The majority of travelers have returned from their trips for the Thanksgiving holiday and those lucky few that have not are still concerned about the flight home. Given the attention paid to the past week in terms of the delays, one might be relieved to hear about no major passenger strandings over the extended weekend and consider the weekend a “victory” for the airlines.
The fact is that the airlines continued the same sub-standard performance that has made the news throughout the summer. According to an article in the New York Times , the average on-time rate at the top 25 airports was 80 percent on Saturday and 71 percent on Sunday, FlightStats.com said. Flights returning on Monday were not faring too well either. According to Meara McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for FlightStats.com, by 3:00pm ET on Monday “30 percent of the nation’s top airports had a less than 60 percent on-time arrival rate.” Weather problems on Monday in places like Atlanta and the Northeast didn’t help.
As passengers, we need to ask ourselves: if mediocrity (or in some cases sub-standard) is acceptable after paying hundreds for a ticket? Travel blogger Joe Brancatelli – of the subscription-based Joesentme.com – puts it perfectly: “Airlines were running about 70 percent on time, and suddenly it’s described as a victory?” The airlines obviously need pressure put on them from not only the passengers, but the DOT as well if on-time performance is to improve.
70% is unnacceptable, even for holidays. The airlines must address their delay problem before the problem gets worse.
Take a look at Joe Sharkey’s analysis of the Thanksgiving holiday travel situation HERE .