Crowds, Security May Cause Air Travel Woes This Summer

Memorial Day weekend air travelers have already gotten a taste of what summer travel will be like: full planes, crowded airports and weather delays.


Understaffing was responsible for more than 500,000 US Airways passengers being delayed during the December holidays, according to a report issued by Mead. The report criticized the way US Airways Group Inc. handled the shortages of fleet service employees and flight attendants, particularly in Philadelphia.

US Airways spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the airline is adding staff in key hubs - Washington, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C. - as part of a renewed focus on on-time performance. The airline is also working to get flights off the gate and in the air on time by doing things like closing the aircraft door five minutes before departure.

To avoid a repeat of 2000, several airlines have altered their schedules to eliminate rush-hour traffic jams at hub airports.

The FAA also has ordered airlines to reduce their schedules at O'Hare - a hub for both American and United Airlines - during peak travel periods. The move has helped reduce congestion, Mead said.

We Recommend

  • News

    Recent Flight Delays Hint at Troubled System

    Because airlines are operating with nearly full flights, it is more difficult to rebook passengers who get delayed or stranded.

  • News

    Airlines Scramble to Recover from Winter Storm

    Port Authority crews at JFK were struggling to clear runways, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, a unit of AMR Corp. Ice on the runways triggered tighter federal rules about airplane loads...

  • Press Release

    Airlines Scramble to Recover from Winter Storm

    Port Authority crews at JFK were struggling to clear runways, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, a unit of AMR Corp. Ice on the runways triggered tighter federal rules about airplane loads...

  • News

    Airlines Scramble to Recover from Winter Storm

    Port Authority crews at JFK were struggling to clear runways, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, a unit of AMR Corp. Ice on the runways triggered tighter federal rules about airplane loads...