Rage in the skies

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This week,The New York Times prompted hundreds of people to write in comments when it published an article called "Aboard Planes, Class Conflict." The Times also launched a very promising blog, Jet Lagged, which will focus on "flying the unfriendly skies" during the month of December. A typical post is by longtime Practical Traveler columnist Betsy Wade, who writes, "To be blunt, I now hate those people in first class."

Hate is a strong word, but you can feel intense anger pulsing in online forums. When this blog recently invited readers to tell off the airlines, we received 140 responses.

For some people, the problem has been the record flight delays, such as a 7-day flight delay this summer at J.F.K. airport. For other travelers, the frustration has been the long tarmac delays, such as the 7-hour delay whose absurdity was captured in a seven-minute YouTube video by a passenger. (Tarmac delays got so bad this fall, for example, that editor Erik Torkells went so far as to say, "The federal government MUST declare a maximum time that passengers can be held on the tarmac.") For still other travelers, the aggravation comes from increased security delays. Complaints about airport checkpoints skyrocketed this year.

If you want to see what the Times readers are saying, visit the new blog Jet Lagged.

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