Day in the life: Travelers luck out at LaGuardia
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."
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."
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.
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."
'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.
Government report card on airline customer service due Monday
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