Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Protect Small Businesses in Nevada

We wanted to pass on an article from one of our members that appeared in the Reno Gazette last week. Written by Mr. Neil Weaver, this guest opinion column details the importance general aviation has on small towns throughout Nevada.

Mr. Weaver also details the pressing need to move forward with the bill. Because we have two fair bills in both houses of Congress, we must move quickly to begin the task of modernizing our air traffic control system.

Mr. Weaver concludes with the following: "All members of general aviation applaud the House and Senate for their dedication to modernizing our air-traffic control system and preserving a strong general aviation industry. Congress must now finish what they have started before legislative days are exhausted and ensure safe and secure skies for both commercial and general aviation aircraft."

Read the entire column HERE.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Steven Rosenblum Is Dead On!

Steve Resenblum in a letter to the Chicago Daily Herald nails the airlines for their deceptive practices.

The Chicago Daily Herald

Weather an excuse for O'Hare delays

How often do we hear about canceled flights at O'Hare due to weather ("Fog, high winds ground some flights at O'Hare," Daily Herald, Jan. 8.)?

Somehow, this seems like almost a daily excuse being used by airlines at O'Hare who have double or triple booked departure times (how many flights can leave at exactly the same moment from the same airport anyway?).

Last Sunday, as I took my parents to O'Hare, their flight was delayed a couple of hours due to "weather." When I inquired, I was told it was due to fog and low clearance. As I approached O'Hare and peered out my window at the sun breaking through the mid-level clouds, I wondered, "What on earth are they talking about?" I guess "on earth" was what they were talking about, as it was just another excuse for air traffic congestion and poor scheduling across the system.

When I spoke with the person at the airline ticket counter, she explained that "If you really want to depart or arrive in Chicago on time, you should go through Midway."

Why is this? Is it really that far from O'Hare to MidwayThis seems to be an airport problem. So please stop blaming the weather.

Steven Rosenblum


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Study Shows Multiple Carriers are Prone to Flight Delays

It seems like these days you cannot escape a flight delay while flying. But that may not exactly be a coincidence. In this article, the Wall Street Journal reports that flight delays are not caused by a case by case scenario, in fact, government data finds that multiple carriers contribute in one way or another to persistent flight delays nationwide.

Major airline carriers have continuously over-scheduled flights traveling into and out of our nation’s busiest airports, which inhibits flights from departing on time. In 2007 alone, “the number of flights with taxi-out times of more than three hours totaled 1,598 for the first 11 months, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.”

The Wall Street Journal says that, "what we do know is that of those taxi-out problems for planes waiting to take off, they often are bunched up at a few big hub airports." This causes disomfort to passengers and leaves them stranded on planes, sometimes for hours at a time, before taking off.

To read more CLICK HERE

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Business Travelers Want Airlines To Be Accountable For Delays

According to a survey done by Directravel, travelers want the airlines to 'fess up to their role in delays. In the face of airline press releases and continuous attacks against the general aviation community, passengers aren't buying it. 46% of respondants said that delays over 1 hour by the airlines were unacceptable. The most telling statistic was "more than 80% feel airlines should provide a sliding scale refund if flights are late."

Since airline overscheduling has been commonplace for many airline companies, passengers are now demanding the airlines take responsibility and change to fit their customers rather than catering to their bottom line.

Read the rest of the survey HERE.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Meterologist says Airlines' are Playing the Weather Card when it comes to Delays

The heap of evidence just keeps on mounting up against the Airlines' and their excuses about flight delays. A forensic meteorologist, Howie Altschule, is an "expert witness" when it comes to tracking down bad weather. He claims that, "I do believe that bad weather is sometimes being used as an excuse for delays or cancellations when it really was not." If fact, Altschule says that the Airlines' are indifferent and "don't mind flying" near or around bad weather storms.

The problem with flying these days is that the airlines' are not being held accountable for delayed flights that they say occur due to "bad weather." Currently there is no system in place that verifies whether or not bad weather is the real cause for delayed flights and as you would expect, the airlines are using this to their advantage by leaving passengers stranded on tarmacs and putting the bill on the backs of its passengers!

Click HERE.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Encouraging Remarks

As the aviation community waits to hear the next step in the FAA reauthorization, is it encouraging to read comments like the following from Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): "User fees are dead."

With the progress Congress has made in the past few months, we here at the Alliance would like to extend our thanks to all of the Senators and Representatives for their time and attention.

But like Phil Boyer of AOPA, we don't want to let our guard down until the last bill without user fees has been signed. We know that the airlines are investing a great deal of time and energy to keep user fees on the backs of general aviation. With positive voices like Senator Nelson's, we know that we are moving in the right direction. The Alliance will continue to closely monitor the workings of the Senate to make sure our members are well informed about the nest steps in this process.

Read Phil Boyer's comments HERE.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Numbers Don't Lie

According to an "Access America" poll, about 55% of respondants cited airline or airport service as a source of travel-related frustration. About 41% of respondents are frustrated with security and safety issues. The Angry Traveler blog on the Los Angeles Times details out their vision for 2008 and they have joined the choir of people worried about airline on-time performance.

Read this entire article HERE.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2008: Beware Business Travelers

Check out Daniel Grossman's post in USA Today's Business Traveler Blog about what 2008 holds in store for the business traveler

After experiencing the second worst travel year on record, with over 25 percent of flights being delayed and countless numbers of flights being canceled in 2007, Grossman predicts that travelers can expect much of the same from airlines’ in 2008.

Passengers in 2008 can not only expect to experience more time waiting for their flights in airport terminals, but will also face higher airfares in business class to rise. The reason he says, along with higher oil prices, airlines are going to begin cutting capacity between destinations.

Passengers can also expect less reservation space and elbow room in flight while traveling with the airlines’ because of their plan to increase the amount of passengers in domestic flights and limiting the amount of per day flights they fly.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Standing up for the little airport...

Representatives James Oberstar (D-MN) and Jerry Costello (D-IL) wrote an excellent guest column in today's edition of USA Today on the importance of small airports to rural communities.

While a great deal of attention is paid to large hub airports, small airports rarely get the credit they deserve. The truth is: without these airports, many small and rural communities wouldn't be able to get the goods and services they have come to depend on.

Many small businesses use small airports to access customers in areas that could take many hours or even days to access otherwise. Representative Oberstar and Costello said it best in their column when they stated: "Adding a four-hour round-trip drive to a business trip is simply unacceptable in today's fast-moving, global economy. Otherwise attractive rural communities will lose out to already-congested cities..."

As our readers know, we here at the Alliance feel it is important to highlight the efforts of the volunteer pilots in organizations such as Angel Flight. But without these small airports, these pilots wouldn't be able to access the patients that need their help. If they can no longer get access, what will the patients do? Spend $500 on a round-trip airfare on a plane that may be delayed, cancelled, or standed on the tarmac for hours on end?

Some patients need to go to a specific hospital, hundreds of miles away. Many cannot make the drive as many times as the treatment is needed because their medical expenses are draining their funds.

These airports are an essential lifeline to these small communities. They need to be kept intact so residents can continue to live their lives.

Read the USA Today article HERE.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Good Riddance 2007

Well for air travelers, 2007 was a year to forget; between the delays and lost baggage the airlines did more to to turn air travel from the most convenient mode of transportation to something to be avoided at all costs. Today's Washington Post does a good job of recapping the airlines' awful display of customer service and protection this past year.

We just want to let our readers know that all of us at the Alliance for Aviation Across America and the entire GA community will keep the pressure on the airlines to improve their service and to begin to treat their customers with respect.