Air Diversion

The media has decided to accept US Air's claim that it diverted a plane two hours out of its way to pick up stranded passengers in Albany as a matter of routine, and not because the two Bush daughters and secret service detail just happened to be stranded in Albany.

The public is more sceptical, as can be seen from this extraordinary posting to Dave Farber's list, quoted below.

Dave, I know you've closed this discussion, but I have something personal to add; don't worry about passing it to the list. Thought you might be interested.

I fly US Airways almost exclusively; have for about 15 years now.

I have been “stranded” by them for up to 2 days as recently as a year ago, only to be told by them that I could “sleep in the plastic seats” — my request for a hotel was denied. I was told that mechanical delays were to blame, and that if I didn't want to buy a membership in their flight club, I'd have to stay in the seating area until they could get me on a plane that did have an open seat: 23 hours later was the earliest they could give me. (I note that only that year I'd let my Club membership lapse; silly me.)

The kicker? I was wearing a full back brace, walking (with difficulty) with a cane, and all my extra pain meds were in my baggage, which they couldn't get for me. I'd broken my back and the spine was beginning to have mechanical difficulties of its own.

Since then I was stranded in Charlotte, NC, on a bereavement fare, with my father dying as I stood in the airport in tears, because my plane couldn't leave, and the next plane — the last plane of the day to go to my destination — was full — I was told to my face, in front of shocked witnesses, that I was “out of luck.” I'd have to stay “in the seats” until they found a place for me =the next day=. A very kind man gave me his seat in the plane and spent the night in the airport himself, after he saw me sobbing. The airline never apologized and instead a stewardess scolded me for “taking that man's seat from him.” I suggested they could make it up by giving him a hotel room. She said, “We don't do that for stranded passengers.”

I can cite at least 6 more times I was stranded by US Airways, all around the country, for between 4-24 hours at a pop, with no offer of even a hotel room. “We don't do that,” is the chorus.

If only I'd known then that I could get a plane diverted for me.

Yeah, right.

—Nancy who is disgusted that people believe the airline spokespeople couldn't possibly be stretching the truth to cover their asses

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11 Responses to Air Diversion

  1. MP says:

    This is how the libs are going after the Bush girls and Laura? I guess you had to do something to distract us from sugar-mama theresa running her yapper all the live long day. Yep, I know for a fact she scares away votes from kerry.

    Even if the story is true, last time I checked, US Air is a private airline and can conduct their business however they please.

    I’m sure some will say the story was meant to criticise airlines and modern air travel, and not an attack on innocent “civilians” who aren’t on the ballot. But then why mention the Bush girls by name?

  2. Andrew says:

    I believe the first link in the post should be pointing somewhere else.

  3. Michael says:

    I’ve fixed the first link, sorry about that.

  4. Cardinal says:

    Goodness, such high dudgeon from MP.

    Nice try at changing that subject, dude. Go meta; works every time. Almost.

    This is about the Regular Guy image that the Bush family tries to project, while in reality they are privileged beyond what the rest of us can even conceive of. IOW, Bushes ain’t no Regular People. Small enough words for you?

  5. apnky says:

    Quick question, though–why does “Nancy” still fly US Air almost exclusively when they have stranded her six times and treated her like s#!t?

  6. Barsk says:

    Airlines almost always lie about delays and diversions. I wish I could find the story but there was a study done a couple of months ago that a major chunk of those ‘weather delays’ are bogus (they call them weather to get out of putting people up for the night).

    Of course the real kicker here, and one that I haven’t seen anybody mention yet, is that US Airways/USAir this very week came out with a plan to revamp themselves into a point to point, low cost carrier like JetBlue or Southwest (they are disbanding their Pit. hub). However, this requires a lot of help from the government (or required at some point) in order to drop/underfund pensions, reorganize, gain new flight rights, government loans, &c. This sounds like some pretty massive favors being called in here. The only way I could question this more is if it was United that had diverted a flight (as they are in a worse situation than US Air — only difference is that the government denied United the help it gave to US Air). Or maybe Delta (since they’re about to go bankrupt).

    But Cardinal is right, the Bush family tries to come off as down-home and wholesome. However, notice the difference in the Kerry/Edwards campaign and how they tote their kids around and the Bush gang which partically hide the kids from the media (of course our wonderful Veep would probably rather forget about his daughter and the Bush twins aren’t exactly anything to write home about as the product of model parenting).

    Then again, such is life. In the meantime I’m going to go back to being treated like dirt by Northworst Airlines.

  7. lexi says:

    sounds like Nancy is a moron. I’m reminded of the whole, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, it’s probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on … shame on you. It fool me. We can’t get fooled again.”

    It’s time for Nancy to educate herself and start flying the Airbus–Southwest of course!

  8. Michael says:

    Sometimes if you live at a hub, one airline crowds out the others. For example in Miami, you have no practical choice for most routes — American is the very dominant carrier. Indeed, they manipulate the airport to control gates, not just slots. So even if you hated AA, you would end up flying it unless you were willing to accept much longer journeys, and in many cases pay much more money. Nancy may live in a city whose air transport is dominated by US Air.

  9. Dem says:

    apnky’s question is a good one. The “Nancy” story is suspicious on many counts.

    There must be official statistics for this kind of thing. I wonder how to get them?

  10. MP says:

    “Bushes ain’t no Regular People. Small enough words for you?”

    Its about time somebody on this board started speaking in plain english, even if I disagree. Thanks.

    I agree, its very difficult to imagine that people so wealthy are down to earth. But frankly, I don’t think we know enough about any of the Bush family (those outside of politics) to know. We don’t know if it was US Air taking it upon itself to pick them up, or if the Bushes bullied them into it.

    Laura and Theresa have stepped into the spotlight, and I think it fair to consider how each reflects upon their mate. I have seen Laura on several occasions, and find her to be quite “Regular” if not impressive. I find Theresa bizzarre. I think the dems are afraid to admit to her that the queen has no clothes.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but how does the Kerry-Heinz family differ from the Bush family in terms of priviledge? Of course we know the US Air incident would never happen with them involved. They have sugar-mama’s private jet!

  11. Barsk says:

    Professor Froomkin is right. I’m from Minneapolis where Northwest runs everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Of the 100 or so gates at the main terminal, Northwest (or Delta or KLM or Continental — all Northwest ‘codeshare partners’) control about 92 to 95 of them. I’m not kidding. Of those 8 or fewer gates that NWA does not control they’ve actually petitioned the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minnesota to throw those airlines out of the main terminal and into the secondary terminal (which is where charter flights used to fly out of and now consists of airlines like Sun Country and Champion Air &c). We do not have JetBlue or Southwest because NWA won’t let them in. NWA controls airport design and expansion as well as gate allocations. They have done the same thing in Detroit (the other main hub of NWA) where they built the Northwest World Gateway — a stand alone terminal of 100 gates with only NWA. There is a second, not nearly as nice, terminal in Detroit where everyone else gets to fly from.

    What this all means is that I have no choice but to fly NWA no matter how poorly they treat me (and trust me they do). Nancy is also probably in the same situation. Also if you want to try something fun go onto Expedia and book flights to and from a hub city (like Minneapolis, Detroit, Miami). First book the flight starting and returning to the hub city to some non-hub city. Then do the flight in reverse (fly into the hub city and leave from there back to original start point). I have found that sometimes the price is different even though you are flying the same routes they just charge you more when you’re in the monopoly city and then compete in cities that are non-monopolies.

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