Airline Delays and Cancellations Beyond Excusable

I travel pretty frequently. This summer, actually in the past 2 weeks, I have made two trips via plane to Portland, Oregon, and Atlanta, Georgia. On both trips, I had flights cancelled or delayed. on both trips they ended up with me staying overnight and having to leave the next day. The first time, I was able to go back home. The second, I was lucky to have someone I could stay with. Despite the illusion of conspicuous wealth that seems to emanate from my golden aura, it is just that children, an ILLUSION!

It seems to me that flying has become a joke.You may or may not leave when you’re supposed to, and the airlines don’t really seem to give a damn. Crazy as Greyhound is, the shit is always running. And now that you barely even get food service, or are delayed for hours on end, why not leave the driving to them? Especially if you’re not going across country.

I can pack my chicken wings, and can soda in aluminum foil and pump!

And if you do fly and are delayed, what do you get for your trouble? Gone are the days where you get offered a hotel room or some other consolation prize for your trouble. At first I thought it was just US Airways, the airline I flew both occasions–I still think they’re busted and I will avoid them like the plague if I can help it–but I think the problem is more systemic than one airline’s incompetence.

In any case, the New York Times today had a great story explaining why flights have been s screwy, and why the airline industry has gotten away with disguising the data by not counting delays of different kinds. Delays of such magnitude that  you may miss the entire reason you’re flying in the first place– if you have an event or meeting to get to. They write:

As anyone who has flown recently can probably tell you, delays are getting worse this year. The on-time performance of airlines has reached an all-time low, but even the official numbers do not begin to capture the severity of the problem.

That is because these statistics track how late airplanes are, not how late passengers are. The longest delays — those resulting from missed connections and canceled flights — involve sitting around for hours or even days in airports and hotels and do not officially get counted. Researchers and consumer advocates have taken notice and urged more accurate reporting.

In addition to the delays, someone needs to do a story on how much money the cosmetics industry is making off of the ban on liquids over 3 ounces. I am sick of checking bags cuz my, ahem, “warming sensation lubricant,” won’t go through, or my oil-free moisturizer (which they don’t make smaller than a 4 ounce-service). I had one guy in line in front of me this spring say “Just because one dumb-ass tried to put explosives n his shoes we’re standing here 5 years later like fools taking our shoes off at the airport. ”

Are we going to be chucking bottles of Wet or Wet n’ Wild to get on a plane without checking baggage 5 years from now? That’s if your flight isn’t delayed or canceled.

The airlines need to get their act together. And soon. Before I buy a hybrid.

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