No Passenger Left Behind

President Bush announced a set of initiatives to ease air travel over the holiday weekend, and beyond. Some of them might help, but they’re going to cost us.

I don’t know any reason to object – though others might – to letting commercial jets fly in two military air corridors over the holiday weekend. But I’m not sure how much it will help, because most delays happen on the ground, not in the air.

It’s probably more important that some airlines have voluntarily reserved open seats and reduced overbooking on holiday flights.

Nor am I sure that increasing the amount airlines have to pay bumped passengers will help all that much, though I won’t object to it either, being a bump-a-holic.

The long-term answer to our commercial aviation mess may involve a very expensive mix of new or expanded airports, improved air-traffic control systems and restrictions on the proliferation of small commercial jets. And that may mean higher ticket prices.

The president is pushing Congress to approve a bill with funding for air traffic control improvements, although he and Congress are at odds over other elements of the bill. Here’s what he had to say:


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