And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tough Enough?

So, the President is going to help all those weary holiday travelers out. Yes, the Prez has got a plan.

First, they're opening up the air space over military reservations along the coasts so flights don't have to route around. My guess is that the Whitehouse Airspace is still verboten.

First cluebat to the President, transit time isn't the problem. Flights are already calibrated for fuel usage and travel time.

Next, the President is relaxing FAA maintenance standards. No, seriously. He's relaxing regulation passed by Congress. You know, something that might not be all that legal.

Second cluebat to the President, maintenance is scheduled months in advance. This isn't a problem. This is an excuse by the airlines for their screwups and it's an excuse by you to deregulate a deregulated industry. Remember back in the 70s and 80s when airplanes fell out of the sky? Like a couple a year. Know what stopped that from happening? Bingo! Welcome to the old days of Air Soviet Union, but without the wonderful benefit of no meals, no peanuts, no service, and we might, might have a working bathroom. Edited TO be fair to the President, he was a heavy drinker in the 70s and 80s, so he may actually not remember the times before all the maintenance schedules were made because of safety reasons.

Next the President wasn't to continue to roll out the new air traffic controller system. A system that is dependant on every aircraft transmitting their GPS and other data continuously (after they're all updated). Because, you know, there's no flaw with that concept. Like bad guys turning the system off, or faulty transponders or equipment failure, or..

Third cluebat to the President, your plan will weaken our defenses, lead to job losses, and cost the industry a fortune, mostly on the low cost carriers. This is another attempt to lose workers that could unionize and weaken the federal employment programs. Plus all those easily identifiable flaws above.

Finally the President wants to double the amount of the payback if your, the consumer's, ticket isn't honored and you're bumped.

Fourth cluebat, most people take the free tickets or cash that's offered them to voluntarily give up their seat. How about something with real teeth, say triple the price of your ticket, the tickets of those traveling with you (say if you're bumped but your wife isn't), plus a new ticket on the a flight to get you where your were going.

So, basically this is nothing but a giveaway to industry. The airline industry, which has lobbied hard for these changes (including the new air traffic controller system, because it will cost the right people more money), is the only beneficiary. It has nothing to due with actual consumer protection.

So the President is still a cream puff. A lumpy cream puff.

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