Sat, May 16, 2009
Airlines Remain Concerned That Despite Reduced Capacity, Delays
May be Inevitable
The ATA has released its summer air travel forecast and its not
good news... for anyone. ATA forecasts that 7 percent fewer
passengers (about 150,000 per day) will travel June 1 through Aug.
31, 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. Approximately 195
million passengers are expected to fly this summer on US airlines,
down from 209 million during the summer months of 2008. ATA is
projecting that 7 percent fewer passengers (171 million versus 183
million) will travel domestically, and 6 percent fewer passengers
(24 million versus 26 million) will travel internationally.
"The main driver behind the anticipated drop in passengers
traveling this summer is the ongoing global recession, which
continues to crimp demand," said ATA President and CEO James C.
May. "The weak economy has forced additional aircraft out of the
marketplace, so despite fewer travelers, planes will remain near
full. Even with fewer flights and the airlines' heightened level of
preparedness for summer travel, we remain concerned that delays may
be inevitable due to the combination of an aging air traffic
control system and convective weather period."
May continued, "The current air traffic control system can be
transformed in just a few years by accelerating key components of
NextGen procedures and technologies that can begin to deliver
immediate benefits. A widely cited congressional study estimated
that delays cost the economy $40 billion annually. A modernized,
satellite-based system could bring that needless expense down
significantly. Congress, working with the Obama administration,
should seize this great opportunity by establishing a strong,
forward-looking national aviation policy now.
"Passengers also can do their part
to make travel more efficient and enjoyable by taking some simple
measures, such as when making an airline reservation, enter your
full name as it appears on the government-issued identification you
plan to use when traveling. This simple measure will improve the
TSA Secure Flight security-vetting process," May said.
With tens of millions of passengers expected to fly during the
busy summer travel season, ATA offers the following travel
- Check with your airline for baggage and other amenity policies
and plan accordingly.
- Sign up with your airline to receive automated travel
notifications delivered to your cell phone or wireless device; in
the event of system delays, airlines will keep travelers informed
of flight and schedule changes. Passengers can also check on the
latest airport delays via the FAA Web site.
- Use automated check-in options, offered via airline Web sites
and at airport kiosks, up to 24 hours before departure.
- Allow plenty of time for checking in and for security screening
at the airport. Families and individuals traveling with medically
necessary liquids can take advantage of specially designated TSA
family lanes at 50 airports.
- Familiarize yourself with the TSA air traveler Web site for
permitted/prohibited items and travel tips.
- Tag each bag, inside and out, with traveler name and contact
information, and remove all destination baggage tags from previous
Additional Suggestions From ANN
- Use GA Charter Operators
- Learn To Fly, Buy Aircraft, Sneer At Airlines Forever
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