Moving Parts: Another Airline Story

It’s 94 degrees outside, the ship is full of hot people, the air conditioning cannot keepmoving parts up, thunderstorms are moving in and we’re #43 in line for take-off. It’s rush hour at JFK and I’m the Captain taking 172 people non-stop to San Francisco. We have 5 ½ hours of real estate in front of us – after we wait in the runway queue. The folks onboard probably think the toughest part for them is over; TSA security check-points, time constraints and long lines top their lists. Tonight, they are wrong.

We’ve been put in special penalty box until the bad weather has passed along our route of flight. The ATC system is already at capacity and in addition to those 42 airplanes in front of us there are four of them on a similar routing. We each need 20 minutes of spacing between us. Have you done the math yet?

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The Passenger Bill of Rights: Feckless

This new regulation now compels me to make a decision that is possibly not in

No Way Out

the best interest of my passengers when I approach the newly imposed time limit; continue toward the runway or return to the gate. Remember, Secretary LaHood now has a $5.9 million gun pointing at my company’s wallet and I decide if he gets paid. Under those terms you can guarantee that I will elect to return to the gate. Then we’ll see what those 216 passengers originally bound for Europe really think about their new Passenger Bill of Rights.

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