In talking about some government nonsense that purports to help airline travelers, Insty opines:
Of course, airlines often seem to fudge the reasons for delays or cancellations.
Being a gentleman, he’s giving them too much credit. “Always” more than “often”, in other words.
Back when I were a leech consultant, I remember having to catch the last flight out of Nashville to Chicago one night. There were just four of us passengers in the waiting area: all wearing suits, all carrying briefcases, and all obviously frequent fliers.
One of the guys said, “Anyone want to give odds on whether this flight’s gong to be canceled for a ‘technical problem’?” Nobody was interested — we were all gloomily certain of that eventuality. Then I said, “Why don’t we run a book on how long from now before the flight’s canceled? Five minutes, ten minutes… what am I offered? Who’s in, for a dollar?”
Needless to say, that got everyone’s attention, and after each of us had picked a time (we were about 20 minutes from the scheduled takeoff), we waited expectantly.
When the announcement finally came, I bet it was the first time that the gate staff had ever had that announcement greeted with whoops and hollers, and money changing hands.
We were told that they’d made arrangements to put us up at the airport hotel overnight, so all four of us met up in one guy’s room and played poker till we had to catch the dawn flight the following day, emptying all four rooms’ courtesy bars in the process. Must have cost the airline a fortune.
FYI, it was an American Airlines flight, but it could have been any of them, the lousy bastards.