The Roanoke Slant

This file is a very brief journal and scrapbook and LTEs of some examples of the Roanoke Times slant. Comments to: lbhagen@roanokeslant.org

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

 

Airline Travel: Nine Thousand Dollars Per Hour

Roanoke Times, 12-22-09, Pg 3: Obama’s Transportation Secretary, “Prince” Ray LaHood, has decreed that, if you are “stuck” on an airplane for 3 hours, the airline is fined $27,500 per passenger.
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I was “stuck” on I-81 for more than 3 hours Sunday after Thanksgiving – when does Gov Kaine send me a $27,500 check?
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Thousands of passengers have been “stuck” on AMTRAK for more than 3 hours.
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Thousands of passengers have been “stuck” on DC’s Metro for more than 3 hours.
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Tens of thousands of people were “stuck” on the public highways in this last storm, many for lot’s more than 3 hours.
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Thousands of people were “stuck” in airline terminals (owned by the government) during this last storm, many sleeping on the floor for two days!
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So when do all these folks get their big checks?
Hello – the $9,000 per hour only applies to commercial carriers and NOT to Government operations! Is the government ever really responsible and accountable for anything?
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The major causes for excessive on-the-tarmac flight delays are government related:
1. The “less than competent” Federal Airline Controllers change take-off and landing slots after the flight is boarded and pushed-back from the terminal.
2. The “less than competent” National Weather Service can’t predict weather until it happens thereby trapping thousands of flights in process.
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This totally ridiculous draconian fiat will result in major adverse consequences for travelers:
• Flights will be cancelled if there’s any doubt about departure
• “Stuck” flights will be returned to the terminal, if there is a ramp available, and all passengers and baggage will be off-loaded and the fight cancelled.
• If no ramp is available, passengers and baggage will be off-loaded on the tarmac (most probably in bad weather conditions).
• Passengers who really want to get to their destination will be severely penalized.
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I was “stuck” on a flight from Albany to Chicago, on the Albany tarmac for six hours with my spouse and eight year old granddaughter. The passengers “voted” every hour to “stay the course” because going back meant: cancelled flight and rescheduled at least 24 hours later, no rental cars available, no hotel rooms available, no food left in the terminal, and spending the night sleeping on the floor in the terminal with Bubba and Junior.
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The passengers and crew should do their best to work through bad situations and penalties, if any, should be limited to a free ticket. Note: I have never worked for an airline but I have safely flown hundreds of thousands of miles.
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Just more hope and change we can believe in!
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2010/01/obama-owes-thousands-of-fliers-27500.html
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