10 Responses

  1. vic
    vic at |

    I don’t see it as badly as you. FA’s are on the front line of customer interaction. Why is it a bad thing to allow them (or provide a sanctioned script) to inform customers of problems?

    Delays happen for various reasons and most rational people know this but appreciate information in the form of timely updates (on weather situations for example) and regular communication.

    It is the absence of any communication during delays that really incense people–making the FA’s job even worse. They take the brunt of peoples anger–why not allow them to blunt that with information. Just because it’s somehow attached or coordinated with some management’s lobbying effort isn’t really relevant.

    I applaud the industry effort to involve all affected.

  2. Vicente
    Vicente at |

    Meh, this is PR blame deflection. They know this was coming. Flight schedules could be adjusted to accomodate the actuality. They chose not to, and to redirect all complaints.

  3. Emil A
    Emil A at |

    I was just on a UA flight and the purser mentioned he had some script to read about the delays but he never ended up reading it. We also weren’t delayed.

  4. Kris Ziel
    Kris Ziel at |

    How does this give you any pause about competition? It is in the best interest of all airlines to not have these fabricated FAA furloughs/delays and have lower taxes. Why would they not try to get the traveling public to end this publicity stunt?

  5. srptraveller
    srptraveller at |

    Agree with kris. Industries should lobby as a collective on items like this. Openly doubt whether airlines are as effective at this as they should be, for example the TSA security theatre/farce we walk through every day.

    Regardless whether you agree with them, can’t see big auto or the gun lobby sitting still for this kind of stuff.

  6. Evan
    Evan at |

    “Flight schedules could be adjusted to accomodate the actuality.”

    But that’s still causing a needless impact on passengers. This is a classic collective action problem where everyone’s inconvenienced 30 minutes and that’s irritating, but passengers expect delays on airlines, so are likely to grumble, but not do anything about it. But here there’s a cause (furloughs) that could be overcome in a way that weather and maintenance cannot/should not for safety reasons. So, having the airlines orchestrating a response is not a bad idea, it makes up for what would otherwise be a failure for enough people to complain about delays.

    Another way of looking at this that the airlines probably don’t want to lobby for is that the FAA should not be funded by appropriations, but be based on fees from airlines and other aviation users. That is, the FAA is providing a commercial service. That’s the way the Canadian and New Zealand systems work. Why should Congress determine how many ATC people are needed? Crazy.

  7. DaninSTL
    DaninSTL at |

    It is the government at fault. Cut backs designed to impact the public to put pressure on the conservatives to go along with spending more money we don’t have on more social programs we don’t need. I doubt Air Force one runs into ATC delays these days.

  8. Geoff Stuart
    Geoff Stuart at |

    I disagree that this policy places FA’s and pilots in the line of fire. On the contrary, it allows them to place the blame exactly where it belongs. My wife is a senior EPA attorney and she has to take 2 to 3 weeks of unpaid leave this year. What’s she supposed to record on her voicemail greeting? “oh, i’m just taking some extra unpaid vacation this year…” We have a mortgage to pay and she has not received an increase for three years. Congress needs to get off their asses and negotiate. What a terrible example this whole debacle sets for our children!

  9. freqflyercoll
    freqflyercoll at |

    I agree with some of the others who didn’t think this was bad on part of management. Even though FA’s didn’t cause the problem, they would probably feel some of the ire of passengers upset by a delay. So it seems great if they have a root cause they can point to that does not involve them or their company taking fault.