Late airline passengers should be fined

I took two flights today and both flights were held up because some passengers were late boarding the planes.

Now, I can understand if a passenger is running late because they have a connecting flight and the first flight is running late. That happened to me today – because of the first delay my first flight was running over an hour late so I missed my connecting flight and had to be put on a later flight, which was also delayed because passengers were running late.

In the first instance, the delay was exacerbated because although the passengers had checked in, they did not go to the departure gate to actually catch their flight, so their luggage had to be taken off the plane for security reasons.

I understand that, so my ire is not aimed at the airline, which was only doing the sensible thing.

The second flight was delayed by about 15 minutes because of two women who seemed to be oblivious about the time of departure – which was clearly stated on the airport video terminals, and which was announced over the p.a.

Passengers running late for aircraft is obviously a problem because whilst at Sydney airport getting ready to board my second flight the p.a. Announcer was continuously asking for late passengers to get to various gates to board their planes.

It seems to me that passengers who are late, for the reason that they do not take any notice of boarding times, should be substantially fined. All they are doing is costing airlines a lot of money and inconveniencing their fellow passengers who have to wait belted up in those little tubes waiting for the unconcerned to just show up.

Apart from genuine factors, such as late connecting flights or unexpected traffic gridlocks (that happens, friends of mine just made a flight in Sydney after leaving early but encountering some bozo who was protesting on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, bringing the city to a standstill), it shouldn’t be all that difficult to make it to the departure gate in time to make a flight that is leaving on time.

They are some people who just don’t have any understanding about time, and who are not only oblivious to the fact that they are inconveniencing others, but they also simply don’t care.

One way to make them blivious to the problem is to substantially fine them – hit them in the hip pocket and they’ll soon learn.

Fines could be worked out on the number of people they inconvenience – so if they keep one hundred people on a flight waiting for them, fine them $10 per passenger plus more for the airline costs.

Would that make a difference do you think? I bet it would. Fine late comers and they’d soon see the good sense in being on time, just like the other 99% of their fellow passengers, who can manage to board a flight on time.

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