Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Unintended Consequences of New Flight Rules

The government announced in December it would fine airlines $27,500 per passenger for long tarmac delays (three hours or more) - or $2.75 million for a 100-passenger flight.

Easy question: Will that policy have any significant effect on flight cancellations? More? Fewer?

Find out here.

16 Comments:

At 2/16/2010 2:56 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Who cares?? I would rather have my flight canceled than sit on there for eight hours at the whims of the airline company.

I mean seriously aren't there some constitutional issues involved here. You can't waive your Constitutional rights, correct?

So, I don't think that when you go on an airplane, you give up your rights to liberty. In other words, the airline does not have the right to hold you against your will just because you came on their airplane. So, I see nothing wrong with this. And as the article points out, this will be cheaper for the airline, so I can't see this hurting their business.

I think people would gladly have their flight canceled, rather than get on one and have their pilot lie to them for 8 hours that they are about to take off any moment now.

 
At 2/16/2010 3:03 PM, Anonymous DrTorch said...

I have to agree w/ Machiavelli on this.

 
At 2/16/2010 3:07 PM, Blogger jcapinc said...

So instead of getting there late, you would rather never get there? Good luck getting home if your ever traveling.

 
At 2/16/2010 3:30 PM, Anonymous LoneSnark said...

Carpe did not ask if it was right or not, he asked what the effect would be on canceled flights. Which is obvious, more flights will be canceled without boarding, more flights will be canceled after boarding, and average on-tarmac delays will fall.

As for Machiavelli, you are completely wrong. You have a constitutional right to contract, and you have a contract with the airline. In that contract, you agreed to let them make such decisions on your behalf. If you don't like ceding such authority over yourself, then don't agree to the contract.

Now, I have been on eight hour flights, they are a pain, but clearly survivable. More to the point, there are other people on the plane than just you, and they may be desperate to get to their destination. Who are you to dictate that they must cancel the flight for your comfort? It seems to me, the airline had balanced the utility just fine. A hundred people are inconvenienced for 3+ hours, but a few on board get to avoid having their lives ruined by traveling tomorrow (missed the cruise, missed the wedding, missed their father's death, missed the job interview, etc). And when your flight is canceled, the flight after yours is also canceled.

What makes your comfort count for so much more than those around you? Oh well, we do live in a democracy, and constitutional rights are easily swiped away by mob rule. Pass a law. My kidney transplant will happily wait so you can avoid any discomfort.

 
At 2/16/2010 3:38 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I mean seriously aren't there some constitutional issues involved here. You can't waive your Constitutional rights, correct?"...

ROFLMAO!

What?!?! You have a Constitutional right to fly?

Don't you really mean that the airline has NO Right to hold you against your will for more time than the actual flight would've taken?

example

New Tarmac Law

Airline company whimsey?!?!

Come on now, don't confuse incompetent airline management, higher fuel costs, and higher airport costs with whimsey...

I've been an airline employee going on 34 years now and I can two things that could happen because of this:

1) A quick cancel of the flight...

2) airlines pulling out or reducing service to cities that have problematic weather conditons continually...

There is a third possibility that I'm hesitant to mention, airlines that are financially troubled will just close up shop...

 
At 2/16/2010 4:24 PM, Anonymous LoneSnark said...

Good point juandos... I forgot to factor in the increased operating costs imposed upon airlines. We should expect to see fewer flights, particularly to delay prone airports, and more expensive flights all around as Airlines collect their rent for self insuring these risks.

Although, in the short term these costs will be paid by airlines, but in the long-run customers always pay.

 
At 2/16/2010 4:45 PM, Blogger Andy said...

I'd much rather my flight get canceled than sit on a tarmac for 8 hours. Indeed I'm certainly willing to pay up to a significant amount extra to avoid that outcome, since I value my free time at a nontrivial rate.

 
At 2/16/2010 4:47 PM, Blogger jcapinc said...

Some people work for a living, and some travelers need to get home as soon as possible, even if it means waiting in a cramped plane. You are not gaining any time if you are in a place you are unfamiliar with.

 
At 2/16/2010 5:15 PM, Blogger OA said...

Why does the government have to get a cut? Why couldn't this just be a mandatory compensation to the traveler, without the racketeers coming in for their piece of the action?

Even the mob doesn't skim that much. What do the aggrieved passengers get out of this other than maybe the "satisfaction" that the airline gets fined a lot? Me, I'd rather have maybe double my ticket in compensation with a $1,000 minimum, and the Feds can just stay away from the money.

Instead it seems like the same farce as class actions where a completely non-injured party makes out better than the harmed party.

 
At 2/16/2010 5:33 PM, Anonymous DrTorch said...

"Good luck getting home if your ever traveling."

Oh my, I'll be trapped in a distant city, never to make it home! Oh Toto, what ever will I do?

lol

jcapinc, instead of throwing out straw men, why don't you just not post?

 
At 2/16/2010 5:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Why does the government have to get a cut? Why couldn't this just be a mandatory compensation to the traveler, without the racketeers coming in for their piece of the action?"...

Seriously OA, 'I feel your pain' to quote a stainer of blue dresses...

I mean how many of us are going to see any of our extorted tax dollars 'lent' to the banks or the auto industry show up as a check in the mailbox?

Now a days though maybe some of the consumers of air travel services might have more and maybe better choices which is something to seriously consider...

If the travel is important maybe an extra $30 or $40 might make the difference...

 
At 2/16/2010 6:39 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

For every airplane that would have sat on the tarmac for 8 hours, dozens and perhaps hundreds of flights will be canceled. For you see, the airlines don't know when sending out a plane just how long each plane might have to sit on the tarmac.

To be safe, the airlines simply cancel any flight that MIGHT be risky -- and thousands of passengers don't get where they want to go.

It also saves them fuel and labor costs, so when in doubt, cancel the flight!

My son travels weekly by plane as a corporate consultant -- sometimes to bad climate airports. His customers would far rather he sat on the tarmac in order to make his destination -- and these clients pay him well for the inconvenience.

 
At 2/16/2010 6:49 PM, Blogger John Thacker said...

I'd much rather my flight get canceled than sit on a tarmac for 8 hours.

Fair enough. Now would you rather have two flights canceled rather than sit on a tarmac for 8 hours for one of them (but no delay with the other)? What about three canceled flights instead of one delayed one? Where's the tipping point for you personally?

 
At 2/16/2010 7:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

More from the Business Insider:

The Real Inflation Scoundrels: Hotels And Airlines Are Viciously Devaluing Your Frequent Flier Miles

Its just so damn unfair...:-)

 
At 2/18/2010 2:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is awesome. Absolutely awesome! I love "lawmaking." Watch: Next they'll pass a law which penalizes the canceling of flights. Which will lead to fewer flights being scheduled. Which will significantly up the cost to fly per ticket. Then they'll penalize the airlines for not filling a flight "quota." Once they start tampering, it never stops.

 
At 2/19/2010 8:42 AM, Anonymous Mike Giberson said...

$27,500 per passenger? Seems too high to be an efficient penalty. I'm not quite sure what my willingess to accept value is, but if the airline would agree to pay me $1000/hour on the tarmac, I'd agree not to complain to the DOT.

 

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