View Full Version : Staff Cutbacks + Tight Security = No PAX

18th Oct 2001, 03:01
Flew Round-Trip, JFK to PHX this past weekend. I was in line at 4:00am for a 7:10am flight. Because of reduced staffing, nobody showed up to check in people until 05:45am. After getting a boarding pass, removing my shoes and belt so they could be x-rayed, I made it to the plane at 06:45am only to be told I was late!! Late for what? There were another 15 PAX behind me.

With all the lay-offs and not enough airline personnel to go around to do basic functions like checking people in, plus heightened security, the U.S airline business is ripe for a meltdown...a major meltdown.

I encounted exactly the same problems on the return as well as a plane evacuation for a security check "the ariline had forgot to perform"

Not much fun anymore and I'm a fairly tolerant guy, but for those who don't fly because they're scared and for those who have only to be burnt by a lack of staff, it's time the U.S Govt. and the airlines got their act together to encourage people to fly as opposed to making it a living hell.

BTW, outbound flight had 60 PAX and inbound has 32. Both on an A-320 with a capacity of 150 people.

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: whatshouldiuse ]

18th Oct 2001, 05:31
Hmmm, sounds like good 'ole AmericaWest is at it again.
On the bright side, for those business travelers whose company can afford a biz-jet time share, big dividends ahead for companies like EJA, NetJets etc.
PHX have a very poor reputation for security and on-time customer service, sad to say. Considering it is the sixth most active airline airport in the US, they should hang their heads in shame.

18th Oct 2001, 11:34
Human nature I suppose!! Any regular commuter thro' LHR or LGW will tell you that the BAA staffing levels through security are a joke! They buy million dollar x-ray machines and then only use one at a time! Meanwhile the queues stretch out of the door.I'm afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better. ( BAA have to maintain their profits)

Max Continuous
18th Oct 2001, 14:50
Maybe this becomes self-correcting - as passengers stay away in droves because flying has become such a dire way to travel, with its unnecessary stress and hassle at every turn, then the queues will get shorter and there'll be enough X-ray machine operators to go around...........

18th Oct 2001, 15:19
If only it were so, max continuous. The reality is that as passengers numbers drop, so the number of staff will drop. There will always be a queue at security at LHR, with only one machine working at each gate.

BAA must protect its profits, as someone already said.

Sometimes a good bet is the smaller regional sirports not owned by BAA. Some, but not all, really have got their act together.

Max Continuous
18th Oct 2001, 16:28
Looks like the whole industry is going into meltdown .... brought on partly by external forces, but not insignificantly by people within the industry who will not accept that the customer is king.

19th Oct 2001, 01:52
Max Continous;

I'm a PAX and certainly not King. Let me explain a little reality here...plane vs train from Newark to Washington DC.

On a plane with a 8:00am departure, I have to get up at 2:30am to drive an hour to EWR. Because close-in parking is restricted, Ihave to unpack the car and take a shuttle-bus which goes round all the car-parks and arrives at the terminal 30 minutes later.

From there I stand in line 2 hours to get a boarding pass. After that I get to security where I wait another hour (with good reason mind-you) and in another hour I get on the plane. Flight time from EWR to DCA is 1:30 minutes although you actually only fly for close to 40 minutes. Total time from rising to arriving is 7 hours.

Conversely, I could get up at 6:00am, drive to Penn Station in Newark, buy a ticket for the 8:00am train and arrive in DCA by 11:30am. Total time is 5 1/2 hours.

Not much of a contest really..

19th Oct 2001, 02:50
whatshouldiuse brings up an interesting point.

Before 9/11, recived wisdom had it that the future of the airline industry was in smaller aircraft, more airports and more short-hop air travel. Indeed, whole threads were devoted to the issue of whether Airbus or Boing had got it right in their approach to the next generation of aircraft.

It looks like there's going to have to be some serious rethinking done here. For the forseeable future, short-hop air travel has just been put very firmly into second place (or worse).

19th Oct 2001, 02:52
If it's this bad all over the USA then you are most certainly on the way to a major air travel meltdown.

From personal experience, spanning over 25 years, I have always found the USA as a country of extremes. Authorities, aviation or other, just don't have the ability to gauge responses to problems appropriately. They either ignore them or over react in a big way. I fear that inappropriate responses to the present problem will have more negative impact on the immediate future of U.S. aviation than that of the original cause.

After the initial kneejerk and OTT nonsense that was also implemented here in Europe immediately post 11/9, I'm now back to checking in 45 mins prior to departure with the minimum of fuss and delay. With the exception of a few minor security changes all is almost normal again. Well, at least from the airports I use.

19th Oct 2001, 03:16
Spot on AVMAN....I wonder WHEN the US will get it right about security....and common sense.

19th Oct 2001, 20:09
I just flew LHR to BRU and back with the security seeming to be even lower than normal. Check in time was about 5 mins and security time was 10mins. They didn't even check the laptop on either leg which was a surprise. I only wish I hadn't allowed 2 hrs for the extra security....what a waste of valuable drink*** sorry working time.
:) :) :rolleyes:

21st Oct 2001, 04:48
Agree with the perception of security at LHR, but you should try CDG (BA terminal) I was there last Monday - one passport control check point for the entire building, pax stretching right around the circumference of the building. On getting through one x-ray machine working intermittently with an operator who looked completely dazed and confused, No semblence of any que, just a mass of frustrated pax. people were going through the security point with seemingly minimal attention being paid by the staff. It was a complete shambles - can't say it inspired me with any confidence going through Paris :eek: