Northwest cancels flight after flight

Northwest Airlines planes

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Stormy weather, it certainly has been that for Northwest Airlines. The carrier has been canceling flights right and left since Friday. One plane in eight never got off the ground. Minnesota Public Radio's Martin Moylan reports.


Martin Moylan: From Friday to Monday, Northwest cancelled about 11 percent of its flights, excluding those operated by its regional partners.

And yesterday, about 12 percent of the Northwest's scheduled flights never got off the ground, according to a service that tracks airline performance.

Northwest blames severe weather, air traffic control restrictions and a higher than normal level of pilot absenteeism, but the pilots say Northwest simply doesn't have enough of them to fly the carrier's summer schedule.

Terry Trippler: The pilots are upset.

That's Minneapolis-based travel expert Terry Trippler.

Trippler: They're upset about the number of people that have been laid off, about how much they've taken in cuts. And unfortunately, yet again the air traveler in the upper Midwest is the victim of a Northwest Airlines labor dispute.

Trippler says the spike in cancellations may continue through August. Trippler advises Northwest passengers to book morning flights to try to avoid getting stranded.

In St. Paul, Minn., I'm Martin Moylan for Marketplace.

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