There are four certainties in life:
- Every Greek song will eventually speed up
- News reports from airports during winter storms will always feature someone exasperatingly complaining "We have no information. The airline is telling us nothing!"
Yes FOPs, another flying beef.
As I prepare for the roulette wheel that is Xmas-time vacation flying (yes, another Vail trip is in the offing), I watch the TV news in awe as the winter storm that is ripping through North American is yet again leaving a swath of frustrated, stranded travelers stuck at airports without a modicum of an idea of what the hell is going on.
You'd figure that after about 70 years, the airline/airport consortium would've figured out a process to deal with weather issues and the public it affects. Yet every storm, the two react in tandem as if the arrival of more than an inch of snow was a once-in-a-lifetime freak of nature, kinda like the Comet Kohoutek or Paris Hilton. Guys, despite my love of Surprise, this ain't one of 'em.
Here's what I don't get: never mind a sophisticated, web-based system of alerts and re-bookings; why don't the airlines designate a live spokesperson to deal with this on the spot? Set up a riser in the airport, pull out a mic and a pair of speakers, and alleviate frustration by giving a mini-press-conference of sorts; explaining the facts, and the options available, to the thundering herd.
If perhaps the airline/airport employees union is afraid that said representative would be torn to bits by merely appearing before the huddled masses, perhaps a system akin to the hockey player/referee relationship would be better. Travelers would elect a representative, like the players who wear the C or A on their sweaters. These reps--and ONLY these reps--would meet with the airline/airport folks somewhere quiet, private and safe, and THEY would disseminate the info back to their peers.
Either way, it would be a win-win; more info, less complaints.
The only loser would be the news organizations...who would have to find another clichéd story to bring us every storm.