Thursday, September 09, 2004


Central Ohio discount airline problems?

Hypothetically speaking, is it possible that a discount airlines would start to cut safety corners in order to survive in an intense market, say one that particularly involves a state hit by a lot of hurricanes lately?

Let's say there was a very low-cost carrier flying to that state in central Ohio, and let's say there was a U.S. Labor Department administrative law proceedings against the young airline.

And, in these proceedings, again hypothetically speaking, some pilots and flight attendants complain of being told to work more hours than FAA regulations permit, and that some others allege the company is slow to fix mechanical problems, and pilots were told to avoid written notes about mechanical problems in their logs and maybe ordered to fly a plane with a possibly defective landing gear. And imagine, if you will, a situation in which some of the pilots complain of substandard training.

And, try to imagine an airline that has a little bit of a reputation for arriving at airports with no ground crews assigned to meet the planes, push up the stairs, unload the bags, or even unlock the doors to the terminal so that passengers could get in.

And, picture if you will, a frustrated airlines who, even after cutting every cost it knows still couldn't make money selling tickets so cheaply, and as a result recently lost 15 to 20 percent of its projected passengers to major airlines competitors.

Then maybe some enterprising reporters around central Ohio might want to be doing a little digging to see whether there is any systematic problems - financial or safety - or just a few growing pains and some disgruntled staff.


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