29 June 2007

Now is the summer of our discontent...

Well our worst nightmare has actually come to pass. This summer - the US domestic air transportation system (if you can call it that) will grind to a halt or at least a series of significant outages.

I can attest to this personally. During the past week (W/C June 25 2007) I have been to the airport everyday. Each time I have been there the flights that i was involved in - picking people up, dropping them off or flying was at least 2 hours late. On Thursday a delay of 3 hours bumped me in Atlanta. But it gets better. There were no more hotel rooms available. To get to someone to actually talk too takes hours. All of the airlines have been similarly affected and while some handle it better than others it is clear that the massive cutbacks in staff are now beginning to bite. They are just unprepared for even minor problems. The system is SO fragile that it breaks at the slightest provocation.

I have seen families waiting for 24hours plus. People in Wheelchairs abandoned. Groups displaced and split up.

It is unpleasant and will only get worse during the summer.

I do believe (changing my position) that a passengers' Bill of Rights is now a must. I strongly urge the US to adopt the European model. But govern this and tie it to the role of the TSA so that there is a clear shared sense of responsibility with Government and Private Enterprise.

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