Comments: Mayday

Incontinental. Genius.

Posted by simon from jersey at December 27, 2004 10:12 AM

Although plenty of bloggers with IT backgrounds are discussing the technical aspects of why and how a single software program could ground Comair's entire 164-airplane fleet, I am stunned that the management of a regional airline is so incompetent that it did not have in place a way of manually coordinating the location of planes and flight crews. Let's face it, we're talking about only 164 airplanes. Certainly Delta/Comair knew where the planes were, and if these planes ended up away from their base in Cincinnati, the location where the crews last assigned to those planes were. Even if work rules prevented a particular crew from flying on Christmas (i.e., they had logged their limit of flight hours for the day or week), the airline should have been able manually to find crews to get most of their planes in the air, especially since the bad weather Christmas day was confined to the Gulf Coast and Florida, and that the Cincinnati airport was fully operational. I discuss the Comair mishap today on my own blog,

Posted by Michael Meckler at December 27, 2004 10:37 AM

Simon: Thanks! I thought it more funnier than simply recounting my experiences with Northworst.

Mike: Agreed. You'd think they'd have some sort of manual or at least a digital backup!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at December 27, 2004 05:43 PM

I totally agree that the lack of a back up system at Comair is truly amazing and totally unforgivable in view of the massive disruptions this caused to tens of thousands of holiday passengers. The U.S. Air fiasco is even worse since it appears to represent the deliberate actions of the employees. Re-regulation of the airlines is just not in the cards (fortunately)but the industry has few barrieres to entry and more low cost air lines will be springing up to fill the void. And all the new airlines seem to be staffed with people enthusiastic to do their jobs at wages far below what the legacy carriers used to pay.

Posted by Swammi in Solon at December 28, 2004 02:11 PM