Flights of fancy

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The record of airlines in meeting their schedules is not getting any better, as frustrated holidaymakers have learned this summer amid the chaos of overcrowded departure lounges and the howling of exhausted children. Figures out yesterday for the first three months of the year confirm that delays have only increased since last year. Experience suggests that the summer figures will be worse.

The record of airlines in meeting their schedules is not getting any better, as frustrated holidaymakers have learned this summer amid the chaos of overcrowded departure lounges and the howling of exhausted children. Figures out yesterday for the first three months of the year confirm that delays have only increased since last year. Experience suggests that the summer figures will be worse.

As customer complaints – up a massive 40 per cent from a year ago – have clearly had so little effect, the airlines should be required to make their past performance public, so that we can make an informed choice about who to fly with. As in the United States, any would-be passenger booking a flight should be provided as a matter of course with the on-time record of the airline and the facts about how often it loses luggage.

At worst, this might persuade the airlines to ditch their optimistic hype and rewrite their timetables to reflect more realistically when their planes will actually take off and land. At best, the competitive pressure would push them to minimise delays and to treat inconvenienced travellers with less cavalier disdain.

Comments