Given the magnitude of the catastrophe in the Indian Ocean region it’s easy to overlook the fact that several portions of the air traffic system went kaput over the weekend. I may be missing some, but here’s the major problems:
Commair, a Delta regional carrier, ceased operations when the software that is used to schedule airline crews crashed. Commair has cited worries about violating Federal standards for crew flight time as one of the reasons for a system-wide shutdown.
Travelers flying USAir were stung by what amounted to a wild card strike (i.e., sick out) at the airlines. The Philadelphia hub was especially affected which caused ripple effects throughout their service area.
Thousands of travelers have spent several days stuck in airports, airline phone operations are sagging under the demand – registering five hour hold times in some cases. The baggage situation is a complete meltdown, with tens of thousands of bags lost or stranded and little progress being made.
On top of the man-made mishaps mother nature laid out a blanket of snow and ice across the Midwest and into the South, where they handle snow about as well as you hit a Roger Clemens fastball…
Aren’t you glad you drove?