New And Improved

This will be our first Holiday Season with all of the new Passenger Bill Of Rights rules in effect. It will be just fine and there is little or nothing to worry about. All that is needed to have a happy peaceful travel day is an inner sense of peace that is not affected by how far you get or when you arrive.

I want to be among the first on the industry side of the passenger rights debate to point out that something needed to be done. It is simply wrong to leave people stranded on an airplane for hours when they clearly should have been stranded inside the airport. Airplanes are for travel, terminals are for waiting.

The potential downside of the new rules could be the unintended result of taking your Captain out of the decision loop. In the past the Captain was allowed to use judgement to determine what combination of  departure factors, weather trends, de-icing requirements, gate availability, traffic delays, and fuel load would be the most limiting.   Some days with heavy traffic and bad winter weather the game required us to get in our place in line so we could leave eventually. Admittedly, this could have added two hours or more to our trip time but it would place us in the strategic position of being ready for aircraft de-icing and departure when the opportunity came up.

Under the new rules these will be cancelled operations. Since same day service may not be an option the happy traveller should bring provisions. Cheese, crackers, nuts, inflatable pillow, music and earphones, a good book to read, extra socks and instant oatmeal are things that may set you apart from your fellow travelers when everybody is given a cot to sleep on and the automatic announcements about security and unattended bags drone on all night long instead of the planes.

Your little survival kit for happiness doesn’t need to take up much room in your  carry on bag and could make a huge difference. What a wonderful adventure.

Happy Landings


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