More passengers found themselves bumped, their flights delayed or their bags lost last year than in 2005, a study found.This doesn't surprise me in the least. Unless we have a very calm weather summer, I expect the numbers to get even worse. It seems like the planes are flying so full that the system doesn't have any slack. If several flights are canceled or seriously delayed it throws the whole system out of whack. Those passengers are pushed on to other full flights and the problem starts to cascade.
Any time we have big weather issues we see this happen. A snowstorm on the east coast a few weeks back stranded people for two or three days. A big one right before Christmas stranded people in Denver for a similar time.
This article continues:
Industry spokesman David Castelveter blamed the majority of delays on bad weather. Making matters worse, he said, more planes will be in the air in coming years and the air traffic control system cannot handle the growth.I haven't heard the 'more planes' reasoning. Perhaps our resident air traffic controller has an opinion on that. I can't but wish that the airlines had more of them up there. We keep running into sold out situations that make no sense whatsoever. Two weeks ago I talked to a lovely admin who was trying to book three people from Portland (OR) to the Twin Cities for today. Normally there's about a half dozen nonstop and literally hundreds of connection flights that would work. Barring an event in Portland or Minneapolis, two weeks should be plenty of time but this time it was completely sold out. I can understand when spring break locales sell out but this was ridiculous!
How to avoid being bumped from a flight? Three tips:
- Book early for a low fare.
- Get a reserved seat (seat maps usually open 90 days before the flight).
- Get to the airport early, especially if you have any reason to think that the flight is sold out.