Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Yet another reason to turn our lives over to experts

Posted by Craig Westover | 11:15 AM |  

Over 1,100 Christmas Day flights were cancelled by Delta Air Lines feeder carrier Comair because of computer problems. In search of answers, AP reporter Harry Weber, turned to Terry Trippler, “an airline industry expert in Minneapolis.”

What exactly makes Mr. Trippler and “airline industry expert” is not stated (in fact, he appears to be a glorified travel agent), but it certainly can’t be gems like this -- “Obviously, the airlines have become way too dependent on computers.”

What would he have the airline do -- go back to roomfuls of math nerds working with blackboards and chalk? (Mr. Trippler still prefers a paper ticket, but is being slowly convinced to go to e-ticket).

Then somebody woke up “Norman Y. Mineta,” the “Y” clearly identifying the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Taking decisive action, Mineta shot a letter to the agency’s inspector general calling for a government investigation and advising that people “must learn from the situations to preclude their recurrence.” Duh! That’s a gem worth my tax dollars.

I imagine that there’s also an “expert” somewhere that can explain how the Commerce Clause justifies investigating a private airlines computer snafu. And another with suggestion how the airlines can fix the problems. And yet another to draw up the regulations that will ensure people “learn from situations to preclude their recurrence.”

Or we can just consult Mr. Trippler who said “more government oversight might be necessary to prevent such severe computer problems.”