Yesterday, the country went to the polls and re-elected Barack Obama, and cast votes on thousands of policy-changing propositions. When it comes to travel, there were a few issues not on the ballot. Peter took to his Travel Detective blog to offer up the changes he would like to see throughout the travel industry.
Let’s start with airports. I want to have a law that you can’t have any more than 20 flights scheduled to leave per hour from any airport. If you talk to people who operate the airports, they’ll tell you in a given 60 minute period airports can operate at most 21 flights three minutes of separation between take off on a runway. And that with perfect weather and 20/20 visibility. So why are the airlines allowed to schedule 34 flights an hour? It’s denial; It’s delusional, and it’s unfair to us, because most planes are sitting on a runway for an hour and a half.
Your flight might be scheduled for 9:00, but it is taking off at 9:45. It’s a joke. So I vote for a maximum number of 20 takeoffs per hour on any runway. Now let’s make my vote for airlines.
That’s not my only change for airports. We have an obsession right now with jet ways. I don’t need jet ways; I just need to get off the plane. I’m going to go back to the future here and suggest we opt for portable stairs. When I land, I don’t want to hear there is no jet way available.
You can just park 100 feet behind any airplane on the runway, roll up some portable stairs and everybody gets off the plane. Now, that’s a win-win for everybody, because passengers are not misconnecting. Bags are not misconnecting.
As to customs and immigration, I want pre-clearance. We need allocate the right amount of money to hire the right amount of U.S. Border and Customs inspectors to be in foreign airports where we have large volumes of American passengers. It’s what we already do in the Bahamas, Canada, Bermuda and Ireland. It’s called pre-clearance and you actually clear U.S. customs with your items before you even get on a plane to come home.
It’s a win-win. Nobody misconnects when they get back to the U.S. There are no long lines, you don’t miss your plane, your bags don’t get missed, and you don’t come back to the United States angry to be home, because welcoming you home with a line out to Brazil doesn’t work. In the countries where you do it, Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, and Ireland it works like a charm.