Northwest doesn't need the flight attendants strike to have CHAOS.
The proposed flight attendents strike on Northwest Airlines aims to induce CHAOS on the aviation system by targetting specific flights (unknown to NWA or passengers in advance). Clearly NWA has problems on its own, this flight, which I will be on in four weeks, was diverted to Duluth (
NWA Flight 44 Passengers Feeling VERY Minnesota). Okay, so there were mechanical problems, that happens from time to time (not encouraging, but they did fire all of the mechanics last year).
But they did not ask (or allow) passengers to leave for 10 hours, first trying to fix the problem, but eventually realizing that the crews were on duty for too long. A little bit of foresight would be helpful (but then with foresight, they woudn't be a bankrupt carrier).
This is not the first time NWA has held passengers prisoner. (1, 2 (9 hours) and here , 3 (28 hours) I myself was trapped on an NWA flight in summer of 2004, sitting on the runway for 3 hours, that due to weather at DCA (National), could not take off, and ultimately had to deplane passengers so it could take off on the shorter runway. (Just a few more people off the plane, and we can take off).
The pilot did buy alcohol for the passengers (alas, I don't drink), and NWA did give me 1500 airmiles, but frankly, I would rather someone be able to plan 15 minutes in advance and not board planes that won't be allowed to take off.
It reminds one of the joke:
Two hunters were off on their annual trip to the Canadian wilderness to bag a moose. As the seaplane landed on a lake in a remote area, the pilot said, "I'll be back in one week to pick you up. But only one moose, please."
When he returned to the lake, he found the hunters proudly standing beside two moose.
"I told you guys only one moose!" the furious flier screamed. "There's no way the plane can take off with that much weight!"
"You're just a chicken pilot," one hunter said. "We killed two moose last year and that pilot wasn't afraid to take off."
Stung by the suggestion of cowardice, he reconsidered. "All right, if you did it last year, I guess we can try it."
They loaded up and the pilot taxied to the far end of the lake to begin his take-off. The plane bounced across the water as it strained to get airborne, but the overloaded aircraft finally ran out of space and crashed into the trees. Some time later, the hunters regained consciousness.
"Where are we?" one asked.
His friend looked around at the scattered debris, then back at the edge of the lake and replied, "Oh, I guess about a hundred yards farther than last year.""
Courtesy of The Daily Star.