport.

American Airlines plans on the tarmac (Photo: Joe Raedle)
Several airlines have been forced to carry out safety checks

First we were told we were waiting for an aircraft. Then we were told
we were waiting for a crew. Then for another crew as the first one, by
then, was over shift.

After a day of "we expect the crew to arrive momentarily", I finally
asked for a straight answer.

The woman at the gate looked at me sympathetically.

"It's not going," she said.

"No crew?" I asked.

"Bad weather," she replied.

"If it was no crew you would have to compensate me, wouldn't you?"

"Yes," she said. "Next, please."

Strange acceptance

There are a few rules you should follow when flying domestic in the
States...

* Do not travel to or through Chicago
* Factor in lots of time for delays
* Know your airport restaurants - you will be spending a lot of
time in them

Oh, and pack a lunch for the flight. Even when flying coast to coast
often all you get is a snack bag of pretzels and a soft drink, or $5
(£2.55) a beer.

Ok, I suppose I am moaning a little, but it really is that bad. And
along with the delays the cost of travel is rising as aviation fuel
gets more expensive. The airlines are struggling as business
travellers scale back thanks to the bumpy economic conditions.

Passengers wait at an airline check-in desk
In April 2008 American Airlines cancelled thousands of flights

Then there is the safety issue.

Whistleblowers recently accused the Federal Aviation Authority of
turning a blind eye to safety violations.

That led a number of airlines to temporarily ground so many planes
that the country's airports were in chaos.

Americans though seem to take it all in their stride.

On one flight I remember a huge delay. When we finally got on the
ageing 737, the pilot welcomed us on board.

The power promptly failed, the lights went out, and we were all told
to pick up our bags and get off.

No-one really seemed to complain, but I huffed and puffed.

The man next to me just sat there calmly. "Can't do anything about it.
It's just what happens," he said.

Like much of America these days, the airline industry feels tired,
worn down, and old.

That is surprising in a country that often likes to think of itself as
the best.

Arguably, it once was, but the airline industry - like the health
system, like schools, roads - you name it, feels like it is just
creaking along and leaving its passengers ever more frustrated.

I had hoped my problems might end as we left behind the unpredictable
winter weather. Then came another report predicting a bad summer.

As one congressman put it, if anyone thinks flight delays are going to
be sorted out "they are smoking the funny weed".

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Thursday 8 May, 2008 at
1100 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for
World Service transmission times.

  #4  
Old May 9th, 2008, 08:19 PM posted to rec.travel.europe,rec.travel.asia,rec.travel.latin-america,rec.travel.caribbean,rec.travel.usa-canada
Runge11
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 824
Default Even more creaking OT crosspost stuff courtesy of michaelnewpoort


"Ned Flanders" a écrit dans le message de
...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...nt/7389575.stm

Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 13:57 UK

The 'creaking' US airline industry
By Matthew Price
BBC News, New York

American air passengers are being told to brace themselves for a
summer of delays, lost bags, cancelled flights, and rising travel
costs as a sense of crisis takes hold in the US airline industry.

A plane flies over the Manhatten skyline (Photo:Clive Brunskill)
The Federal Aviation Administration has been concerned about safety

There is a stunning optical effect it is worth trying to catch when
flying into New York.

It is on the approach to La Guardia airport and you should be on the
left side of the plane, preferably right up against the window. It
must be dark outside.

The plane will swing round over Statten Island and the Statue of
Liberty, way down below, will raise her torch up to you. You will
straighten up to glide along the eastern side of Manhattan.

And one by one, as the plane makes its final approach, the streets of
New York's grid pattern - perpendicular to the plane - flicker into
view.

One street is white with car headlights, the next red with brake
lights. White into red. White into red. There is the occasional
mixture of both on the two-way routes.

The streets fade in and out as if on a dimmer switch. They get busier,
the lights gradually brighter, as each one passes.

And then a brilliant white light hits your eyes and you pass Times
Square.

It is quite a meditative moment, which is just as well since most of
the times I have flown into La Guardia, or any of New York's three
airports for that matter, it has marked the end of a stressful
journey.

Quality review

Flying into the States is not exactly a calming experience. Yes, yes,
what about Heathrow?

Well, you have a point. But I have never been so consistently unsure
as to whether or not I would actually make it on time as I have been
flying around the States.


The number of complaints went up 60% last year

I thought I was just unlucky until the annual Airline Quality Review
came out a few weeks back.

More than a quarter of flights are late and the number of bags lost,
damaged, or stolen is rising.

There is overbooking and lots of passengers are simply being bumped
off.

The number of complaints went up 60% last year.

String of excuses

Chicago seems like a good place to start the anecdotes.

At the start of this year's presidential primary campaign I spent 11
hours waiting for a connecting flight to Des Moines out of Chicago
O'Hare airport.

American Airlines plans on the tarmac (Photo: Joe Raedle)
Several airlines have been forced to carry out safety checks

First we were told we were waiting for an aircraft. Then we were told
we were waiting for a crew. Then for another crew as the first one, by
then, was over shift.

After a day of "we expect the crew to arrive momentarily", I finally
asked for a straight answer.

The woman at the gate looked at me sympathetically.

"It's not going," she said.

"No crew?" I asked.

"Bad weather," she replied.

"If it was no crew you would have to compensate me, wouldn't you?"

"Yes," she said. "Next, please."

Strange acceptance

There are a few rules you should follow when flying domestic in the
States...

* Do not travel to or through Chicago
* Factor in lots of time for delays
* Know your airport restaurants - you will be spending a lot of
time in them

Oh, and pack a lunch for the flight. Even when flying coast to coast
often all you get is a snack bag of pretzels and a soft drink, or $5
(£2.55) a beer.

Ok, I suppose I am moaning a little, but it really is that bad. And
along with the delays the cost of travel is rising as aviation fuel
gets more expensive. The airlines are struggling as business
travellers scale back thanks to the bumpy economic conditions.

Passengers wait at an airline check-in desk
In April 2008 American Airlines cancelled thousands of flights

Then there is the safety issue.

Whistleblowers recently accused the Federal Aviation Authority of
turning a blind eye to safety violations.

That led a number of airlines to temporarily ground so many planes
that the country's airports were in chaos.

Americans though seem to take it all in their stride.

On one flight I remember a huge delay. When we finally got on the
ageing 737, the pilot welcomed us on board.

The power promptly failed, the lights went out, and we were all told
to pick up our bags and get off.

No-one really seemed to complain, but I huffed and puffed.

The man next to me just sat there calmly. "Can't do anything about it.
It's just what happens," he said.

Like much of America these days, the airline industry feels tired,
worn down, and old.

That is surprising in a country that often likes to think of itself as
the best.

Arguably, it once was, but the airline industry - like the health
system, like schools, roads - you name it, feels like it is just
creaking along and leaving its passengers ever more frustrated.

I had hoped my problems might end as we left behind the unpredictable
winter weather. Then came another report predicting a bad summer.

As one congressman put it, if anyone thinks flight delays are going to
be sorted out "they are smoking the funny weed".

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Thursday 8 May, 2008 at
1100 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for
World Service transmission times.

 




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