Storm Strands Pilots And Passengers Alike With AM-Storm Talk, Bjt; AM-Storm Rdp
BOSTON (AP) _ Steve Vogl paced in deserted Logan Airport, trying to pass time after his flight was canceled by Tuesday’s winter storm and wondering if would ever get home.
And he was the pilot.
″It’s such an incredible logistical thing when this happens,″ said Vogl, who flies for Commuter Airlines, which operates as USAir Express. ″We only have 26 planes, and it’s a nightmare sorting it all out.″
Vogl, of Burlington, Vt., said flight cancellations up and down the East Coast also affected the lives of pilots and flight attendants.
The cancellations upset a delicately balanced schedule that routes pilots regularly to and from their home airports. Many pilots were stranded.
″Our commercial air transportation system depends on an ability to move airplanes and crews with clockwork precision all around the country,″ said John Mazor, spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association.
″Anything that disrupts that flow can wreak havoc not only on passengers’ travel plans but on the work schedules and lives of the pilots and flight attendants,″ Mazor said.
Paul Richard, an American Airlines pilot from San Francisco, was stuck in Boston after his flight was canceled.
″Our lives are just as disrupted as everybody else’s,″ he said. ″We run out of underwear just as fast as anybody else.″
John Daneault, a pilot for American Airlines, drove from his home in Manchester, N.H., to Logan Airport only to find his flight was canceled. That reduced his monthly flying time from 72 to 61 hours - and his monthly pay proportionally.
″It’s a wasted day,″ Daneault said.
Passengers don’t see that side, he said.
″It’s incredible. You’re the bad guy if their plans are disturbed, but if you get them there safely, you just did your job,″ Daneault said.
Vogl, downing another cup of coffee as he waited for the schedule to resume, was more philosophical:
″Ours is not to do or die. Ours is but to show and fly.″