W: Nigel Linge is editor of Business Travel Weekly. Nigel, thanks for being on the show. Now, what kind of problems do airline passengers face nowadays?
M: Well, most of the problems are caused by the heavy volume of traffic.
M: You know, all airports have a limit to the number of take-offs and landings they can handle.
W: So what seems to be the problem?
M: All flights from a busy airport arrive and leave at more or less the same time.
M: If 60 aircraft are scheduled to take off between 5 p.m. and 5:15,
M: and the airport can only handle 120 an hour, that means some will always be late landing or taking-off.
M: And if the weather is bad, oh, you can imagine what the situation is like.
M: So passengers have to be loaded into each plane, and then the planes have to line up to take off.
W: So waiting at the lounge or on the plane is quite common.
M: Certainly. And another problem that's very common is over-booking.
M: Quite often you hear an announcement on the airport loudspeakers:
M: "We have over sold on this flight and would like volunteers to go on the next flight out."
M: If you decide to volunteer, you may get a cash bribe or free-trip voucher,
M: but make sure you get a guaranteed seat on the next flight and a free phone call to whoever is meeting you on the other end.
M: And worse still, you arrive with confirmed reservation and you discover you've been bumped off the flight.
W: Presumably, if you choose to travel at off-peak times, there are few problems.
M: Well, there are no off-peak times, all flights seem to be full except Saturday.
M: I don't quite understand why this is so. You know, if there is a public holiday, things are likely to be especially busy.
M: The special fare systems on the airline's computers encourage more people to fly on less popular flights and this means that as a result all flights are equally full.
W: So, what advice would you give to business travelers?
M: I'd say "Avoid big airports if you can".
M: The reason is there are too many flights there. Then, remember not to check your baggage if you can help it.
M: Another thing is "Be prepared for delays". Take something to eat and drink in your hand luggage.