CBS ‘Evening News’ Accuses Recently Bankrupt Airline of Being Stingy

Don’t the airlines have plenty of money for extra food and passenger perks? Oh wait, they’ve been in bankruptcy. Reporter Randall Pinkston’s “CBS Evening News” story August 12 charged that airlines should be providing better service to passengers, citing “torturous delays” and “forcing passengers to board when they know the plane will be sitting on the tarmac,” both problems rooted in an out-of-date air traffic control system. Aviation reporter and analyst Jim Tilmon suggested that airlines should provide passengers with a “designated parking area” with water and food served until the airline knows that the plane will be ready to take off. Pinkston said that “airline analysts say [the airlines] can afford it,” pointing to Northwest Airlines’ $2-billion profit. He seemed to have forgotten that profit came after a rocky couple of years with Northwest’s bankruptcy in 2005 – it just came out of bankruptcy protection at the end of May. The Wall Street Journal pointed out today that the Air Traffic Control system “approached gridlock early this summer, with more than 30% of June flights late, by an average of 62 minutes.”