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Forum editorial: Air travel mess won't be solved by foreign flights

The Wall Street Journal reports that frustrated U.S. air travelers are booking flights on foreign carriers in order to avoid the delays and poor service delivered routinely by domestic airlines. Despite the horror stories that came out of the Tha...

The Wall Street Journal reports that frustrated U.S. air travelers are booking flights on foreign carriers in order to avoid the delays and poor service delivered routinely by domestic airlines. Despite the horror stories that came out of the Thanksgiving weekend air travel nightmare, jumping to foreign airlines is not a solution.

The air travel system in the United States needs an overhaul. Too many airplanes are trying to use too few airports. The airlines are trying to stuff too many people into their aircraft. The problems are overbooked flights, overcrowding in air terminals and hours-long delays on runways and at boarding gates. The air traffic control system is saddled with old technology in large part because of the federal government's reluctance to fully fund upgrades. Post-911 security measures - poorly implemented from the start - have tossed more sand into the air travel system's gears.

Perennial neglect, including resistance to expanding runway and air terminal capacity where most needed - requires a comprehensive, pull-out-all-the-stops effort. Nothing of the sort is on the horizon.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.

Forum editorial: Air travel mess won't be solved by foreign flights 20071128

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