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Continental CEO: We'll cancel flights before paying fines

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  • #16
    Originally posted by EconomyClass View Post
    To me that's like building a plane that requires both engines operational. They don't build them that way so they don't crash when the inevitable happens. Similarly, it's just dumb to load the system to its fair-weather max. And especially I think its dumb when it becomes nearly impossible to make a profit in the business. I think it was Samuelson who used barbershops to demonstrate how some markets compete down to the zero profit level. Well, right now I think there are too many "barbershops" operating in aviation. We're running the production line at full tilt and then having problems when it breaks down. It seems to me that we're screwing up and trying to run it hell bent for leather.

    It may sound like a dumb question, but does our society really want to pay for a smoothly operating system? If we did, we'd spend more money on a lot of improvements. The fact we don't means we don't really want to fly that much. Or..........we're just living in a dreamworld.

    The system is the way it is because this is capitalism and the market for air travel has evolved in this way. There are plenty of people who pay for first or business class, but the basic operation of air travel in this country is geared towards the majority, who fly coach, for the best possible deal.

    But if you think the world is going to start operating airports at half capacity just so that those few odd days of the year when snowstorms or severe weather hit are easier you are crazy. The production line is running at full tilt because that is the demand.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Leftseat86 View Post
      But if you think the world is going to start operating airports at half capacity just so that those few odd days of the year when snowstorms or severe weather hit are easier you are crazy. The production line is running at full tilt because that is the demand.
      It could be 95 percent, it could be 90 percent. The point is either don't run it at 100 percent or have a systematic plan for coping with the situation when reality intervenes. There are known procedures for flying with a dead engine. It seems to me that if they are going to exhaust the infrastructure in best circumstances, they need well considered procedures in the worst circumstances. Keeping passengers stranded in a plane is NOT well planned procedures. It is making the passengers the victims of gridlock. Why shouldn't the onus fall on others in the system.

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      • #18
        Unfortunately, too much of our society operates to capacity when everything is OK. Here in Oz the majority of our hospitals barely cope in summer, when the cold and flu season hits in winter, delays in the emergency department can mean that the hospitals declare themselves closed to anything but a life and death emergency. Gawd help up if ever a major disaster with a stack of casualties happens.

        I'm a capitaliist at heart, but there is also a wee socialist deep inside me that says roads, public transport, hospitals and probably airports should be able to cope with the unexpected 90% of the time - and the government needs to fund adequately to allow that to happen (yep, taxes).

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        • #19
          if i were someone in government, i would be keeping two eyes on delta just to f$*k with them what an asinine statement from the chief what officer?

          if that aint thumbin your nose at the government i dont know what is. typical though since these guys and gals think they are above the law.

          high time we started takin some of these rich assholes down from their mighty places. im all for passin laws that make guys like him personally liable for stuff. enough corporate veil. these folks make decisions based on one thing only: their bonuses and platinum parachutes.

          yeah, im on a rant today...

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          • #20
            Great discussion because there's two sides to it....

            You say JFK needs infrastructure......for when the weather hits?

            As a counter argument- I still say the airlines ROYALLY blew it a few too many times.

            So you have a plane load of folks who are in line for takeoff and you hit 3 hours....

            That's when it's time to open up some gates!

            You can stop loading people at that point and start moving empty planes off the gates and start bringing the prisoners in and free them.

            The planes can back-taxi down the runway.

            I know you can't simply do that at the drop of a hat- BUT with the 8-hour strandings- I think that's more than enough time to use a little creative thinking on how to handle ground traffic and unloading.

            Again- we heard the pledges that the airlines would change procedures so this wouln't happen any more.....unfortunately, that was lip service and the exact thing happened a few more times. So whammo- there's the new fines!

            And again- maybe the airlines are now much more trigger happy to cancel- but then again, maybe that's what it takes to solve this issue.

            And- for what it's worth- just bought a plane ticket off the internet last night....nice and cheap!
            Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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            • #21
              if they really did cancel enough flights, wouldn't it be more costly than paying the fines? Just saying...

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              • #22
                Anyone know how airport gate scheduling is done? Is there complex software for it? I always like to assume anything involving more than a few factors has industrial-grade software to handle it. But my assumptions often involve rose-colored glasses about reality. No way would I have thought in 1993 that the White House would have a plugin switchboard. But I did just read a short while ago that hand held computing devices were going to be in the hands of people managing gates so that when the airport moves a given flight to a different gate, the people who do things like unload luggage will have realtime information of where to take the wagons for the suitcases. So maybe a master management software system is not so unrealistic.

                So the need to keep people no more than 3 hours can be added into all the rest to predict when a gate has to be opened to unload the passengers. There can be a ticket clock after 2 hours 30 minutes to allow predictive planning. This sort of thing has been used in many industries to get optimal use out of limited resources.

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