Saturday, April 12, 2008

Airline Woes Driving People to Find Other Transportation

It is safe to say that a lot of people are afraid to fly. Its not a new phobia by any means. But, the reason behind many of new adopters of the I rather stay on the ground crew is all the news about lack of maintenance and enforcement of maintaining the integrity of the planes by the FAA. With American Airlines grounding over 3000 flights in the last four days, it is easy to see why people rather drive even with the price of gas right now. My own sister in law and mother are going to make a trip to Phoenix AZ from Buffalo NY next month. After watching four airlines file bankruptcy and others ground flights over maintenance issues, they are now going to drive. What was going to be a week long vacation in Phoenix is being cut short by travel time now because of a new found fear of flying. Its really a fear of paying to fly and not doing so. American Airlines is spending countless man hours and who knows how much money in putting passengers in hotels and paying for meals and other comps because of the delays, but it does not help the fact that the people did not make their destinations when they were supposed to. A standard rule of thumb when cruising is to fly the day before whenever possible because a flight delay could mean the difference between getting on the ship and watching it sail off without you but many people (myself included) often chose to fly the day of to save some money in hotel etc... There have not been any numbers that I have found of people missing cruise ships but with the number of canceled flights there has to be a few disappointed people. One would hope that the airline did everything in their power to help people out, but when you ground thousands of people how do you prioritize who gets helped first?

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