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Holidays In Airport Hell

Given the magnitude of the catastrophe in the Indian Ocean region it's easy to overlook the fact that several portions of the air traffic system went kaput over the weekend. I may be missing some, but here's the major problems:

Commair, a Delta regional carrier, ceased operations when the software that is used to schedule airline crews crashed. Commair has cited worries about violating Federal standards for crew flight time as one of the reasons for a system-wide shutdown.

Travelers flying USAir were stung by what amounted to a wild card strike (i.e., sick out) at the airlines. The Philadelphia hub was especially affected which caused ripple effects throughout their service area.

Thousands of travelers have spent several days stuck in airports, airline phone operations are sagging under the demand - registering five hour hold times in some cases. The baggage situation is a complete meltdown, with tens of thousands of bags lost or stranded and little progress being made.

On top of the man-made mishaps mother nature laid out a blanket of snow and ice across the Midwest and into the South, where they handle snow about as well as you hit a Roger Clemens fastball...

Aren't you glad you drove?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Holidays In Airport Hell:

» Outside The Beltway linked with Broken Air Travel System

» A Stitch in Haste linked with Will Holiday Airline Chaos Spur Greater Scrutiny?

Comments (8)

That's why I always fly Sou... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

That's why I always fly Southwest. No frills, but no screwups, either. And they, to the best of my knowledge, are the only major airline which has never had a crash.


What is to stop terrorists ... (Below threshold)

What is to stop terrorists from 'engineering' air traffic delays? What would be the advantage to their cause if they did? The terrs can't cause bad weather, but they can cause delays with faked threats and system hacks. After a point, delay becomes gridlock.

Jay, you make me laugh - th... (Below threshold)

Jay, you make me laugh - the only airline I've flown in is also Southwest.

But what happened to these people and their luggage is just plain WRONG and inhumane and every person who didn't show up for work should not only be fired but fined.


There is no evidence that a... (Below threshold)

There is no evidence that a "wild card strike" took place at US Air. These were just accusations thrown out by the company. If they provided actual numbers of people who called in sick it might be believeable. Executives are blaming employees for poor management decisions.

Hey, Tikrit, I spent 2 hour... (Below threshold)
Some Guy:

Hey, Tikrit, I spent 2 hours at National yesterday waiting for my bags to be unloaded from the plane. So, please pardon me for telling you to take your labor union talking points and cram them sideways up your uninformed rectum.

At Pittsburgh and National, there were no baggage handlers available to offload bags from planes. My connecting flight sat with the luggage doors open for a half an hour before they loaded us on, then we sat there for another 45 minutes to an hour waiting for the bags from our connecting flights to catch up. The pilot was honest, told us what we were waiting for, then a baggage car rode up, ONE GUY loaded the bags for the plane ever so slowly, and when he left, we left.

At National, the baggage claim was FULL assholes to elbows with people, and bags were stacked EVERYWHERE. No Bags were being unloaded, and ten to twenty flights of people were just standing there. Finally, after landing more than an hour late and standing around for another hour and a half to two hours, someone unloaded a handful of bags, and I lucked out as one of them was mine.

There were no baggage handlers, so save it, Tikrit. Peddle your crap elsewhere.

Not that I will EVER fly US Air again. The company made no effort to help people out, left us sitting on a plane on the tarmac for an hour, and when I got to National, NOT A SINGLE US AIR EMPLOYEE BOTHERED TO TELL ANYONE WHAT WAS GOING ON OR WHAT THEY COULD EXPECT. This airline is on its last leg, but don't worry, Tikrit, the first calls this no name made when he got home was to two buddies at Labor and NLRB. I can only imagine how many of the thousands of people who got screwed were far more juiced up than me.

Your asshole union boys made a lot of friends this week, they should probably start retraining for another profession.

Merry Christmas.

All three of my bags were l... (Below threshold)

All three of my bags were lost by US Air on the way back from Florida yesterday. Fortunately, it was on the way back, and not on the way there.

When I got to Indy there were hundreds of bags scattered all over baggage claim from people that had been through there days ago and still had not gotten their bags.

Never has any other airline I've flown on been anywhere near this bad. Plus, like Some Guy, our flight was delayed over any hour while the one baggage handlers supposedly loaded baggage on the plane.

Meanwhile, the baggage handlers at Indy swore that none of this was intentional. It's a moot point really. If it's not intentional, then your airline is completely freakin' incompetent. Either way, there's no earthly reason to ever fly US Air again.

Sorry Jay, SWA has 1 crash ... (Below threshold)

Sorry Jay, SWA has 1 crash on record - pretty minor as far as crashes go however.

But, in the season of giving, I present to you, a piece of knowledge to cram in your ever expanding brain:


at no charge.

I have no connection to any... (Below threshold)

I have no connection to any labor unions, but I am re luctant to believe anything that a failing company's shills are saying without evidence.

The workers are not the ones in charge of staffing, contingency planning, routing, scheduling, etc...That's the job of management. If US Air can't provide simple numbers about how many workers called in sick and how that compares to their daily averages, then it makes one wonder if they aren't trying to deflect blame from their own failed management practices. It would be extremely simple for them to provide this info, but they have not. Instead, they have given vague proclamations--no real numbers.






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