The McClain Flight Saga: Why is it Happening Now that the Flight Schedules Are Unaltered? An Update after the Supercommission released a Statement
The company said the severe weather had forced changes to their flight schedule daily at a rate and magnitude that still has the tools to recover the airline operating at capacity.
The attention of Congress has been drawn to that failure. On Tuesday, the chair of the Senate committee on commerce, science, and transportation released a statement that said the committee would look into the causes of the disruptions.
The saga began last Thursday, when the morning flight from Salt Lake City to Chicago Midway was canceled. He rebooked for a 3 p.m. that didn’t end up departing until 9 p.m.
McClain’s return to Utah has been even more harrowing. He was going to leave Chicago on Monday. It was canceled. He’s been unable to make up his schedule because it’s Thursday night.
How a Southwest Airlines Pilot’s Phone System Can Get It Right: Skyler Lenz’s Explanation For A New York City Flight
At least he’s lucky to be with his parents, but “I will burn multiple days of unplanned vacation and absorb four days worth of extra kennel fees for the dog I can’t get back to,” he says.
He says he has flown Southwest several times and will wait and see if the company makes him whole again before making a decision to fly again.
Helane Becker, an aviation analyst with an investment bank and financial services company, says Southwest needs to bring those tools in the form of internal software systems.
Southwest has also acknowledged the company’s outdated infrastructure. Bob Jordan, the CEO, told employees in a memo that they need to do a lot of modernizing.
Southwest’s dependence on shorter, point-to-point flights is a key factor in the company’s success. It’s a system that worked well for them in fair weather. Kathleen said that it can cause problems in bad weather.
The pilots on Southwest flights take off in the morning from one city to go to many other cities. “It is possible that a flight crew will change somewhere in there and fly a couple more legs across the country before returning to their base at that time,” he says.
The weather situation that we’re in is related to the fact that flight crews are often not based in the same city and so they can’t get to where they need to be. When there’s bad weather, everything tends to move out of place.
There is a Capt. The vice president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said on CNN that the union was tired of apologizing for Southwest. Our hearts go out to the passengers.
One of those passengers, Skyler Lenz, lives with his wife and two young children in Denver. The family was visiting New York City, where they were celebrating together — a wedding anniversary and his daughter’s birthday.
On the 21st the family flew out and planned to return on Christmas Eve. Just before they departed for the airport, Lenz checked his phone app “to make sure everything was good.”
It wasn’t good. The flight was called off. He could not reach an agent while he was on the phone. So, he used an app on his phone to rebook — for Dec. 28. He finally reached an agent on Monday. He asked, “Do you think this is going to be resolved by the time we fly out?”
The flight was moved to the 27th after the agent reassured him. He says everything was canceled, including his Tuesday flight.
The Company that Served Southwest Airlines: A Consumer Report on Its Failures, Performance, and First Day Late-Time Arrival Rates
Finally, the family decided to rent a car and drive back to Denver — a 26-hour drive. There is a place about halfway through Illinois that is 13 hours from here and 13 hours from Denver. We want to get a quick rest at the hotel and pick it up again so we can make it to Thursday night.
As badly as things have gone for both Southwest and its customers, the company has owned up to its problems, says Becker. She says that they’re in front from a PR perspective. They’re saying that they’re buying for people and putting them in hotel rooms. They’re doing their best to get you where you need to go. They are reimbursing you. They’re buying tickets on other airlines.”
But industry analyst Potter says the airlines’ failures mean customers end up paying the price. If the carriers can keep running these thin margins where mass delays are just a storm or a mechanics strike or an IT software issue is gone, then that will continue.
But it’s not all good news. “The biggest problem has been the recovery – last summer, airports just couldn’t cope with the bounceback in passenger numbers,” he says.
The company reduced its capacity on Thursday by about two thirds of its normal capacity, according to a CNN review of flight data.
The cancellation rate for the airline has risen over the years, tripling over the past decade, from the most recent data available from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
There is data released by the bureau through September. To ensure a fair comparison, CNN only analyzed the carrier’s data from January to September in previous years.
No, it’s more than just cancellation. Southwest’s on-time percentage has fallen to the lowest point in a decade. Through September of 2022, well before the carrier’s current struggles, only about 7 in 10 of its flights have arrived on time.
The World is Open: An Editor’s Note on Travel Developments in the 2021–2023 War and the Arrival of a New Airline
CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter, “Unlocking the World,” has an editor’s note. The latest on aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments are included in the news.
“Airlines and airports were unwilling or unable to resource back-up in late 2021 and early 2022 after cutting their costs, and that’s what caused the summer of chaos. There was not enough baggage handler. There isn’t enough security screeners. In some cases, there wasn’t enough pilots.
The rise of fuel prices is expected to cause airlines to return to profitability in the year 2023, but the Covid-19 shutdown will be the main cause of the loss in that year.
In most ways that matter to airlines and their passengers, the world is now open. The big question almost everywhere — when China’s quarantine and other travel restrictions will end — has finally been answered. The restrictions on travel were loosened on January 8.
Another big question is Russia. Russian airlines were banned from many countries’ airspace after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The most noticeable effect of this is the flights between Europe and east Asia, which need to either fly south of the conflict zone or to the north over Alaska. Many Asian and European airlines have cut their services.
What this means is that there are fewer flights between Europe and Asia, and quite a lot of European and Asian airlines with aircraft that they were planning to use on those routes, and they’re now looking to see where else they might fly them.
New routes between North America and Europe are already taking flight, with the big three transatlantic joint venture airline cartels — corresponding roughly to the Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam alliances, and which have been allowed to coordinate pricing between their members — adding many new routes and beefing up existing services.
So if you get the chance to fly nonstop, it could be worth it. If European airlines regain access to Russian airspace, new nonstops may return to a requirement for a layover.
Virgin Atlantic is said to join Delta in the SkyTeam alliance early in 2020 and China Southern will join Oneworld in the near-future. That will provide some new connections for the partners of those airlines.
The COMAC C919, China’s first modern narrowbody airliner is expected to enter passenger service as 2022 ticks over into 2023. The new plane, seen as a major challenge to Western manufacturers, will give passengers in China a new option, although it’s not much different from the experience on a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320.
There are no new planes coming in the foreseeable future. It’s not possible to say when the long-awaited extended widebody will be delivered, and the test flights were suspended in December due to problems with the GE9X engines.
That means those new nonstop flights between smaller airports, notably transatlantic routes, will be announced in 2023 — it’s worth keeping an eye out and booking fast.
“The rising number of Airspace cabin equipped aircraft entering the market means more and more passengers will benefit from comfort features as well as connectivity,” Airbus’ vice president of cabin marketing, Ingo Wuggetzer, tells CNN. “This is key for me in 2023 — it is about bringing these innovations to a growing number of passengers worldwide.”
He expects a wave of digital change into the daily business of airlines. Digitalization helps passengers by providing more information and self service options, helping to avoid airport lines or long waits on the phone.
Aircraft Look Ahead 2023: How Much Should We Pay for the Most Innovative Cabins? A Conversation with Alina Zamolodchikov
The huge is hugely popular. Airbus A380 superjumbo is coming back into service. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is the latest airline to bring its A380s back, which means more wider seats in economy on this big, quiet plane. It is great news for passengers.
The MAX 10 and MAX 7 airplanes are currently out of certification and have an end-of-year deadline.
To sum up a complicated situation, US regulators want Boeing to install additional safety systems. Boeing had promised airlines that it wouldn’t need to do so, in order to prevent them from having to spend time and money training pilots on the differences.
This won’t likely have any short term impact on passengers, but airlines’ longer term plans to use these planes to replace older ones and to start new routes may be delayed.
At the airport, 2023 will be the year that some airports get rid of the “liquid ban,” where anything on the liquid-paste-cream-gel spectrum can only be carried in 3 ounce or 100 milliliter containers within a small zip-lock plastic bag.
Early versions of the scanning tool that allow you to leave electronics in your hand luggage are already used by many travelers, but they are now rolling out more widely. In three years, the UK is expected to introduce these in airports.
The growth in more sustainable aviation fuels, made from waste oils, vegetable oils and other sources is part of that. The first “net-zero” flight on the Atlantic will be piloted by Virgin Atlantic in 2023, following similar projects by other airlines.
The most innovative cabins in recent times have to be removed from their complexity, weight and cost in order to deliver long lasting and more repairable, and recyclable solutions, according to a cabin designer from tangerine who talked to us. We owe it to society to make it happen as our clients are demanding it.
The Pandemic Airline Bankruptcies: Where Do We Stand? Where Are We Going? What Do We Need to Know? What Are We Waiting for?
Indeed, he says, it is “astonishing that it has taken all this time to gather momentum. Without a shadow of a doubt 2023 onwards will be dominated by environmental, social and corporate governance.”
The administrators of Flybe are hoping that they will get a temporary operating license from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. It’s believed that both Air France-KLM and Lufthansa aren’t being involved with the company.
In fact, Morrison says, most airlines were saved from destruction by governments “putting their airline industries into hibernation, paying their fixed costs and most of the wage bill. They were able to let people go and reduce the cost structure, so though there was no revenue there were lower costs. Very few airlines went under as a direct result of the pandemic.”
So what does the future hold? For a few years, Suau-Sanchez thinks fare increases of 25% will be the norm, as airlines need recovery money, fuel prices increase, and the industry invests in sustainable technology.
Flying to certain destinations has become impossible if you’re on a budget. They say that the cost of flights to New Zealand has increased 81% in the last year, while flights from the UK to South Africa have increased by 42% and 70%. Context is important for both destinations. In February 2022, New Zealand was closed and while South Africa was at the center of the Omicron variant.
Forecasts for the next three years: an update from FORWARDKEYs vice president Olivier Ponti. The European market is evolving rapidly
That is not going to last. The summer season will be busy, but as long as external factors do not intervene, it will be very busy according to FORWARDKEYs vice president, Olivier Ponti.
“I was surprised to see the Alitalia brand go – not because it was in a healthy state, it had been a financial basket case for so long, but because nevertheless it had carried on and on,” says Miquel Ros, AllPlane’s founder and editor.
He says there have been many launches over the past three years. Flybe’s second iteration and Flyr aren’t included in the picture.
According to the senior lecturer at the UK’s Cranfield University and the Open University of Catalonia in Spain, that is the model that the rest of the world is following.
He says that there are more players in Europe that are smaller and specialized in geography, so they are subject to external forces.
Regional airports have taken a hit, he warns, with airlines concentrating on larger hubs to accelerate recovery. Business travel has taken a huge hit – and business travelers en route to different cities are core clients for regional airports. Losing a few passengers in a small market can be a problem.
For Morrison, European shorthaul has already stabilized, with decent fares. The market is functioning, there is strong demand, and it is competitive.
The high prices are due to the fact that demand comes back quicker than supply. At the moment longhaul fares are a lot higher than last year, but they can charge a premium for flights.
He believes it won’t be forever and that alleviating fares will go down. I am not suggesting you will be able to fly from London to New York for a very high price. but I think prices will come down – but over what period I don’t know.”