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United Airlines Delays and Cancellations ContinueAired August 11, 2000 - 1:30 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Labor problems that continue to plague United Airlines are not only messing up flight schedules, United's balance sheet is hurting, too. The company's president says United stands to lose as much as $150 million in the third quarter.
But CNN's Jeff Flock reports, don't expect the airline's thousands of stranded and frustrated passengers to shed many tears.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): These soldiers to be are trying to get to boot camp in Georgia, delayed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's scary and this just makes it even longer.
FLOCK: This family's been planning a summer vacation to Germany for months, delayed.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: If we don't go on vacation, then I'm going to be really mad because I've been waiting for this all summer.
FLOCK: This man is trying to get from Chicago to Denver for a job interview, you guessed it, delayed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, "I'm not to give anybody information" is ridiculous. They should have told me that on the plane instead of me running to my gate, all exasperated, trying find out what's going on.
FLOCK: And the anger extends out to the curb where limo drivers at O'Hare say there has been chaos. This driver brought one man to the airport three times for three canceled flights in the same day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was not happy. I don't think he was probably going to vote for the president of United to be president of the United States.
FLOCK: Limo driver Jerry Camalla (ph) has been stuck waiting for hours for travelers who never show up because their flights are canceled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the government should look into it.
FLOCK: Some think the mess at United may have a chilling effect on big airline mergers, like the one United wants to do with US Airways.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine if this particular work slowdown, whatever it is, job action, if this were across the spectrum of USAir and United, how much more hurtful to the country it would be.
FLOCK: I talked to the congressman from Chicago, Luis Gutierrez today, who was on his way from Chicago to Los Angeles for the Democratic National Convention on the official airline of the convention, United Airlines. He said if United's not doing a very good job running one airline, maybe it shouldn't take over another one.
Three other quick notes today. One, the transportation secretary was in Chicago to meet with the airline and the pilots and try to resolve the dispute, that meeting has ended, no news out of it.
Also, angry travelers have now filed a class-action lawsuit in the circuit court in Cook County, asking for damages. They claim the airline knew there were going to be problems with cancellations and delays and didn't warn anybody.
And finally we can report that it's actually a pretty good day out at the airport today, very good weather, and fewer cancellations than before.
I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, reporting live from O'Hare in Chicago.
ALLEN: Well, at least you can end on a happy note, thank you, Jeff.
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