USA Today Hypes Airline Problems, AP Says Big Waits Happen Once in 1,000 Flights

March 6th, 2007 5:52 PM

"Your chances of being stuck on a stuffy airliner for hours on a taxiway – like passengers on recent JetBlue flights – are slim, the government reported yesterday," the Associated Press reported on March 6.

That was the very same day USA Today emphasized that "588 flights sat for more than two hours on taxiways before taking off in January," and highlighted "calls for federal regulation to prevent recurrences."

Both articles mentioned proposed Passenger Bill of Rights, but only AP mentioned the push for regulation has come from Hill Democrats.

Both stories also quoted Air Transport Association spokesman David Castelveter, but with completely different emphasis.

USA Today: "The number of flights is increasing along with the number of lengthy delays."

AP: "As horrific a situation as that must be for travelers, it is still an extremely low number."

You can find the full Business & Media Institute story here.