Schedule Woes Plague Northwest

Airline blames absenteeism for rampant cancellations, delays
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jul 29, 2007 11:21 AM CDT
Passengers wait in line to check in for Northwest Airlines flights at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich., Wednesday, June 27, 2007. Acrimony between Northwest Airlines pilots and management...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Northwest Airlines is blaming a slew of weekend flight cancellations on a sharp rise in pilot absenteeism. The fifth-largest US airline canceled 200 flights over the past 2 days, but pilots say it has nothing to do with them skipping out on work, ABC News reports. They point the finger at maxed-out time sheets and a staffing shortage.

Cancellations and delays were rampant even though the carrier says it rejiggered schedules to conform with limits on pilot hours. Weather delays, increased traffic, and an out-of-date air traffic control system have led to flight cancellations across the US. And passengers are none too pleased: Americans ranked airlines below the IRS in a recent customer-satisfaction survey.