Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Travel Woes

If you’re flying on American Airlines today, you’d better check and see if your flight hasn’t been canceled.

Since late last month, American has canceled almost 1,000 flights to inspect the wiring bundles in its MD-80 fleet. The airline operates 300 MD-80s, with an average age of 18 years.

American decided to re-inspect its fleet after the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns about an inspection last month. The airline said it was rechecking the spacing of the ties on the wiring bundles and the direction in which the retention clips and cords were facing.

“It goes without saying that this second grounding is beyond annoying,” said Joe Brancatelli, who publishes Joe Sent Me, a website for business travelers. “It’s one thing to ground planes for emergency inspections…. It’s entirely another matter to ground the planes again because the emergency inspections may not have been done properly.”

Like the airlines need another hit.