Air Travel in the United States: Is Anybody in Charge?

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In a study of America's airline industry, the General Accountability Office of Congress—the GAO—reports no collisions on airport runways since 1990. But in Los Angeles last August, two planes came within 37 feet of each other. There were 369 other near misses—"incursions" they're called--during last year alone. The GAO concludes there's "a high risk of a catastrophic runway collision." Meantime, air controllers are tired and flight delays are at their highest level in history; more and more luggage is just getting lost.  After 13 hours and 17 minutes on a plane from San Francisco to Dallas, one unhappy business woman wants a "Passengers' Bill of Rights." But a veteran writer calls this "the Golden Age of Travel," "as comfortable and reasonable today as it's ever been."

Credits

Guests:
James L. Oberstar - Chairman, House Transportation Committee, Patrick Forrey - President, National Air Traffic Controllers' Association, Scott McCartney - airline reporter, Wall Street Journal, Kate Hanni - Founder, FlyersRights.org, Pico Iyer - life-long traveler and travel author

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Dan Konecky, Karen Radziner