In Feb 2009, Continental flight 3407 crashed shortly
after takeoff before landing, killing 50 people. Investigators found that the pilot had had less than half the flying time required by the major carriers, and that he had failed five flight performance tests in his career. Though the tail, uniforms and ticket said “Continental,” the flight was actually run by a smaller regional carrier, “Colgan Air.”
A PBS Frontline Investigation found that these smaller carriers can have troubling safety records, exploitative employment practices, and a “move the rig” culture that overlooks established safety protocol in pursuit of profits. Just over half of domestic flights today are not operated by major airlines, but by these smaller outfits.
And as if that wasn’t enough, regional airlines are also riddled with delays. Delta’s wholly owned subsidiary airline “Comair” had the highest percentages of regularly scheduled flights with tarmac delays of 2 hours or more, according to a recent Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report.
Flying Cheap [FRONTLINE]
You’re Most Likely To Get Stranded On The Tarmac With Delta And United [Consumerist]
“Regional” Pilots Make Little Money, Live In One Bedrooms With 9 Other People [Consumerist]