Skip to main content /TRAVEL
CNN.com /TRAVEL

CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS
<b>Vicki Davis' flight to Chicago arrived 23 minutes late -- still half the national average</b>
Vicki Davis' flight to Chicago arrived 23 minutes late -- still half the national average  

Day in the life: Travelers luck out at LaGuardia

February 12, 2001
Web posted at: 5:51 p.m. EST (2251 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's a rainy weekday morning at New York's LaGuardia Airport, and Vicki Davis' day has already begun with a hassle.

"I was supposed to be on the 10 a.m. flight to Chicago,” says Davis. “I just happened to call ahead because of the weather and found out my flight was canceled."

  ALSO
 
 VIDEO
CNN's Patty Davis goes to the airport to hear from travelers about their experiences

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 

So far so good for software company owner Bernhard Keppler, who’s heading to Dallas, Texas, for business.

"On time despite the weather this morning," he says on a recent morning. "Looks good."

Major bottleneck

David DeLeon and his family worried about the weather, so they arrive two hours early, hoping to avoid a repeat of DeLeon’s experience last summer.

"I was stuck six hours on the runway. They wouldn't let us off the plane," he recalls.

<b>A 20-minute delay for Bernhard Keppler's flight into Dallas didn't cut into his schedule too much -- Keppler adds an extra hour when he flies</b>
A 20-minute delay for Bernhard Keppler's flight into Dallas didn't cut into his schedule too much -- Keppler adds an extra hour when he flies  

And so it goes as travelers navigate the nation's increasingly busy and backed-up airports. LaGuardia is one of the biggest bottlenecks.

One year ago, major airlines vowed to notify customers of delays, which are now at record levels, but some passengers are still grumbling.

"My delays ranged from two hours to eight-and-a-half hours last year," Keppler says.

"In my experience, it's been getting worse," says DeLeon, although he discovered that couldn’t make that complaint his latest travel effort. His United flight arrived in Chicago 14 minutes early, leaving DeLeon pleasantly surprised.

"I thought we were going to be delayed in New York because of the weather, but actually I'm pretty pleased,” he says. “We came on time. Everything went perfect."

<b>Dr. David DeLeon and his family arrived in Chicago 14 minutes early</b>
Dr. David DeLeon and his family arrived in Chicago 14 minutes early  

'Absolutely perfectly good'

As for Davis, her American flight to Chicago was 23 minutes late -- irritating, perhaps, but still just half the national average.

"We were on the ground for about a half hour to 40 minutes, sitting on the jetway. They were telling us once again (about) air traffic control delays, and how everything was just backed up due to weather," she says.

Keppler puts up with 20-minute delay for his flight to Dallas, and he’s not griping.

"Today was absolutely perfectly good," says Keppler, who still has time to make his meeting.

Like a lot of travelers, Keppler has learned the drill the hard way. He now adds an extra hour when he flies -- just in case.



RELATED STORIES:
Government report card on airline customer service due Monday
February 12, 2001
Airlines urge spending to reduce flight delays
January 31, 2001
Senate bills aim to improve air travel
January 30, 2001
Report: Flight delays at all-time high in 2000
January 22, 2001
Senator introduces bill to make airlines more accountable
July 20, 2000
Federal report gives mixed reviews to airline service efforts
June 27, 2000

RELATED SITES:
United Airlines
American Airlines
LaGuardia Airport

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



 Search   


Back to the top