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How to Fly the Unfriendly Skies

Flying has never been worse. The summer of 2007 was marked by record cancellations and delays in flights. The airlines blame bad weather and an antiquated air-traffic-control system, but critics argue

How to Fly the Unfriendly Skies

Tom Fudge: If you don't have a job that requires you to fly all over the country, you can thank your lucky stars. Most flyers would argue that traveling by airplane has gotten progressively less pleasant. And this past summer has been among the worst periods for flying.

One-third of all U.S. flights arrived late. An analysis by USA Today indicates that between June 1 and Aug. 15, domestic flight cancellations nearly doubled. And yet, the airline industry is forecast to make about $4 billion in profits this year.


The airlines blame air traffic control for many of their problems, and they may have a point. But cuts in staff at airlines and the desire to pack flights with passengers, is also making a difference. What's going on with the airline industry in this country? Why isn't competition improving the quality of flying?