A couple of weeks ago, Business Week published a special report on the sorry state of air travel. Now they’re printing a selection of their reader responses, including FAA apologists (who are from the FAA, naturally), pro-railroad travelers, a pilot who says regional jets are overused, and a guy who says airlines should raise prices. [Business Week]

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  1. Amelie says:

    While I could understand an in-the-trenches FAA employee saying they can only do so much with the limited staff they’re allotted, I didn’t realize the bigwig shills would come on there to kiss Blakely’s ass.

  2. CurbRunner says:

    Here’s my view on why airlines continue to strand passengers inside of their planes on airport tarmacs…

    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’ and their 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. They can also take the economic advantages that holding passengers captive on the tarmac create for their bottom line.

    Any passenger that even mildly protests their captivity inside of a grounded aircraft, can now 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.

    So just remember, when you’re aboard a plane, just sit down, shut up and take it…because you’re not only just another passenger…now you’re also just another hostage.

    U.S. Code as of: 01/19/04
    Section 46504. Interference with
    flight crew members and attendants:

    An individual on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction
    of the United States who, by assaulting or intimidating a flight
    crew member or flight attendant of the aircraft, interferes with
    the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessens
    the ability of the member or attendant to perform those duties, or
    attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under title
    18, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both. However, if a
    dangerous weapon is used in assaulting or intimidating the member
    or attendant, the individual shall be imprisoned for any term of
    years or for life.

    If you want to help secure an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, go here: [www.strandedpassengers.blogspot.com]

  3. chili_dog says:

    It’s like that everywhere these days. All transportation is overloaded at peak times and with the inability for anyone (Govt or private) to do anything more then band-aid fixes, it’s only gonna get worse as the population grows and utilization of the infrastructure increases.

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    I’d be Pro-railroad if it didn’t require an extra week of vacation time. For example, if I were to go back to visit family and friends in New York:

    Portland, OR (PDX) 4:45 pm 18-SEP-07
    Chicago, IL (CHI) 3:55 pm 20-SEP-07

    Chicago, IL (CHI) 7:05 pm 20-SEP-07
    Pittsburgh, PA (PGH) 5:30 am 21-SEP-07

    Pittsburgh, PA (PGH) 7:20 am 21-SEP-07
    New York, NY (NYP) 4:55 pm 21-SEP-07

    So two “layovers”, and 72 hours and 10 minutes total travel time… all for the low, low, price of $193 (ONE-Way).

    With that as the choice, it’s easier to pay a few bucks more, make it there in a day, and suffer whatever cruel fate the Airlines choose to throw at me.