Thursday, December 30, 2010
Passengers Stranded in Airport Terminals for Days!
How could such a thing happen? Obviously, the weather has something to do with it. It's something that happens this time of year. But another cause that's not being mentioned is the US Government. It's called the Passenger Bill of Rights. Due to the PBOR and irregardless of the weather, airlines are required to limit the amount of time passengers are stuck on a airplane without either taking off or parking at the gate. (There is no time limit for being stuck in the terminal.) These times are monitored by the government and, if not complied with, the airlines are assessed huge fines. So what was the result? With the storm predictions looming and arrival/departure delays sure to happen, the airlines simply pre-cancelled thousands of flights in order to avoid having to pay possible fines (in addition to safety considerations, etc.) And be advised, the airlines warned Congress that a situation just like this would arise if they went through with the PBOR. Of course, Congress knows best.
Let me ask you this. If you had the choice of being stuck at Newark International Airport for days awaiting a flight or being stuck on a airplane for 4 hours awaiting take off, which would YOU take? It's just another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences when it comes to government meddling in private enterprise.