What is an On Time Departure

As a recent 20/20 investigation reports travelers and airlines often have very different ideas about what constitutes an on time departure.

For an airline an on time departure means the plane has pulled back from the gate or jetway. It doesn�t matter if you�ve pulled away from the jetway and sit on the runway for 7 minutes or 7 hours, for the airline that�s an on time departure. Passengers however feel an on time departure means you pull away from the gate or jetway and proceed directly to the runway for takeoff without any delays. What really annoys passengers are long delays on the ground with, little information or even worse misinformation as shown in this video

The airlines however aren�t entirely at fault, weather delays can often wreak havoc with departures across the country. For airports operating at near capacity a weather delay causing planes to delay take off has a cascading failure effect sending ripples of delays throughout the system world wide. Airlines, especially discount carriers are opting for smaller planes they can fill, keeping fuel costs down, and airlines profitable. This has the downside of increasing the number of flights and planes in the air, resulting in airports that are more congested than ever. Right now the system is broken, and some of the nations busiest airports like JFK, LaGuardia, LAX and O�Hare are taking the brunt of the problem. Lets hope that the airlines, FAA, and TSA can work together to come up with a solution before a tragedy occurs.

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