Northwest 33, Service From Amsterdam to … Hell!

The airline industry’s … further descent into anarchy, let’s say … continued this week. This time, a « 28-hour ordeal on Northwest flight 33 » shows that things are all higgledy-piggledy in the air:

‘In an ordeal that made some passengers feel like hostages, about 300 people aboard an Amsterdam-to-Seattle flight were delayed for 18 hours on the ground, unable to leave the plane for much of that time, as food and water ran out and the toilets stopped working. Northwest Airlines Flight 33 finally arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday morning, 28 hours after takeoff, after being held up by a nightmarish combination of fog, work regulations and mechanical trouble.’

Oh well, Amurrican Imperial in-’security’ efforts already made the passengers feel like criminal-terrorists, so they might as well have added ‘hostage’ to complete the experience.

The details of NW33 aren’t pretty:

‘Heavy fog had prevented the flight from landing in Seattle as scheduled Tuesday afternoon, forcing the pilot to circle the airport until fuel ran low. The plane was then diverted to an airport in Moses Lake, Wash., where it sat on the runway for hours as another crew was sent from Minnesota. The airline has regulations on how many consecutive hours crew members are permitted to work. The flight from Minnesota was delayed because of mechanical problems. After the new crew arrived, Flight 33 had to wait again because of bad weather. Food and water ran short, and the toilets stopped working as the hours dragged on.’

Notice that little phrase ‘the airline has regulations’ about crew rest. The truth is that it’s the FAA (not the airlines and not the unions/workers that the media loves to bash these days whenever anything goes wrong up there) that sets crew rest requirements. It usually takes the unions keeping after the FAA to make the airlines live up to their legal obligations.

And now Northwest will certainly be foisting off responsibility for this one on the evil, evil workers who made the poor, poor passengers sit there for 18 hours so the crew could go off to a hotel and drink and have illicit sex.

Okay, so they don’t say that, but that’s the subtext of these things.

It’s like the other day when Imperial Transport Minister Mineta announced the feds would investigate airlines to see if they were living up to the promises they made five years ago (of course they’re not) … the media, within just a few hours, turned that into ‘the feds will be investigating all those commie bastard USAirways workers in Philadelphia who called in ‘sick’ and screwed Christmas up for everyone.’

Ain’t the 21st century grand?