Flight Cancellations Continue … For Weeks?

Forget about dreading the summer air travel season. You can start dreading now.

American Airlines canceled another 900 flights today and announced the cancellation of another 570 on Friday. Alaska and MidWest airlines also grounded some MD-80s, the focus of  the FAAs concern about aircraft inspections.

And The New York Times reports that air passengers "may face continued chaos in coming weeks as the Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines expand their scrutiny of passenger planes."

You might think you could avoid the whole mess by staying away from airlines that fly MD-80s. But that’s just the flavor of the week. With Congress breathing down the FAA’s neck about lax inspections, there’s no telling what aircraft will be the issue next.

We passengers should certainly be glad that the FAA is exerting itself on behalf of our safety. But we may also reasonably ask how it came to this, with thousands of passengers stranded in airports across the country.

It’s no way to run an airline. But it’s not much of a way to run a government agency, either.


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