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Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac

From 693 events of passengers being stuck in a plane for more than three hours in 2007, down to 20 this year, a DOT rule has had a real impact. With a guest appearance by FlightAware's Dbaker...... ( More...

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PhotoFinish 1
Makes sense.

Government adds a fine for keeping pasengers on a plane for too long. So airlines don't try so hard to keep flight operations going in potentially questionable behavior.

Many more flights are cancelled in advance. Makes lots of sense to not have the passengers and crew go all the way out to the airport, if many flights will be cancelled throughout the day due to inclement weather.

The airlines certainly aren't going to load a bunch of planes that might not get a slot for takeoff. There is a complex dance of loading planes, deicing them and hoping they can get off before the deicing has to be reapplied or the plane has to return to a gate to let everyone out. Then they've got to find an available gate, which gets harder when planes aren't getting out.

andrewderr 1
and you only have to cancel 79,000 flights each winter to reduce the occurrences from 693 to 20.
PhotoFinish 1
Many more people will wait a week for their rebooked flight when their flight is canceled. But fewer planes will be waiting hours filled with passengers for departure.

The next thing they'll try to create big hefty fines for not being able to rebook passengers quickly enough after cancelations, especially drying the holidays.

The airlines will have to keep an entire back-up fleet that they never fly except when weather forces cancelations at holiday time. Don't forget the back-up pilots, back-up cabin crew, back-up luggage handlers and back-up airport staff. All these folks will be hired and trained but won't work except on those rare days in which weather forces airlines to cancel lots of flights. Fares will have to be doubled in order to pay for the double unused capacity.

On second thought maybe the airlines will just pay whatever fines are dreamed up next. Or they'll just give up this flying thing if it gets too troublesome.

/end sarcasm/


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