Airlines

When I go to the airport, I have a reasonable idea of what will happen that day. ‘ll be forced to wait in line, pay extra for my suddenly too-heavy luggage and strip down to almost nothing.If I haven’t shaved in a few days I may even be taken into a cornered off area and searched by a not-so-gentle man in a uniform. I accept this ordeal and see it as a fair trade for my safety. What I don’t expect is for my pilots to fly 150 miles past my destination, causing me to arrive more than an hour late.This is what happened to the unlucky passengers of Delta Airlines Flight 188 traveling from San Diego, Ca. to Minneapolis, Minn.Though it is generally accepted that planes can almost fly themselves these days, unfortunately, they can’t yet land themselves. Officially, Delta can’t pinpoint exactly why the pilots failed to land the plane after flying directly over the airport.The oddity of this situation was only compounded when information leaked about the plane flying a distance of nearly 500 miles without radio communication. During these 88 silent minutes, the aircraft was hailed 13 times but the pilots never responded. In a post 9/11 era, when a plane doesn’t respond for such a long period of time, the worst is assumed. The situation seemed so critical that North American Aerospace Defense Command readied four fighter jets in case the plane was indeed being hijacked. Luckily, the plane turned around and reestablished communication, landing safely — many of the passengers didn’t even notice anything wrong until several officers boarded the plane after landing.After flying that far, for that long with no communication, I’d hope that the pilots would have a great explanation. Sadly, this isn’t so.The two pilots claimed they were merely having a “heated discussion” over airline policy and simply lost track of time. Taking into account that most pilots wear headsets that are in constant communication with the ground and provide alerts about anything unusual in the flight, it seems it would be rather difficult to ignore the warning signs. Most other pundits think that the two simply fell asleep.  Regrettably, pilots are more prone to fall asleep than forcing pilots to fly non-stop for days at a time, putting thousands of lives in danger. As a frequent flyer myself, I am rather upset to find this out.Clearly airlines spend so much energy on airport security, they have forgotten about the most important part of the whole operation: who flies the plane?