Thursday Sep. 27, 2007 @ 8:21 pm By

“We’ve got a problem,” Bush said. “We understand there’s a problem. And we’re going to address the problem.” – Great!

A story on & today reported that The Man has asked his transportation secretary (Mary Peters) to make sure that travelers delayed at airports are ‘treated fairly’. The article goes on to quote:

“Endless hours sitting in an airplane on a runway with no communication between a pilot and the airport is just not right.’

Well yes, we tend to agree. But, that is just a start – and not the only issue that needs addressing when it comes to delays during travel. Though that communication is key and helps with the frustration as you can put a label on the problem – but it is not the fix we need. Better yet was his assertion that Congress look into legislation to modernize the FAA so travelers won’t be inconvenienced. In the end, the goal would be to make sure we are fairly treated when delays do arise, with communication being one part of the puzzle.

As we have reported here time and time again, and stated again in the story, “the airline industry’s on-time performance in the first seven months of 2007 was its worst since comparable data began being collected in 1995, according to government data. In July, the most recent month for which data are available, 20 carriers reported an on-time arrival rate of 69.8 percent, down from 73.7 percent a year earlier.”

One specific idea to address delays the President gave, in addition to the concept of ‘congestion pricing’ at busy airports once used in the 60’s, was to force airlines to pay more to fly during ‘peak travel periods’. (It would be interesting to see how the lobbying turns out to define that set of terms.) But, we tend to agree with Zane Rowe, senior vice president of network strategy at Continental Airlines Inc., that that would do little to mitigate the delay issue. But. we do not agree with the assertion that they claim one of the biggest culprits, as they see it, in delays is “the growing use of tiny jets among corporations and wealthy individuals.” ….. HUH?

Personally, I like this idea “improving the department’s complaint system” and “acting to increase compensation for passengers involuntarily bumped from flights from $200 to more than $600.” – cha ching!!!

No matter what, we say.. “just fix it”

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