After three hours of sitting on a runway at LaGuardia International Airport the night of June 19, and the single glass of water and the mini granola bar issued to her long gone, Alice Norris got off her US Airways flight to look for another plane back to Pittsburgh. None was available. She returned to her seat and sat for another two hours before the pilots announced the federal limit on their flight time had run out and the flight had been canceled.
It was now around midnight. The Butler County woman waited through the crowded customer service line, saying she was an inexperienced flier and didn’t know what to do. The customer representative shrugged.
“I’m tired,” Mrs. Norris said.
“I am too,” the rep replied.
“I’m 70,” Mrs. Norris said.
Such experiences are becoming more and more common this summer, with passengers facing mounting cancellations, delays, lost bags, ruined vacations and emotional scenes at the ticket counter. A product of dangerous summer weather and systemic industry problems, the situation is poised to get even worse as the traveling season gets into full swing this week.
So far this week, members of my nuclear family have had 3 flights cancelled already. Ugh. Read it all.