When will airline passengers come first?

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
Northern Virginia
Went on a business trip to Long Island mid week this week on the US Air Shuttle. We had an "on time" departure (1Pm was the set time) - meaning that we left the gate like two minutes before the scheduled time, Taxied out to a taxi way, parked next to another jet, and the engines were then shut down. The pilot then announced there had been a ground stop at LGA. We ended up sitting there for 1 1/2 hours! I would have preferred an extra time in the terminal to grab a meal.

To make matters worse the 2PM flight was pushed from the gate "on-time" just after we found out that we would be waiting on the tarmac for at least another half hour!

The next day my co-worker sat on the tarmac at LGA for 3 hours due to a ground stop at IAD because of the severe weather in the DC area last night. They did not even get beverage service during the delay, since they were forced to taxi around the airport because of the back-up in flights.

My gripe is that if I had been informed before boarding that there would be a delay on the tarmac (I had checked in at the ticket counter), I would have gotten lunch and brought it on board with me. I had 20 minutes at the gate before boarding call.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
Andover, MA
To be blunt, it won't happen until passengers demand service and start showing loyalty to airlines with better service instead of just buying the cheapest tickets. In a sense, we're all to blame, because we all put up with it, and airlines have been taught that prices are all that matters. :(


macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2004
Yeah, airports suck. They have no incentive to treat you well. What are you going to do? Go to a competing airport?

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
Blackheart said:
Yeah, airports suck. They have no incentive to treat you well. What are you going to do? Go to a competing airport?
Heck they cannot even treat the corpses well, and it's not like they are extremely hard to please.


macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
"Between the Hedges"
Actually, airlines and airline employees get just as frustrated with ground stops as the passengers do. These types of delays are due to weather in the destination city, in route weather and air traffic control slotting and routings. With gate space at a premium, many times airlines have to push planes in order to park others in order to keep the delays from having an even greater domino affect. As far as food, etc. served on the plane, most of them do not have any catering on board to offer due to cost cutting efforts.

The consumer focus on price has created the low cost airline model that offer few amenities. The rising fuel prices have created an even greater need to cut costs in every way possible.

I agree, the airline agents and flight attendants should be friendly, helpful and understanding, but in many cases, there is nothing they can do. It is out of their hands. Communication from the tower to a gate agent would not likely indicate that the plane would be holding on the tarmac, let alone telling them how long. The Air Traffic Control dispatcher does not have accountability to the customer when holding and releasing planes.

Air travel is a crazy industry.

Woof, Woof - Dawg