And if you're a longtime reader of Garfield Ridge, you won't have to guess which incompetent airline inspired this grassroots initiative:
Passengers on an American Airlines flight that was stuck on the tarmac in Austin for nearly 10 hours last month are pushing for a national Passengers Bill of Rights to protect traveling consumers.
The proposal would require airlines to return passengers to terminal gates after three hours on the tarmac. It would also impose penalties on airlines for losing baggage and bumping passengers, and create a consumer committee to review and investigate complaints.
The measure doesn't yet have a backer in Congress. But it comes as lawmakers are increasing their scrutiny of the industry, with a hearing scheduled for today before the Senate Commerce Committee on the impact of airline mergers and consolidation.
Heavy passenger loads during the past year have accompanied increased delays and complaints, according to the U.S. Transportation Department.
"Enough is enough," said Kate Hanni, a Napa, Calif., resident who was stuck with her husband on American Flight 1348 in Austin for nearly 10 hours Dec. 29 during a trip from San Francisco to Mobile, Ala. Her flight was supposed to land at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for a connection, but heavy thunderstorms diverted the plane to Austin.
When is American Airlines going to get disbanded? Seriously, which airline is worse? Aeroflot? Nigerian Airways?
Stories of the long delays have been featured in national news media, including The Wall Street Journal and NBC Nightly News, in recent weeks. Passengers say they ran out of food, toilets overflowed and some lacked access to medication while stranded on the tarmac.
Hanni called the conditions "subhuman."
"I was fighting off a panic attack the entire time," said Mark Vail of Madera, Calif. "I was counting raindrops in the window, doing anything to try to distract myself."
All the while, he said, "I kept seeing Southwest Airlines flights taking off and landing."
I hate flying, so by extension, I also hate Southwest. But as a "lesser of evils," as much of a pain as the cattle car can be, at least Southwest actually makes it on time most of the time. I can't recall the last time an American flight I took was on time, or didn't strand me somewhere I didn't want to be.
It Gets Worse Update: George Will's editorial today concerns the airline industry, and highlights that American is turning a profit. Gee, provide lousy service, stiff your customers, and ruin passenger's livelihoods-- turn a profit.
Good list-- with videos!-- albeit completely out of order.
I'd put Castaway at #2, and Fight Club at #1.
Now, perhaps my opinion is somewhat counterintuitive-- Castaway's crash is far more realistic than the one in Fight Club-- but Fight Club is the worst because *that* crash inspired an entirely new fear of flying into my heart. Before that scene, I had always had a general fear of crashing on takeoff or landing. Today, I don't fear either-- the prospect of a mid-air collision, however, is terrifying.
One moment, I'm enjoying my Goldfish crackers while the Southwest flight attendant makes bad puns about Las Vegas, the next moment the forward third of the fuselage is sheared off by an errant 767, spilling passengers and ultimately the plane to its plummeting doom.
Not the country, the movie-- as in the most bureaucratic hell imaginable, i.e. Washington State.
Writing in today's Opinion Journal, Eugene Volokh has a nightmarish tale of some of the most nightmarish laws imaginable: regulations on the romantic and sexual relationships between professionals and their clients/patients.
Pretty bizarre-- and horrifying-- stuff. *THIS* is the kind of thing that keeps lawyers employed, and keeps me a conservative.