June 29th, 2012|
June 29, 2012
Aviation journalist William J. McGee’s new book Attention All Passengers outlines how airlines have made flying a much less pleasant experience, reports NPR.
In his book, he tells how airlines are cutting costs through outsourcing airline maintenance and overbooking airplanes.
“It’s not your imagination that there are more people flying on each flight,” he tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies. “[That has] led to all of the other problems related to service: delays, canceled flights, lost baggage, consumer complaints and passengers being involuntarily bumped off flights.”
After the Transportation Security System Administration (TSA) took over baggage handling, complaints of mishandled and damaged bags increased.
“There have been a lot of high-profile cases of TSA employees who take bags into the back room, and when they come back out, things are missing,” he says.
Airplane maintenance and repairs are being outsourced—sometimes to unlicensed mechanics in Mexico and El Salvador, China and Singapore. Planes come back from their maintenance trips and are not ready to fly.
“In my view, it’s a critical safety issue — the FAA’s lack of oversight of maintenance [in these countries],” he says.
The FAA doesn’t require airlines to list the subcontractors they work with, making that information difficult to find.