And on another front

This is a direct quote. James May, chief executive of the Air Transport Association, the industry’s largest trade group, said Monday that its members would comply with the new rule “even though we believe it will lead to unintended consequences — more canceled flights and greater passenger inconvenience.” He added that “the requirement of having planes return to the gates within a three-hour window or face significant fines is inconsistent with our goal of completing as many flights as possible. In  other words the Air Transport Association representing the airlines doesn’t care about us being stuck on the ground in a plane for more than 3 hours if they can fly more planes. They might as well tell us that they don’t care about us at all. Hello. We pay your bills. We are your customers.

It is always amazing to hear such organizations admit that the comfort and service to the customer is simply not a goal.

7 Responses to And on another front

  1. I’d rather be stuck on the tarmac for a few hours, than be subject to this rule, and then get my flight cancelled, which is what happened to me this Saturday. Now I am stuck in New York for 5 days, because all flights are sold out. Thanks Barack for a piece of “think of the children” legislation.

    If the Obama administration cared about consumers, how about fixing the air traffic control in the US? But I know, that would be real work. Lets go shopping instead.

    Oh, and the reason I was stuck on the tarmac? Because DHS wanted to pull some “suspicious” people with the wrong skin color off the plane. Thanks, Barack, for doing absolutely no reform at DHS since you rolled into town.

    • adambosworth says:

      Well, when the market works, usually there is a queueing/paging system for this sort of problem rather than parking consumers on the tarmac. I venture to say that if the airlines face a $3MM fine for parking you on the tarmac, they will quickly figure out how to get a slot in a queue, swoop in and get you, say an hour before take off, and let you have the best life possible until then.

  2. Judge says:

    Pilots are “on the clock” once they disengage the parking brake and “pull back” from the gate–even if that means rolling an inch. So, their union naturally wants to defend the trick that maximizes a pilot’s pay.

  3. Roger says:

    Gregor, sorry about your being stuck.

    The airlines get paid if they complete the flight. If they cancel the flight they have to refund the tickets.

    I agree with the three hour rule. Three hours may even be too long. There are too many stories of crowded planes full of passengers, out of food, and overflowing restrooms. Perhaps there ought to be “basic human services” requirement too.

  4. Mark says:

    You would think the airlines industry would be way ahead of the rest of the world in terms of developing innovative solutions to scheduling problems, that they would view the tarmac problem as a huge challenge for their industry and would have come up with something more workable by now than parking planes indefinitely.

    Guys like May are not doing their industry any favors when they dig in and fall back on slogans that cater to selective views of reality. It is not just amazing to hear responses like his. It’s sad and it’s scary.

  5. Anthony says:

    I enjoyed reading the blog. It contains some insightful thoughts. Perhaps you will start blogging again at some point in the future.

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