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Would there be a way to have the carriers themselves report on it? Sort of like the NCAA requires colleges to self-investigate and self-report rules violations. I guess this would require the carriers to maintain logs of all communications by their drivers, but I would assume most fleets are being closely tracked anyway.
The hiway money and license incentives relate to people who are actually caught texting. But how do you catch them, realistically? That’s why the idea of having the carriers self-investigate and self-report occurred to me.
I think most tarmac delays are either weather related or traffic related. At some airports, there are simply so many flights in an out that they can never keep up. Or, when the weather is bad, taking off simply isn’t viable so flights back up. I think the suggestion of having the airlines and airports create “holding” areas for delays is very interesting. It would be like a remote terminal for planes that had already boarded and left the official gate areas. These remote terminals would allow deplaning and have restrooms, emergency and other important facilities. Obviously, there are logistics issues involved, but some serious thought about this might pay off. There would of course be costs involved, but if they’re spread across the industry, I can’t imagine that… more »
I’m not sure about this, but I assume that all or most of this data collection is totally automated for the large carriers. In other words, this data isn’t being collected by some human accountant type with a green visor and a pad and pencil. It’s simply being pulled out of databases that already contain the information. If so, why would it be so hard for the smaller or foreign carriers to implement the same solution. Just digitally collect the information and transmit it to the authorities for analysis. It would involve some up front programming, but what else?
Policies on all of these issues should be uniform and transparent. Nothing is worse that trying to “negotiate” a situation with a peeved ticket agent in a crowded and stress-filled airport. I recently took a Delta flight into JFK with a fairly tight connection. We actually arrived a bit ahead of the scheduled time, but there was no gate available so Delta parked our incoming flight on their tarmac and bussed us to the gate in a Delta bus. Unfortunately, it took the bus so long to pick us up from the flight that virtually no one on the flight was able to make their connections. Then, when I learned that the next flight was six hours later, the agent refused even a meal voucher for the delay. Their position? the delay wasn’t Delta’s fault (of course, whether something… more »
Interesting proposal. Do the highway money and license incentives seem insufficient, or do you see this as just another alternative?
Also, this proposal raises interesting questions about driver privacy, effects on small businesses, and the kind of federal involvement that FMCSA is proposing. Are there any drivers or small business owners out there who know about fleet tracking? Anyone who has had an analogous experience with self-regulated industries?
Thank you for the input. You raise an important issue concerning the tradeoff between providing additional facilities to benefit passengers but also possibly increasing consumer costs.
Thanks for your comment and your suggestion. Does anyone know the details about how the large carriers collect this information?
Good insights rdgeiger,
I wonder, do airlines get the amount of timely info they need, say… from the tower or the like; thus, allowing them to be effectively proactive and strategic, as to when to actually board and send a plan to the tarmac? Or, as I suspect, the airlines simply board — then make a mad dash for the tarmac with little to no communication with the tower.
Here is a variation / twist to your idea rdgeiger: create a “virtual” remote terminal where passengers could “pretend” to board the plane which would in turn allow their plane to enter into a “virtual” tarmac line. Then, when the weather clears, the airlines would be instructed, from the tower, to board “for real” and enter the line based on their “virtual”… more »
But what to do with those unfortunate planes already on the tarmac — caught just as the delay begins? I know, require each gate to remain available and open until that particular plane actually takes flight.
So, just who did the agent think you were going to call? And I’m assuming the agent didn’t volunteer a number of a powerful ‘dispute resolution’ manager. Hey, you could have at least had fun with this rude agent by using the pointed at phone to call up ‘that’ agent across the lobby and proceed to ask your reasonable questions again. At least then your agent would have a legitimate reason display the “dirty” look. lol
This is a really interesting solution. Off the top of my head I can name a few problems: first, the largest airports, which experience the largest number of delays, may be located in urban areas in which airport expansion is not as feasible. I grew up in Chicago and traveled out of Midway and O’Hare, airports that are surrounded by city and suburbs. Second, if an airport were to commit some of its finite space to a delay terminal, that space would have to be first taken from another part of the airport, leaving less room for active planes. To me, this sounds like it would limit the number of flights at large airports, making them less competitive and possibly increasing prices. However, I find your idea very creative, and much better than the majority of the solutions to these problems.