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December 28, 2007

Holiday Air Travel Question

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Before the Christmas-New Year's season, the news media were full of speculative stories about how horrible air travel would be over the holidays.

Christmas is over, so I suppose we're at least halfway through the process. And I'm wondering how things are going. Rather than dreary old data, and in the spirit of those news geniuses, I delcare that it's time for some serious anecdotal evidence!

I'll start with me.

Our December 21st flight from Seattle to San Francisco (Alaska Airlines) went well; we arrived on time. Our December 27th flight from San Francisco to Honolulu (American Airlines) arrived a tad early. The only bad thing was a nasty, unexpected bit of turbulence about 700 miles from the Islands.

On the other hand, Nancy's cousin's family on a December 26th flight from Seattle to Honolulu (Northwest) had a six or seven hour delay because an improper flight recorder had been installed the night before and the error wasn't detected until the flight deck crew was running through their checklist. A correct part had to be flown in from Minneapolis.

I'm not out of the woods yet. On January 3rd we fly to LAX (American) and then up to Seattle (Alaska). Until then, I'll relax and sip some Kona coffee.

But how about the rest of you who've been flying during the holiday season? Any good / bad /interesting things to report?



posted by Donald at December 28, 2007


12/21 departure from DFW on Airtran - 3 minutes to get through security. Flight to ATL delayed. Missed connecting flight to BWI. I arrived at BWI 3.5 hours late. Luggage arrived the next morning.

12/26 return from BWI - 3 minutes to get through security. Flight to ATL on time. Flight to DFW delayed 2.5 hours for broken coffee maker.

Posted by: ben tillman on December 29, 2007 12:20 AM

12/23 - 7:10am departure from Newark to New Orleans on Continental. Virtually no one on line for security. On-time push-off and landing, despite all that crazy weather in the midwest. (The first half of the flight was bumpy, but my friend Xanax saw me through.)

12/29 - 7am departure from New Orleans to Newark (also Continental). On-time takeoff, landed 20 minutes early. Our bags were among the first 6 or 7 to come through.

Posted by: Gil Roth on December 29, 2007 8:06 PM

My flights to and from from Boston to DC were both on-time and trouble free. You might even describe my holiday travel as "smooth."
Frankly, I think e-tickets and online check-in make all the difference in the world.

Posted by: american fez on December 30, 2007 9:36 AM

We traveled from Raleigh to Wellington, NZ 12/19, returned 12/30. Only problem was our last leg from DFW to RDU. AA took the plane out of service but located another one and we arrived less than an hour late. All in all, my expectations were exceeded.

Posted by: rev on December 31, 2007 12:42 PM

Flight to DFW delayed 2.5 hours for broken coffee maker.

The airline must have been pulling your leg. A coffee maker is not on the Minimum Equipment List of items that have to be operational for an airplane to legally be flown. Or maybe the "coffee maker" was a flight attendant -- the number of which is set by Federal Aviation Regulations.

Posted by: Rick Darby on January 1, 2008 4:38 PM

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