Unfriendly Skies

Delays and scrubbed flights take the joy out of this summer's flying

Filmmaker Peter Charley arrived at the United Airlines check-in at San Francisco International Airport half an hour before his 11 a.m. flight to New York. The slow-moving line took nearly 30 minutes to clear. He then spent an additional 20 anxious minutes passing through security, expecting to miss his plane. But as usual, the departure was delayed. Relieved, Charley buckled into his seat and waited for takeoff. And waited. The pilot finally explained that his windscreen wiper needed fixing. Charley and other passengers fumed while mechanics fiddled. It took more than an hour before he was airborne.

Then the trip really...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!