Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 29 November 2023

Air Travel Is More Miserable Than Ever. This Fits a Concerning Agenda.

Moving where you want in pursuit of career opportunities and adventure has been part of the American psyche for a long time. My family has been like that for decades, with the end result that we are now really, really scattered. We still like each other; we often travel to see each other for the holidays thanks to air travel. My dad has been traveling for work for a long time and has always been generous with frequent-flyer miles to any family member tight on cash. The airlines have made a lot of money from my extended family.

Until now.

Sure, everyone’s getting slammed by inflation. But that’s only part of it. Even if we could afford the tickets themselves, none of us can afford the uncertainty that comes with frequent delays. And delays seem to be getting worse all the time.

Is air travel measurably worse?
Is this just due to a lack of balance between supply and demand, as people want to fly more but airlines struggle to re-hire all those folks laid off during lockdowns? Might there be other forces at work that want to make air travel miserable?

I know we all have lots of horrible anecdotes, but let’s look at some data.

Lending Tree posted a table of historic delay and cancellation rates over the past ten years. In 2014, 21.99% of flights were delayed. That percentage dropped below 20% in 2015, and stayed between 15 and 19% through 2019. In 2020 and 2021, delayed flights fell below 11%, though those two years were flukes because of the lockdown-induced collapse in demand.

In 2022, though, delayed flights were back up to nearly 20%, and this year 21.60% of flights have been delayed so far.

But why is air travel so messed up?
There is not one thing that explains all the misery. Some folks are blaming climate change. But a more compelling reason is the severe labor shortage. In 20 out of 26 critical control traffic towers, staffing is well below the FAA’s required 85% threshold. Airlines are short 17,000 pilots, 12,800 certified mechanics, and 3000 air traffic controllers.

The average salary for an airline pilot is $120,615 per year. The average salary for an aircraft mechanic, whose training program is only about 24 months, is $67,840. The average salary for an air traffic controller is $94,260.

These are decent jobs. How come nobody wants them?

Maybe some of it is health-related.
Maybe it’s harder to find people that can physically do them. Pilots have to meet certain health standards to be cleared to fly, and then must undergo periodic health checks to make sure they stay in shape. They are required to retire at age 65, though there is talk of increasing that to 67 because of the shortage

The insistence on physical fitness is reasonable. An older woman managing a store won’t kill all the customers if she has a heart attack at work. The pilot might.

However, in October 2022, the FAA quietly amended the allowable electrocardiogram (EKG) range for pilots. They widened it to a point where it can accommodate pilots with cardiac injuries, something that had never been allowable before.

Maybe the FAA hoped no one would notice, but we’re a year past that change now, and the damage is becoming obvious. Professional Australian pilot Captain Shane Murdock wrote a report just this past week that emergency calls have been skyrocketing the past few years. Pilots have a variety of codes they issue in emergencies, but code 7700 is the one used for severe distress, such as a health emergency or a fire in the cabin.

These calls are all tracked, and in 2018 and 2019, an average of 29.125 severe distress signals occurred each month. In 2022, there was an average of 108.33 monthly distress calls. In the first quarter of 2023, an average of 141.67 monthly distress calls were recorded. Something happened between 2019 and 2022 that has made sudden health emergencies on planes far more common these days. But you can draw your own conclusions.

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