A Travellerspoint blog

A bad day for planes

Lots of trouble in the skies recently. Luckily my feet are on the ground.

sunny 13 °C

There was a song released by song in 1992 called "Bad Day for Trains" by Patricia Conroy. She's a Canadian, so maybe you never heard the song.

This past few weeks, though, have been bad days for planes.

2005 11 06..ng Kong1.JPG

It started in London Heathrow. The shiny new Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London has turned from a story of the opening of a state of the art terminal to finally make LHR a nice airport into a public-relations disaster, with British Airways rethinking their move in schedule to the new terminal, and the executives at the airport getting called before a special session of the House of Commons transport committee.

The whole thing brings to mind the song "I'm So Worried" by the boys at Monty Python. Despite being written in 1980, seems very timely with the verse:

I'm so worried about what's hapenin' today, in the middle east, you know
And I'm worried about the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow
I'm so worried about the fashions today, I don't think they're good for your feet
And I'm so worried about the shows on TV that sometimes they want to repeat

The Heathrow baggage mess has even spawned a video game, where you play British Airways CEO Willie Walsh in a game called Terminal Panic. You try and move the luggage from the pile on the floor to the luggage belts.

Then, to add to the mess, in the past few weeks 4 budget airlines have gone backrupt. Aloha Airgroup, ATA Airlines and Skybus Airlines in the USA and Oasis Airlines in Hong Kong have all stopped operating, cancelling all flights, leaving passengers stranded and potentially out of the cost of a flight.

Finally, in the past few days, American Airlines has cancelled 1000s of flights due to wiring problems in the MD80s, one of their most popular planes. This is all coming on the heels of the revelation that the FAA, the governing body of airline travel in the USA was allowing Southwest Airlines to fly planes that had missed important inspection dates.

Luckily for me, I haven't been travelling much in the past few months. I have been working in Toronto, which has gone from being snow-covered and cold to sunny and warm in just a few weeks. In fact, I have enjoyed more than a few casual beers on the open patios this past weekend.

It may be bad days for planes, and by extension business travellers, but luckily for me my business travel is way down and it's been a good few days for patio weather.


P.S. I know there isn't much point in this entry except that I felt a little bit like gloating over the fact that I have enjoyed sleeping in my own bed for much of the past two months, and to share the funny Terminal Panic game. Enjoy.

P.P.S My Dad is over in the UK right now, and hopefully won't get tied up by the mess at Heathrow. If he does, then I'll feel bad about my gloating, and will have to post an apology.

Posted by GregW 07:44 Archived in Canada Tagged air_travel

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