Did your latest flight arrive early? Mine did and that's not necessarily a good thing. As a recent analysis in USAToday showed, airlines are padding their flight times to improve on-time stats.
That means on-time and early arrivals, yes, but also more time spent just sitting on the darn plane. In fact, USA Today found that 93% of flights are now longer than they were in 1995.
So we're all sitting on airplanes for longer stretcher and we're doing so in planes that are far more crowded with both people and seats. Those uncomfortable conditions have led, not surprisingly, to a massive surge in complaints. According to the Associated Press, complaints are up by a full 20% from a year ago. It's basing its reporting on statistics just released by the Department of Transportation.
An additional source of friction has been the increase in involuntary bumping (with fewer planes in the sky, fewer passengers are volunteering to wait for the next plane when flights are overbooked than in the past. Why? Does so could mean getting to one's destination days rather than hours late).
It's all an ugly brew, and frankly, there's not much to do. But forewarned is forearmed right?