Feeds

Official orders probe of airlines that stole Christmas

The weather ate our flight plans

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A US government official has called for an investigation into the problems that grounded over 1,000 US Airways and Comair flights last weekend.

US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta today ordered his department's Inspector General to probe the flight cancellations that left thousands of passengers stranded as they tried to travel on Christmas day.

"As you know, problems experienced this past holiday weekend by two air carriers - US Airways and Comair - severely disrupted travel for tens of thousands of passengers," Mineta wrote in a memo to Inspector General Ken Mead. "The two disruptions were unrelated, but combined they had a serious impact on holiday air travel. While the worst of it may be over, I am deeply concerned about the impact on the system and the continued hardship being endured by so many consumers. Therefore, I believe that we must learn from the situations to preclude their recurrence."

US Airways has blamed its problems on bad weather and "an usually high number of employees calling in sick," according to the Department of Transportation. The carrier cancelled flights, and failed to get thousands of bags to their destinations promptly.

Comair has cited a major computer malfunction for its woes. It was unable to book crew flight assignments because of the computer shutdown. The carrier cancelled several days worth of flights in more than a hundred cities.

"It is important that the Department and the traveling public understand what happened, why it happened, and whether the carriers properly planned for the holiday travel period and responded appropriately to consumer needs in the aftermath," Mineta said in a statement.

Even today, Comair - a regional carrier for Delta - is still only at 60 percent capacity. It doesn't expect to have all flights up and running until Dec. 29.

"Given the tremendous impact the winter weather had on our operation and infrastructure, we appreciate the continued understanding and patience of our customers whose travel plans were disrupted," the company said.

In his memo, Mineta noted that US Airways and Comair were the only two major carriers to blame holiday travel problems on bad weather. ®

Related stories

Singapore Airlines plans in-flight live TV via Wi-Fi
Did US terror measures down UK MPs?
'See through clothes' scanner gets outing at Heathrow

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.