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Posted: 3/10/2010 5:31:53 AM EDT
Story Link

DALLAS – Continental Airlines plans to cancel flights rather than risk stiff fines under new federal rules designed to punish carriers for delaying passengers.

CEO Jeff Smisek said Tuesday the result will be that passengers will have more trouble getting to their destinations.

A spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Department said airlines can avoid fines by doing a better job of scheduling flights and crews.

Under a Transportation Department rule taking effect next month, airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger if planes are delayed three hours and passengers can't get off.

Smisek said at an investor conference in New York that long delays are rare, and mostly caused by an outdated air traffic control system that the government has failed to upgrade.

Airline industry officials say they should decide whether to wait out delays, even if the delays go past three hours.

Smisek said many passengers on delayed flights "really want to go to LA or Mumbai, but the government by God says, 'We're going to fine you $27,500.' Here's what we're going to do: We're going to cancel the flight."

Because airlines have cut flights, leaving the remaining ones more crowded, passengers will have fewer chances to rebook on another flight. Passengers, he said, won't get to their destinations "for maybe days."

Transportation Department spokesman Bill Mosley said the new rules will help consumers pick airlines that don't have tarmac delays or that routinely cancel their flights.

"Carriers have it within their power to schedule their flights more realistically, to have spare aircraft and crews available to avoid cancellations" and to rebook passengers when there are cancellations, Mosley said.

The new rules grew out of passenger frustration over incidents in which planes were stuck on the tarmac for hours before takeoff. With Congress considering legislation to crack down on delays, the Transportation Department imposed its own 3-hour rule, including fines of up to $27,500 per passenger.

That means that for a fully packed medium-sized plane such as a Boeing 737, fines could top $3.5 million per flight, and go much higher on bigger planes used for international flights.

At the same investor conference, Continental estimated it will take in $350 million this year from fees on checked bags — a 30 percent jump from the $270 million it raised last year.

Continental recently raised its fees to $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second, although elite frequent fliers and some other customers don't have to pay.

Houston-based Continental, the nation's No. 4 airline, is still thinking about growing by combining with another airline. Continental cut off merger talks with United Airlines a couple years ago, but both are now smaller in comparison to Delta, which acquired Northwest to become the world's largest airline.

"If we think it's in our best interest to bulk up defensively, we'll do so," Smisek said.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:36:42 AM EDT
Smisek sounds like a smug asshole.

Having said that, and having been stuck on the tarmac for several hours, it would seem that it's the airport and it's facilities that cause these delays. Maybe the airlines don't want to return to the gate but the airport itself shares in the blame.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:37:54 AM EDT
The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:40:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


EXACTLY

Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:40:46 AM EDT



Originally Posted By DriftPunch:


The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


yup





 
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:42:26 AM EDT



Originally Posted By osprey21:





Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


yup



 
Another yup.





 
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:43:54 AM EDT
I for one dont blame the guy. Delays happen........mechanical problems or whatever else. but I do agree that its BS to sit on the tarmac for more than 1 hour.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:45:26 AM EDT




Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...
Can we somehow get a class taught on this very subject to the fucking govenrment?



Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:46:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 5:48:54 AM EDT by SouthEndXGF]
the people making these rules have NO idea how this is going to backfire...

Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:48:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


Agree.
This is an easily forseeable response for anyone with more than two synapses looking at the situation.
Of course, that rules out anyone in the government.

Time and time again, they raise fees or taxes and companies and individuals will find a way to avoid the fees or taxes.  
Straighforward and simple truth.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:51:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Desert_AIP:
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


Agree.
This is an easily forseeable response for anyone with more than two synapses looking at the situation.
Of course, that rules out anyone in the government.

Time and time again, they raise fees or taxes and companies and individuals will find a way to avoid the fees or taxes.  
Straighforward and simple truth.


Yep, and planes trying to return to the gate to avoid the fines and unload passengers, if it does not cause canceled flights like Continental threatens, it'll just jam up the other flights even more.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:54:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


I can't disagree.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:56:53 AM EDT
Goverment's ideas of fines for everything does not solve the problem unless they plan to use the money to upgrade the towers and systems.........fool em and start taking the bus instead, ought to match the economy obanger and the rest of the shitcago gang are continuing to plunder under the guise of "Change"
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 5:58:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Agilt:
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
The law of unintended consequences is in full effect...


I can't disagree.


Naah, next they'll make cancellations illegal, then the gov will take them over.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 6:09:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 6:09:46 AM EDT by callgood]
The fools in DC are about to experience a real nuclear option.

The map of flights in progress will resemble the on on 9-11 at or  about 11 am.

They couldn't fix a one horse race.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 6:10:51 AM EDT
More than a three hour delay? Seriously, that's like every Tuesday in the NE Corridor, even with no weather.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 6:13:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SouthEndXGF:
the people making these rules have NO idea how this is going to backfire...


As is usual with the .gov bureaucrats.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 6:18:08 AM EDT
Prediction: CEO will retire, be fired or die within months.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 6:19:15 AM EDT
May all the democraps book a Continental flight for their next convention.
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