Relax T-Day fliers: Bush has your back

It's always a hoot to see how reporters frame these government-to-the-rescue stories. From Associated Press:

Ahead of the holiday travel crunch, President Bush ordered steps Thursday to reduce air traffic congestion and long delays that have left passengers stranded. The most significant change is that the Pentagon will open unused military airspace from Florida to Maine to create "a Thanksgiving express lane" for commercial airliners.

Sounds like a swell idea and can't you just see the president bolting upright in bed and saying, "Jeez-Louise, Laura, a Thanksgiving express lane in the sky is what we need to make sure everyone  gets home in time for T-Day dinner this year. Why don't we open up unused military airspace?"

Then he orders it so. Mission accomplished.

In addition, the Department of Transportation will be looking to double the compensation airlines must pay ticketed passengers who are bumped from their flights. Those fees are now $200 or $400, depending on the length of time a traveler is delayed. However, this won't happen until next year at the earliest, so don't be looking for the extra bread if you should miss the big meal.

All in all, it's clear that the airlines and government are setting expectations mighty high for this busiest of all air travel seasons. Just this morning we were posting about the airlines boasting that their latest network technology would all but assure that every flier will be safely ensconced in Mom's living room before kickoff of the first football game.

All concerned had better deliver on their promises. I'm still glad I'm driving.

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