Airlines Sacrifice All-Mighty Dollar To Combat Congestion

Taking a lesson from this summer’s royal clusterfuck of delays, cancellations, and passengers stranded for hours on the tarmac, airlines have decided to tweak things a bit for the better. Here’s some of the proposed measures:

  • Sell fewer seats on busy routes
  • Increase number of jet flying the same routes
  • Increase staff at at hubs to help with passengers missing connections
  • Increase operating day by 30 minutes
  • Have aircraft available as “spares”
  • Increase planes’ ground time

The moves translate to increased airline costs, a reality you can expect to see reflected in your ticket price.

Airlines to alter booking protocol [WSJ via Rick Seaney]
(Photo: Maulleigh)

Comments

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  1. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Wow, great tactic. Let things go absolutely to hell and then charge to fix them. I ought to try that at work and see how far it gets me.

  2. meehgz says:

    Airlines?

  3. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @meehgz: No, ailrines. Say it three times out loud and it won’t sound weird anymore.

  4. sleze69 says:

    Sacrifice the almighty dollar but we should expect to see airfares rise? Doesn’t sound like a sacrifice to me.

    - Increase number of jet flying the same routes. Isn’t that how we got to this point? Having too many planes in the air for our airports to support.

    Where is THIS solution?

    - Using larger planes for the flights that always seem to be overbooked

    - Fining airlines for each plane that is consistently oversold

  5. CurbRunner says:

    The airlines are only trying to respond to the negative publicity generated by their holding hostage many stranded passengers for economic reasons.

    What the airlines have going for themselves here, and they know it, is that Homeland Security now gives them carte blanch to treat stranded passengers’ expressed concerns with total disregard under the new anti-terrorist laws. With this legal coverage in place, there is no incentive for them to do anything different from their current disgraceful practices regarding the treatment of their captive customers.

    Any passenger that even mildly protests their captivity inside of a grounded aircraft,
    can be heavily prosecuted for “interfering with” or “intimidating” flight attendants. Under Federal Law, US Code § 46504, a passenger can get from 20 years to life in prison for making an airline employee feel uneasy. It doesn’t matter if the toilets are overflowing,
    if your kid becomes sick and needs medical treatment, someone needs food and water or is out of their heart medicine. Even just visually complaining by looking at a flight attendant the “wrong way” (intimidation), under the law, they can now subjectively interpret that you are attempting to interfere with a flight crew and you can automatically be considered a terrorist suspect. Even stating you concerns can be interpreted as they please.

    You can be arrested and then who knows where you’ll end up, maybe in Guantanamo with no habeas corpus rights or maybe you’ll just be disappeared.

    What they really want you to remember is that when you’re aboard their planes, just sit down, shut up and take it…because you’re not only just another passenger…now you’re also just another hostage.

  6. dbeahn says:

    @sleze69: Personally, I like:

    - If a paying customer is bumped from an oversold flight, the price of their ticket is refunded 110% and they are required to be given a first class confirmed seat on the very next flight to their destination, even if that flight is on another airline.

  7. timmus says:

    I have to agree with curbrunner; the airlines are definitely guilty of exploiting anti-terrorism sentiment to further their business agenda. This is one reason why I don’t fly unless there’s absolutely no choice. Note that the improvements are just proposed measures and, hence, are just a doggie bone for warm fuzzy PR.

  8. socialmisfit says:

    I may be mistaken, but weren’t there more flights back in the late 90′s/early 00′s before the big “oh crap we’re all going bankrupt” party. In fact, arn’t all of these changes simply undoing alot of the “cost-cutting” they did in response to the mass-bankruptcy?

  9. costanza007 says:

    i like the “having aircraft available as spares” notion… those things are pretty expensive to buy and maintain that you can’t just have them sitting around just waiting to be put into service. you really do have to sell seats to first pay for the aircraft and then turn a profit.

  10. jamar0303 says:

    I think that the best measure of protest would be to vote with our money; go with Virgin America if at all possible, or go with an international airline (I know that given the conditions I’ve read about here I’d rather go through Canada or another country then back to the use- yes, even Customs is less of a hassle than waiting in a plane for who knows how long).

  11. jamesdenver says:

    @jamar0303:

    Agree.

    At least they aren’t blaming ATC or General Aviation for their problems like most other stories.

  12. samftla says:

    The only reason the airlines are finally doing something is due to pending legislation in Congress that will force them to clean up their act. What we need to prevent the abuse is a real Airline Passenger Bill of Rights. Call or write your Representative and Senator today and urge them to support either HR 1303 (House version) or SR 678 (Senate version) For more information go to [www.flyersrights.com]
    Stop complaining and do something.
    SAM

  13. bbbici says:

    How about just following the golden rule?

  14. FrinkLemur says:

    Here’s something I’d lik

  15. FrinkLemur says:

    Here’s something I’d like to see

  16. Isn’t that how we got to this point? Having too many planes in the air for our airports to support.

    Yes.

  17. swalve says:

    Clusterfuck? Classy…