The Labor Movement Has Found A Strategic Advantage In The Airline Industry

In the early morning hours of Jan. 11, a hack shut down the FAA’s systems, grounding all flights nationwide. I had a flight that morning to Minneapolis–St. Paul with a tight connection to Boise, Idaho. Once the ground stop was lifted, my Delta flight left New York’s LaGuardia. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Next time take the train.

Seriously, there are no trains and air travel is so brutal many people just stay home. I’d like to see my grandkids and my brother would like to see his old friends that live around here. But somehow each trip has ended up in some hell of a hub airport chasing changing flight times and gates for six hours or more. There is a potential market here. So build the trains.


The more “efficient” a system is the more “brittle” it tends to become. Southwest’s “point to point” system is a perfect example.

As far as Delta’s “Southern Values” are concerned, is that really something to brag about?


Actually while the airline kept Delta’s name, Northwest was the surviving airline with all the upper management coming from there. However just look at Europe it has a robust rail system plus a great air system, maybe with our current President who is a real fan of rail travel maybe we can finally undo the dismantling of it. Most of the industrial world, plus China has rapid rail trains, why not us?


“Southern values” is as well-defined as “the American dream”. As a resident of the south, I see nothing redeeming in the values in this region. Highest poverty rates, worst health outcomes, highest teen pregnancy rates, and lowest educational attainment all point to some hair-raising values that are not worthy of bragging.


The US has never been serious about high speed rail for all sorts of reasons including geography (country’s too big) and the advantages of air travel for covering that ground. Except for short runs between nearby cities, rail can’t compete with an airliner cruise speed of around 575 mph even if you include the airport hub delays.

The problem with air travel is it’s too damn cheap to fly. I vaguely remember as a kid when flying was something special, and it cost a lot of money, so not that many people were doing it. I know this won’t be a popular sentiment, but raise the cost of a ticket and air travel would be a lot more pleasant. For those who could afford it.


I appreciate your take on the train subject. High speed rail would make Chicago to NYC quicker and easier than an airliner. It would also greatly reduce the carbon footprint of transportation. I found train travel all over Europe to be very comfortable and affordable, even on a GI’s pay. I think the real reason we do not have public transportation in the U.S. is it would make car ownership redundant in most metropolitan areas.


The same thing goes for “Southern hospitality.” It only applies to people of the “correct” race, political beliefs, sexual preferences, etc.


This comment isn’t going to fly, buddy… :rofl:


It might be easier but I don’t see how it would be quicker. Typical flight time from Chicago to NYC is 2 hours 10 minutes. High speed rail at say, 120 mph to cover that 712 mile distance would be 6 hours. Even if we built a Japanese style bullet train at 200 mph it would take 3.5 hours.

The country’s just too damn big. Which is why air travel beat out any real improvements in the rail system.


you see’southern’ values in all its glory in to-days Florida…coming soon to place near you!


a long time ago, i travelled from Louisville, KY., to Jacksonville Fla, with 3 young children, on a train, the OrangeBlossom Special…it was great, the staff on that train made the experience a very pleasant one. it was a long over night trip… Trains had names then…


The size of the country didn’t stop us from slapping more railroads down than any other country on the planet:

As noted on the above map, our problem is that we dedicated our railroads to freight, rather than passenger, service. If passenger rail service were prioritized, we could get much better quality service on existing tracks.


You are correct assuming non-stop flights. Any flight routed to a hub means time on the ground waiting for a connecting flight. Chicago to NYC probably gets a full plane both ways so a direct flight is possible. San Francisco to Albuquerque for example, means a stopover in LAX, Vegas, or Phoenix where O The Joy you get to watch assholes tote around AR-15s. The airlines want a fare in every damn seat and really don’t mind wasting a day of your vacation time to fill them.


ask any old timer who travelled by train, back in the day…train travell was nice.


I’m not your buddy, pal! (Only funny if you’ve ever watched South Park.) P.S. We absolutely need alternatives to air travel; how about more trains for markets the airlines don’t want to serve?


Makes sense, it it “Fly Over country”, not fly into

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China’s pretty big and they are making something of a go with trains.


When I was six years old, my parents flew us from Miami to Chicago, and then we took a train from there to San Francisco. One of those vista-cruiser things with the big bubble window on top of some of the cars. It was wonderful. But that was a train as part of the vacation experience, not basic transportation. There’s a train route in Scotland I’d love to take one day.

A centralized economy makes that possible. The CCP directs what happens with national infrastructure. They also have some advantages in nationalizing the real estate for rail lines that wouldn’t happen here.

In the US, travel is driven by what consumers want and what corporations can deliver. Consumers want the quickest possible route from A to B even if nowadays it involves airport headaches. Duplicating that with a network of bullet trains just isn’t feasible.

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It’s been 40 years since Continental’s pilots went on strike and I can still picture the picket signs they were carrying when I arrived at Detroit Metro (for a flight on another airline, fortunately):

“Continental’s experienced pilots are on strike. Who’s flying your plane today?”

Well done, Continental pilots! Well done!! :rofl::rofl::rofl: