FAA to Airlines: Improve schedules or Feds will

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by xsedrinam, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #1
    Newer technology needed? Probably. Costly? Yes. But does it give any frequent flyers out there the warm fuzzies to consider what more Federal Government Intervention will produce in terms of real solutions? If it will be anything like the efficiency of TSA to the rescue, I say spare us.

    "Through July of this year, the airline industry had its worst on-time performance since the government began tracking such data in 1995, according to The Associated Press....But the cost of moving to the more sophisticated technology is daunting: $15 billion for commercial airlines to equip their planes with new equipment and an additional $15 billion to $22 billion for the FAA to adopt the satellite technology"
     

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  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #2
    It's about time something (anything!) be done.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #3
    The feds are gonna do what? Improve airline performance?

    Hey, listen, I can make you one helluva cash deal on a bridge, okay? Trust me!

    From the folks who lose money with a whorehouse in Nevada*? They're supposed to know something about business needs and problems?

    Hell's bells, they already are talking about reducing the interval between planes for takeoffs and landings--and the interval is already marginal. Too many people flying for the number of available runways, among other problems.

    And I guess the feds will control the weather, too...

    Sheesh!

    'Rat

    * No BS. True fact. IRS took over one of the "ranch" deals (Jackrabbit Ranch, IIRC), and has lost money ever since.
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    The biggest contributor to delays is overscheduling by the airlines. Look at any flight schedule and see how many are booked in the early evening as opposed to mid day.

    The solution to this nightmare is within the hands of the airlines, unfortunately, the sheep like flying public wants flights to conform to their working hours. At major airports, it's simply impossible. The greater NY area, including Philadelphia simply has no space for more flights in the coveted time frames.

    For the NE, it means either more realistic flight scheduling or more airports. The second, for the most part simply isn't an option due to NIMBYism and a lack of physical space.

    A new system will help somewhat but is no panacea to the current problems faced by the airlines.
     
  5. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #5
    The problem is due to cheap fares. Once prices rise again to the point where less people fly at the drop of a hat, schedules will be on time again.
     
  6. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Please tell me what airlines you fly on that the word "cheap" applies!!
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    dswoodley, in terms of buying power of the $$$, the answer is, "All of them."

    In 1949-sized dollars, back in the day of nickel coffee and newspapers, a one-way flight from Austin, Texas, to Manila, P.I., was $800. It took four days. Even at only a 10:1 devaluation, I doubt that the fare, today, would be $8,000.

    'Rat
     
  8. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Ok, I'm talking in the last decade or so. Every year I go back east it costs me just as much if not more. Add on regulation fees, security fees and all and in the end it's costing me a significant amount more.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    I'm not really sure what your point is. Do you mean that air transportation should only be for the wealthy?

    Are you implying that the airlines don't know what they're doing? That their form of capitalism is fatally flawed?
     
  10. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #10
    The question was why airlines are runnning late and the answer is that the planes are packed with people, there are so many flights that take off and land nose to tail, and with the added costs of security, fuel, etc. the cost of flying from one end of the country to the other is a fraction of what it cost back in the Sixties.

    I could care less who flies or not. Frankly it drives me nuts that I have to fly in cabins full of people hauling their brats to see grandma because it's so cheap to travel. When I was a kid, flying was a very expensive and rare event and as a result it was pleasant for those travelers that used air travel. Now it's a cattle car commodity that every now expects.

    If you want to reduce congestion, reduce everyone's carbon footprint and make air travel more pleasant then raise the prices. Cutting back 30-50% of the flights needed to haul people around that need to travel would cut delays damned near to zero - barring weather delays.
     
  11. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

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    #11
    It's worth mentioning that in the early days of air travel, the U.S. government did a lot of things to prevent the development of rail as passenger transportation. Rail is about 40% as fast as air travel, but CONSIDERABLY more fuel efficient and about as safe. Bear in mind that the airline industry is heavily subsidized, and probably would be considerably smaller otherwise.

    If we had quality rail transportation in the U.S., I would take rail anytime I had to travel anywhere west of the Missippi (I live in western Oregon). Instead, I had to take a plane ride out to Salt Lake City last spring because I was on a tight schedule. :eek: At least it was paid for.
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    so yeah, rather than make improvements, lets make it so that only the wealthy can afford it, everyone else should drive or take the train, oh wait, those infrastructures are failing too. :rolleyes:

    i think the problem is a bit more complex than what you're making it out to be, but again with your point of view its the 'poor' causing all the problems.

    ***

    back onto the topic, the airlines and airports can only do so much, given that airports can only be so big (i know O'Hare has wanted to expand, which is costly enough, but there is a lot of resistance too). and there are 'peak hours' for people wanting to travel. perhaps making the 'off peak' times more desirable would help, or better communication through all parties that will help predict delays and get such notifications out to the right people faster.
     
  13. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    It's wonderful to be able to travel so easily. This is progress, bringing former luxuries to the masses; this is what America is supposed to be about! WTF is with you? You want us moving backwards in time? You want the standard of living in our nation to drop?

    Your disdain for the advancement of our capitalistic society is almost as disturbing as your hatred for families who take their children to visit relatives.
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #14
    You continue to astound me with your elitism. You keep coming up with this "survival of the fittest/only the strong should survive" stuff. I thought you were supposed to be a Christian? So many of your views are the complete antithesis to that. Even worse, you seem to hate any kind of welfare for the poor or the sick, yet you're fine with the corporate welfare. Espousing free market capitalism, but then criticizing it when it leads to popularity and lower prices. Which, I don't know about you, but they don't seem that low to the rest of us. Not that there are always good alternatives, as mentioned with the crumbling infrastructure of those few alternatives left. You're also ignoring the lost tourist dollars crucial to some places that would be lost, and the fact that people are wanting to fly less now anyway because of the arcane security measures that have already been proven to be mostly for show, which is actually costing the industry so they have to lower prices to stay competitive.

    So rather than deal with the actual issue, God forbid the gov get even more involved (even though they already are and we're already paying for it) or the airlines actually improve their act, you'd rather insult those who aren't you and yours because for some reason you don't feel they deserve the right to fly the way you do. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Ugg, I really doubt anybody thinks air travel should be limited to "the wealthy". But when airlines are a lousy stock-buy because of losses and bankruptcies, it seems logical to me to raise the price of seats and of freight. If the price of seats at some level of profitability means fewer people can afford to fly, well, that's life.

    Daveman Deluxe, two reasons for air travel wiping out passenger rail: One was the savings in time for long-distance travel. The other was that sweet young thing with her, "Coffee, tea or me?" compared to a Grumpy Old Fart of a conductor giving you a hard time.

    Hey, I wuz around back in the '40s and '50s on trains'n'planes...

    :D, 'Rat
     
  16. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

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    #16
    Desertrat: Another reason was the arbitrary restriction of trains to 79 mph around that time. There weren't any real safety reasons to do so, as trains had previously operated safely at considerably higher speeds. I wish I could find where I read that... I'll do some digging and edit this post with a link if I find it again.

    No disrespect to flying, because I LOVE airplanes and I LOVE flying places. I work for Knife Edge Software, which makes a simulator for radio controlled aircraft, and it is HELLA fun. That said, passenger rail never really got the opportunity to get off the ground in the U.S. in a big way, and I wish it would have. Much more energy efficient.
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #17
    Prior to deregulation, airlines were monopolies and cared little or nothing about the market as such, only about their bottom lines. They were flying widebodies direct between small cities and often had passenger loads under 50%. Deregulation came in and a lot of the big ones failed, thankfully. Unfortunately, the legacy carriers were only interested in short term profits, not long term viability. They engaged in continual waves of layoffs, creating a huge unfunded and unfundable retirement and health insurance liability. Their fare wars were also very destructive. They mostly have themselves to blame for their own fates.

    The airlines live off the business passenger for the most part. Leisure travels are the icing on the cake. There has been a huge growth in business class only travel. The prices are higher but there are fewer people on the plane and some airlines, notably Lufthansa offer their upper crust customers chauffeur service direct to the plane with special luggage handling and expedited customs treatment.

    swarmy's whinging about crying babies but if he weren't so interested in saving money, he wouldn't have to worry about them. His greatest enemy is himself.

    Europe has undergone a total airline transformation. The budget airlines, Ryanair, easyjet, etc, have begun to create a dual class system. The poor take the budget airlines while other carriers are starting up business class only or air taxi services. The railways of Europe, with the glaring exception of the UK also provide a great deal of competition to the airlines.

    The distances in Europe and the population density mean that what's viable there, isn't in the US. The distances are too great for dual class systems. swarmy's just going to have continue to scream at babies and their grandparents for awhile. Amtrak in the US has been run into the ground so trains in most parts of the US simply arent' an option.

    Amtrak's virtual demise means for most people, if you want to travel in the US, you're forced to fly.
     
  18. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #18
    Let's see, the federal government is going to come in and improve things. Somehow I cannot gain a 'warm fuzzy feeling' thinking about that prospect.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    No, they won't improve things. They'll just transfer some more wealth to the airlines, who will promptly put that welfare handout into the pockets of their CEOs while cutting jobs and pay / benefits for those who are left.

    And it's just amazing to watch conservative believers in the "free market" argue that we need to do this in order to prop up businesses that can't manage themselves properly.
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

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  21. xsedrinam thread starter macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #21
    The argument comes full circle, here. I've browsed the tedious documentation of the House of Representatives 2005 Hearing on Current and Future Outlook of U.S. Commercial Airline Industry (tried to paste link, but no cigar), and do not see one operative model being proposed by any of the legacy airlines which is solvent.

    Government bail outs are simply band-aids to patch a non solvent model of operation.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Exactly. It's like deja vu all over again.
     
  23. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #23
    How about this: People in America aren't guaranteed vacation time. If we go somewhere we want our travel time to be as short as possible. If we had more leisure time, maybe we'd be more willing to attempt alternative (slower, or more leisurely, depending on your definition :) ) forms of transport.

    It's a partly a cultural thing. When a society doesn't bother to exit the car in order to eat a meal, why would it spend 3 days on a train when it could do 4 hours in the air? Even if you *do* get to keep your shoes on.
     
  24. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #24
    Of course not, but they missed my point. Cheap fares equal more warm bodies which equals more traffic and hence more delays.

    I didn't say that travel should be out of the reach of the masses, but I do think that fares are low enough to where far too many people travel on a whim than the existing infrastructure can handle without expecting delays.
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Why are you blaming travelers for the problems of an industry with it's face firmly planted in the public handout trough?

    Or are you suggesting that people shouldn't be able to spend their money as they see fit, whether that is on an airline travel "whim" or on a Humvee?

    And as long as we're at it, would you suggest raising gasoline prices as a way to deter all those pesky motorists who go to work "on a whim"?
     

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