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Delta Air Lines Sued Over Alleged E-mail Hacking

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the down-and-dirty-delta dept.

Security 152

alphadogg writes "Delta Air Lines is being sued for allegedly hacking the e-mail account of a passenger rights advocate supporting legislation that would allow access to food, water and toilets during long delays on the tarmac. Kathleen Hanni, executive director of Flyersrights.org, alleges Delta obtained sensitive e-mails and files and used the material in an attempt to derail the 'Airline Passenger's Bill of Rights of 2009,' of which four versions are pending before Congress. The suit was filed on Tuesday in US District Court for the Southern District of Texas and seeks a minimum of $11 million in damages. Flyersrights.org, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, had been investigating surface delays in air travel."

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152 comments

Headline appears to be inaccurate. (5, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751139)

According to TFA:

Flyersrights.org, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, had been investigating surface delays in air travel. According to the suit, Hanni exchanged information with Frederick J. Foreman, who worked for Metron Aviation, which was hired by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to study surface delays. The suit says Foreman provided information to Hanni with permission from Metron, including a report that fingered Delta as having excessive surface delays. Metron is also named in the suit.

During the correspondence, AOL informed Hanni that her e-mails, spreadsheets and lists of donors were being redirected to an unknown destination. Also, files on Hanni's computer became corrupted, the suit says. The hacking began in 2008 and continued through this year.

This does not constitute "hacking" (or even cracking, as it should be termed). Unless I've missed something here, the actual allegation is that information was improperly disclosed, but not that an email account was broken into.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751175)

Somehow the redirection got added there and files became corrupted. Since he's also specifically suing Delta Air Lines, it surely sounds like hacking took place.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (3, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751205)

Redirection can be accomplished by any number of means, one of which is simply telling a mail client to BCC an email address for all outgoing mail. File corruption happens all the time, and doesn't necessarily mean the accused had anything to do with it. In fact, outright mass file deletion would be more suspect in my book.

Of course, the odds are extremely good that nobody on Slashdot actually knows the full story, but the "evidence" as presented is absurdly weak for a hacking accusation.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (4, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751563)

Not that weak really...

From the article:

Gaughan (Delta) asked Foreman what information he had shared with Hanni, and Foreman said he sent Hanni information that was already public, according to the affidavit.

Foreman said in the affidavit that Gaughan showed him what appeared to be "hacked and stolen e-mail communications" since the material involved the private e-mail accounts of both himself and Hanni. The e-mails also included correspondence between Foreman and Gary Stoller of USA Today and Susan Stellin, a freelance reporter. Foreman was fired on Sept. 25, according to the affidavit.

Private email account correspondence in the hands of a Delta manager with no legal access to the account is not weak evidence. To be corroborated of course like all other claims, but it's not a weak claim if it can be proven. There have been more "hacking" cases like this lately that blur the term to mean "unauthorized" access more than gaining computer access by advanced technological means.

To change the forwarding on an internal company server, sure, fine. But to do it on outside accounts that you do not own, not so fine.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (-1, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753139)

Sounds more like Foreman is a dumbass who used the Delta network to send e-mails to people who hate Delta. According to TFA, the e-mails were of exchanges between HIM and other people, not between Hanni and others.

Not very surprising that Delta would intercept such communications, and it certainly isn't illegal. Of questionable morality, maybe, but not illegal. Moreover, this lawsuit appears to have been brought by the wrong plaintiff.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (3, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753645)

What part of PRIVATE EMAIL accounts do you not get?

As an AC posted here previously:

Here's another source:

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/10/consumer-activist-kate-hanni-a.html [dallasnews.com]

Mr. Gaughan proceeded to show me on his computer monitor what appeared to be hacked and stolen email communications within the last six (6) months or more between Kate Hanni and me, me and Gary Stoller of USA Today, me and Susan Stellin, a freelance reporter, and Kate Hanni and a number of people concerning the Passenger Bill of Rights, excessive surface delays, and other private communications. It was clear that they had email transactions from both of my private email accounts: Hotmail (eckmaster12@msn.com) and Yahoo (eckmaster@mmi-gov.com). It was also clear that these emails were from Kate Hanni's private and personal email account (katcrew4@aol.com), as well as from Gary Stoller's (gstoller@usatoday.com) private USA Today account, and Susan Stellin's (stellin@earthlink.net) private and personal email account. There were no emails communications from Metron Aviation's email system only communications from information that I gave her as fuel for getting the Passenger Bill of Rights passed in Congress. He said that Delta Airlines sent this information to them.

Clear enough?

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752259)

outright mass file deletion would be more suspect in my book

...probably why they went with file corruption. Duh!~ ;)

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (3, Informative)

tonywong (96839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751203)

I don't see a smoking gun either.

From the article,

1. *someone* was apparently hacking into Hanni's account.

2. Foreman works for Metron.

3. Foreman exchanges emails with Hanni.

4. Senior VP of Metron calls Foreman into office and shows apparent emails of Hanni and Foreman.

5. Hanni accuses Delta/Metron of being the hackers from point 1?

Kind of a leap to jump from point 4 to point 5. Metron's email policies may give up any reasonable privacy if Foreman used a Metron email account. Then again, the article is a bit light on details.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751441)

Kind of a leap to jump from point 4 to point 5. Metron's email policies may give up any reasonable privacy if Foreman used a Metron email account.

You missed a big point in 4 - Foreman believed something nefarious was going on, because among the emails shown to him by the Metron SVP were emails from and to Hanni from parties other than Foreman/Metron, as in:

"How did Metron come to be in possession of email correspondence between Hanni and other people?" Foreman, we get - he could have been using his work account, all that was above board, but the first question is what leads to accusations of hacking.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753159)

You missed a big point in 4 - Foreman believed something nefarious was going on, because among the emails shown to him by the Metron SVP were emails from and to Hanni from parties other than Foreman/Metron, as in:

No, they were e-mails to Foreman from parties other than Hanni. Big difference.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (2, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752041)

You make huge leaps in judgement in Lawsuits so you can justify Discovery to find out if your allegations are true. She will use the suit to get subpoenas to use against ISP's so if possible she can track the origin of the intrusion and other subpoenas so she can read emails exchanged by Delta and Memron to see if there was a conspiracy. Depending on the servers used the logs may indicate where the hacking came from. If it can be traced to a Delta or Metron IP address she's going to win a LOT of money, if not she has to use emotional reasons or email evidence of a conspiracy to convince a Jury or more likely the Judge will throw out the case after discovery because she can't find any evidence implicating either company.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753405)

So you allege that the someone in step one sent the mails to the Senior VP of Metron just for the hell of it? In general, when you want to know who committed a crime, you look first at whoever benefited from it. Sometimes that doesn't pan out (and then you should look at who benefits if the obvious suspect is prosecuted), but the vast majority of the time it proves out.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751281)

Foreman said in the affidavit that Gaughan showed him what appeared to be "hacked and stolen e-mail communications" since the material involved the private e-mail accounts of both himself and Hanni.

Emphasis Added.

This isn't a case of the CEO having access to Foreman's company email account, this was his personal account where he was (apparently) sharing more information that the company wanted him to. He was subsequently fired because of those disclosures. Again, disclosures made through a private, non-company owned channel which the company somehow (presumably illegally) had access to.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751733)

Or the company simply was watching everything he was doing online and keylogged him or logged his internet traffic and thus never needed access to his private inbox.

Not sure how [il]legal THAT would be, though the computer is a company resource and presumably the employee's contract would inform him of the monitoring being done while he is using his computer there.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (1)

DangerFace (1315417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754375)

Or the company simply was watching everything he was doing online and keylogged him or logged his internet traffic and thus never needed access to his private inbox.

I'm pretty sure most people would call a Man-In-The-Middle attack 'hacking' or 'cracking', depending on pedanticism*.

Not sure how [il]legal THAT would be, though the computer is a company resource and presumably the employee's contract would inform him of the monitoring being done while he is using his computer there.

Yes, there is a good chance that this guy's contract had some disclaimer about company property being monitored - maybe moral, maybe not, but you'd have to be pretty dumb to use a work computer, at work, to conspire against the company you work for, justified or not.

*Yes, that is how it should be written, look it up.

OK, so it isn't, but I will have gotten some grammar Nazi's heart racing just there!

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29751291)

TFA isn't that in-depth. Here's another source

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/10/consumer-activist-kate-hanni-a.html [dallasnews.com]

Mr. Gaughan proceeded to show me on his computer monitor what appeared to be hacked and stolen email communications within the last six (6) months or more between Kate Hanni and me, me and Gary Stoller of USA Today, me and Susan Stellin, a freelance reporter, and Kate Hanni and a number of people concerning the Passenger Bill of Rights, excessive surface delays, and other private communications. It was clear that they had email transactions from both of my private email accounts: Hotmail (eckmaster12@msn.com) and Yahoo (eckmaster@mmi-gov.com). It was also clear that these emails were from Kate Hanni's private and personal email account (katcrew4@aol.com), as well as from Gary Stoller's (gstoller@usatoday.com) private USA Today account, and Susan Stellin's (stellin@earthlink.net) private and personal email account. There were no emails communications from Metron Aviation's email system only communications from information that I gave her as fuel for getting the Passenger Bill of Rights passed in Congress. He said that Delta Airlines sent this information to them.

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752679)

Foreman's affidavit: "...my private email accounts: Hotmail (eckmaster12@msn.com) and Yahoo (eckmaster@mmi-gov.com)"

How is 'eckmaster@mmi-gov.com' a yahoo account? And what is Foreman's connection to it?

Re:Headline appears to be inaccurate. (2, Informative)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752903)

It's a Yahoo server, and it seems the domain is registered to Foreman himself.

Whois record for mmi-gov.com:

[Querying whois.internic.net]
[Redirected to whois.melbourneit.com]
[Querying whois.melbourneit.com]
[whois.melbourneit.com]

Domain Name.......... mmi-gov.com
    Creation Date........ 2004-09-08
    Registration Date.... 2004-09-08
    Expiry Date.......... 2011-09-08
    Organisation Name.... Frederick J Foreman
    Organisation Address. 14525 Chamberry Circle
    Organisation Address.
    Organisation Address. Haymarket
    Organisation Address. 20169
    Organisation Address. VA
    Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

Admin Name........... Frederick J Foreman
    Admin Address........ 14525 Chamberry Circle
    Admin Address........
    Admin Address........ Haymarket
    Admin Address........ 20169
    Admin Address........ VA
    Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
    Admin Email.......... eckmaster12@msn.com
    Admin Phone.......... +1.5712456546
    Admin Fax............

Tech Name............ YahooDomains TechContact
    Tech Address......... 701 First Ave.
    Tech Address.........
    Tech Address......... Sunnyvale
    Tech Address......... 94089
    Tech Address......... CA
    Tech Address......... UNITED STATES
    Tech Email........... domain.tech@YAHOO-INC.COM
    Tech Phone........... +1.4089162124
    Tech Fax.............
    Name Server.......... yns1.yahoo.com
    Name Server.......... yns2.yahoo.com

people are spoiled these days (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751183)

They'd also be entitled to clean air and access to medical treatment.

Who does she think she is, the Pope?!

Re:people are spoiled these days (4, Insightful)

El Torico (732160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751263)

I'm old enough to remember the days of air travel before deregulation. It was very expensive and you had to dress well, but you were treated with respect. There were even SST sticker books for the kids.

It would be interesting to see an airline with only business class and first class. How long would it stay in business?

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751415)

It would be interesting to see an airline with only business class and first class. How long would it stay in business?

Stay in business?
My boy, they'd never get off the ground!

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751493)

Absolutely right.

The only recent invention/innovation that has changed the field of commercial transit avionics in the US in recent history has been the cattle prod.

Re:people are spoiled these days (0)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751757)

The Concord [wikipedia.org] comes to mind, but when the last one Augured-In [wikipedia.org] just past the runway at Eiffel-Tower-X, Concord immediately went bankrupt. One thing about winning Eleven Mill. it will get you a nice VLJ [wikipedia.org] , ( "Very Light Jet", for the smirking unwashed), and some flight instruction; Fuel/Maintenance/Insurance/etc. are extra.

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751991)

the last one Augured-In [wikipedia.org]

Looked like more of a mush to me.

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752011)

The Concord comes to mind, but when the last one Augured-In just past the runway at Eiffel-Tower-X, Concord immediately went bankrupt.

Uh, no.

The Concorde which crashed in Paris was the first (and only) such crash of a Concorde. However, the Concorde fleet (operated by British Airways and Air France, there was no such company as Concord to go bankrupt) was aging and becoming increasingly expensive to operate between maintenance, fuel costs, and post 9/11 regulations. They did return to service for a short while after the crash investigation was complete, then were phased out.

My wife flew on a Concorde on the way back from a Paris Air Show, and all she brought me was a lousy T-shirt. ;-)

Re:people are spoiled these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29753857)

The Concord [wikipedia.org] comes to mind, but when the last one Augured-In [wikipedia.org] just past the runway at Eiffel-Tower-X, Concord immediately went bankrupt.

According to a PBS special, the Concorde never did make a profit. It was extravagantly subsidized by the Brits and the French as a matter of national pride.

I also read an article about someone on the flight who took a survey, asking each of the passengers what the flight had cost them. Most had no clue and guessed at numbers roughly twice as high as what was actually paid. Since it was all done by "their people", the celebs had no idea what the cost was and the company could easily have doubled the fares with no one caring.

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751561)

Silverjet was just that, but they only lasted for about a year (killed off by the oil crisis [businessweek.com] ). I think it was founded by the guy who owns Virgin, so he obviously had a clue of how to run an airline.

Air vs. Rail (4, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751541)

My parents are bringing our whole family to Cimarron, NM for Christmas, and already booked flights. To get there, I'm going to have to leave my home in the middle of the day and drive 25 miles to the airport. I'll have to get there an hour early and go through an intrusive security check. They'll also make me pay more for my bags at the airport. I'll then have to walk to the gate and wait there, then board in a line, then settle into my cramped seat and wait on the tarmac. I'll have to keep my electronics off until we reach cruising altitude. We'll then have to fly to the hub in Chicago, doing all of the previous stuff in reverse for landing and disembarkment, layover, and re-boarding. We'll then fly to Amarillo and do everything in reverse. I'll be landing in Amarillo after dark. Then I'll have to get a hotel because it'll be too late to reach Cimarron. So the next day I'll then be renting a car and driving 250 miles to Cimarron (no sizable airports near it) and get there in the afternoon. On the return trip, all of this will happen in reverse.

Well, I decided to check, and sure enough, there's an Amtrak stop 85 miles from my house and another 40 miles from Cimarron, with a direct line between them. So instead, I could leave my house at shortly before 6 in the evening, get on a train at around 7:30 with almost no waiting at the station, settle into whatever comfortable seat I want (I find rail travel to be *much* more comfortable than air travel), have a power outlet for my laptop, recline way back and sleep from 11 to 9 AM, get off at 11:30 AM, and get to Cimarron just after noon. With all costs added in, significantly cheaper, way more comfortable, saves six hours of driving, no hellish airport experiences, and faster. And way less environmental impact.

This may be an extreme case, but most people don't ever bother thinking to check to see whether a train can get them to their destination reasonably. A lot of people use the argument that as a less population-dense country, the US can't support rail. Well, population density arguments apply to *every* mode of public transportation, including air. Less population dense areas means fewer airports and fewer flights.

I loved riding the rails around Japan. Back in the US, get the speeds up and add more tracks, and at least I personally will ride them most places I go.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29751909)

I take the Acela and the regular Amtrak trains between DC and NY about 6 times a year. Much better overall experience then flying and as a bonus, the train stations are closer to where I am coming from and going to than the airports. On a personal trip, I've even taken the chinatown bus between them. Still way better overall than flying, it has a scheduled stretch break, and it was only $35 roundtrip for the 4.5 hour trip.

Re:Air vs. Rail (0)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751973)

A quick point about security. If terrorists start to targets trains then security theater for rail passengers may be as bad as it is for air passengers.

Re:Air vs. Rail (2, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752133)

A quick point about security. If terrorists start to targets trains then security theater for rail passengers may be as bad as it is for air passengers.

I doubt it, because you can't steer a train into a building! The overwhelming majority of people killed on 9/11 were in buildings.

Re:Air vs. Rail (2, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752227)

Trains are also much less vulnerable than planes. If there's a major malfunction on a plane, it crashes; a train just stops.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754095)

Trains are also much less vulnerable than planes. If there's a major malfunction on a plane, it crashes; a train just stops.

If you blow up a high speed train you could kill everybody on board. Trains carry more people than aircraft. Time your bang correctly and you could take out a train going the other way.

Re:Air vs. Rail (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753211)

Certainly didn't happen in Japan. Train travel over there is still a dream -- even after the Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attacks.

Re:Air vs. Rail (2, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753949)

Apart from the lower vulnerability of trains already mentioned by other posters, the key thing about planes is that they can be used as guided missiles which makes them dangerous to targets other than themselves. A hijacked train is limited by it's tracks and in most cases has a simple counter measure (switch off the power supply) to stop it once you find out it is misbehaving.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751989)

Well, population density arguments apply to *every* mode of public transportation, including air.

Air travel is not a public mode of transportation. And contrary to your assertion, it is a beneficiary of the lower population density of the US. For example, the low population density helps reduce air traffic clutter. And it meshes relatively well with the automobile. If you want to get same day travel anywhere in the US, then airlines are a good choice. It fills a niche that cars can't cover properly, that is fast travel over around a few hundred miles. Conversely, if you want to travel short distances which are precisely the most painfully poor choice for air travel, then you have cars to cover that gap. In other words, between the two modes of travel, you cover most needs for travel in the US and there's little overlap between the two choices.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752155)

Air travel is not a public mode of transportation.

Is it not "available for use by the general public, as opposed to modes for private use such as automobiles or vehicles for hire"?

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753247)

Air travel is not a public mode of transportation.

Commercial aircraft are glorified flying buses.

And despite your assertion of how great air travel works with our system, I can assure you, it certainly sucks in terms of getting to where I'm trying to get to. And flying these days is, as mentioned, a rather miserable experience, while train travel is relaxing.

Re:Air vs. Rail (3, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752101)

I'm emotionally partial to trains, live in a railroad town, and prefer the train to driving or flying. However, there's one big problem with Amtrak for long-distance travel, which is that they have serious problems with arriving on time. They don't own the tracks, so when any other traffic is coming through, the Amtrak train has to pull over on a siding and wait. For the itinerary you found, an 18-hour trip, you should probably expect to add a random number of hours from 0 to 6 into your arrival time. This kind of thing can be especially unpleasant when your train was supposed to arrive at, say, 11 pm, and instead it arrives at 5 in the morning.

Re:Air vs. Rail (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752129)

We have trains in the UK - for cities less than 100 miles away, it's definitely quicker than taking a plane, as the journey will only take around 3 hours, less time than checking in, security and picking up baggage at an airport. Though there are some disadvantages to long distance train journeys in the UK - some passengers, particularly oil workers, seem to treat trains like public bars, and get drunk before and after coming the oil rigs. Whenever this happens, the air conditioning will seem to be "broken" in the extremely hot mode. The toilets tend to be a mess, with soaking wet floors and toilet paper all over the floor. Also expect delays if someone has misunderstood the free ticket offers, or has been hit by a train. Just because you have reserved a seat, there is no guarantee that it will be free when you get on the train, as the train companies rely on overbooking to keep carriages full.

Prepare to be charged double if you happen to be taking a train journey that crosses through rush-hour times at London, even if you aren't in London at those times. I once tried travelling from the North of England to Dover by train, and was quoted a price of around 200 pounds due to the "travelling through London at peak times" (This would be enough for a weekend holiday from London to New York). Splitting the journey into two rail tickets (peak time outside London, and off-peak time through London) brought the price down to 90 pounds.

For journeys from one end of the country to the other, it is definitely better travelling by plane - the flight will take less than an hour, so you can easily do an afternoon meeting and be back home for tea. Otherwise, it would probably be a three day trip.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753321)

Wow, your experience with trains is totally different than mine (a few trips in California and three weeks spent travelling across Japan on trains). I've found them to be clean, quite, comfortable, and relaxing.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754177)

After privatisation the UK has achieved a particularly bad system. It seems to be due to the structure of the privatisation which separated the track from the trains so investment by companies can't be coordinated and isn't wanted. This is nothing to do with private vs. state ownership as such. You can get both great private and state trains in Switzerland. It's just a particular stupidity of the way Margaret Thatcher did privatisation.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29755181)

It used to be that trains in Britain mostly worked, but the food aboard them was ghastly. Since privatization, the whole service has been transformed utterly. Now it's all reminiscent of those expensive mouldy greasy cardboard sandwiches.

Inter-city trains in Finland are much better - fairly comfy with non-poisonous food. Also, they are never over-booked; if you reserve a seat, you get it. Alas, despite the trains being subsidized, it's not always cheaper than flying. In particular, for travel between Helsinki and anywhere more than 300km away which has an airport, a plane ticket can often be found for less than a train ticket. For travel which does not involve Helsinki, or involves somewhere far from any airport, then trains are usually cheaper.

Re:Air vs. Rail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752313)

Rail sucks in the US though. The country is just too big with vast spaces of nothingness so rail just doesn't make sense (no points of interest to place train stations, etc, and laying rail is expensive plus maintenance).

Also, quite frankly, it's just too damn slow. I can often drive somewhere faster than a train could get me there. Sure, driving is a hell of a lot more tiring but it's faster and less expensive (often even better than flying too if your trip is less than 600 miles or so).

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752399)

There's a simple example. Earlier this summer I worked in Yellowstone National Park and had to help with an aerospace project in Black Rock Desert. I drove out of the park (about 120-150 miles) to Bozeman, Montana and flew to Denver, Colorado and then to Sacramento, California where the workshop was. We (I joined up with the rest of the group) then drove out to Reno and then Black Rock Desert (about 100 miles northeast of Reno). We rented a moving van and two SUVs for the project. Pickup trucks would have been better in my vieww, but nobody rents those out as far as I know.

After a couple of days of launching really lightweight chairs to the "edge of space" (see here [wherewillitland.com] and here [jpaerospace.com] for vague details), I returned via car to the Reno airport, flew to Denver and back to Bozeman. I then hopped in my car and drove back into the park. I think it was about 6-700 miles of driving and maybe 3-4,000 miles of flying. The travel time from my doorstep to Sacramento airport was something like 17 hours including some dead time in Bozeman and Denver. The other way was about as long to return.

Anyway, the car/airline synergy works really well for this scenario. Greyhound bus is pretty cheap (I'd say comparable to driving in cost per mile), but it'd take me a bit over a day to get to Sacramento from Bozeman (I think I'd go through Salt Lake City) and I would have still to drive to Bozeman (or perhaps Idaho Falls would be better). Train is no good. I believe I'd have to go through either Seattle or Chicago to get to Sacramento and Reno from Bozeman. And it'd be slow, much more than a day of travel.

Eyeballing a map of Europe, I suppose the first half of my trip would be a bit like starting in Birmingham, England, driving to Heathrow (with elk instead of London drivers), flying to say, Budapest, switching planes either in Berlin or Munich. I don't know anything about trains in Europe, but I bet there's some combination faster than 17 hours between Birmingham and Budapest even crossing so many country borders.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754913)

Eyeballing a map of Europe, I suppose the first half of my trip would be a bit like starting in Birmingham, England, driving to Heathrow (with elk instead of London drivers),

Flights from Birmingham to Budapest only cover about 1,000 miles.

Though to be fair, Yellowstone Park to Sacramento, CA is only about 800 miles and Google Maps reckons it's driveable in 15 hours. I've no idea where your "3-4,000 miles of flying" comes from unless it's a typo - Anchorage to New York is only about 4,300 miles.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752513)

This isn't so much of a problem with air travel as it is with the US.

I'm going to have to leave my home in the middle of the day

Not flying the red eye, luxury.

drive 25 miles to the airport.

40 KM, you are complaining about 40 KM. any decent city planning will have an express-way or rail line to the airport. 40 KM is less then an hour on a freeway and the middle of the day (10:00-15:00) is not peak hour.

I'll have to get there an hour early

I dont know about you but I like leaving on time, this requires everyone to get there early and get checked in.

go through an intrusive security check

US only issue.

I'm travelling internationally shortly. I'll leave home at 23:00, get to the air port at 23:30 (highway almost all the way) check in, security, passport control in 30 minutes and 20 of that will be waiting in line without removing my wallet. Browse the web on my laptop for a little while. Board my Singapore airlines flight (you board in groups based upon your seat number rather then a free for all) Sit in a comfortable seat with individual IFE in the seat back plus laptop and USB power. Take off from PER at 01.05 arrive at SIN 06:25. Wait in the Changi airport transfer area until 08:50 (just enough time for breakfast) where I board a Silk Air flight from SIN to HKT. Arrive Phuket International Airport (HKT) at 09:25 (PER/SIN +8 GMT, HKT +7 GMT), breeze through Thai customs and get my 30 day Visa on arrival, collect my luggage and be outside in 30 Degrees C and 90% humidity by 09:50. Now here's a tip, dont get the "taxi limousines" by the front door they're a rip off. Take a right, walk to the end of the concourse to the metre taxi stand, it will be about THB 300 less for wherever you want to go (that's nearly 10 of your US peso's at the current exchange rate).

If you want to make air travel enjoyable then pick a decent airline, if you're flying budget airlines then lower your expectations. I have nothing against Air Asia, Tiger Airways or Virgin Blue but I dont have high expectations thus I prefer to fly long distance on a premium airline. Although I avoid QANTAS and British Airways for their poor service, Emirates, Thai, Singapore and MAS are far better.

Re:Air vs. Rail (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753277)

drive 25 miles to the airport.

40 KM, you are complaining about 40 KM. any decent city planning will have an express-way or rail line to the airport. 40 KM is less then an hour on a freeway and the middle of the day (10:00-15:00) is not peak hour.

Typical big city tunnel vision. I live in eastern *Iowa*. The airport is between a city of 60,000 and a city of 100,000. And that's pretty much it in the area apart from small towns, corn, soybeans, and hog farms. There are usually three active gates at the airport. There is no practical "peak hour".

Sit in a comfortable seat with individual IFE in the seat back plus laptop and USB power.

A seat like that costs ~$600-$900 cross-country, and wouldn't be available for my first leg at all. Who do you think you are, criticizing me for not taking the red eye and then talking about your first-class style seating? Not taking the red-eye is just a matter of booking well in advance and not insisting on direct flights. Perhaps you have unlimited money, but most of the world doesn't.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754051)

Typical big city tunnel vision.

-1 not doing your research. Perth, Western Australia (IATA: PER) is one of Australia's smallest cities, 1.8 Million.

City size is irrelevant, planning is what counts. Perth International airport is situated off two of our main highways Tokin and Leach highway. You can be expected to get to the airport within an hour from 90% of the metropolitan area. Singapore Changi International Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airports each have a dedicated rail line, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi international airport is linked directly onto the King Rama IX highway and is 25 miles south of Bangkok, you can expect to be in the sukhumvit area (lots of hotels are there) in 30 minutes by taxi (at your hotel depends of Bangkok traffic). If the airport is hard to get to that is the responsibility of city planning.

I live in eastern *Iowa*. The airport is between a city of 60,000 and a city of 100,000.

40 KM is nothing, I'm not kidding when I say this but I used to have to travel 82 KM (about 50 miles) each day to school. I grew up in Northern Western Australia (inland pilbara region), the high school was in the next town of 3000 (my town only had 2000, so no high school). Now on country roads that took a bit under 1 hour each way on the bus, 40 KM is sheer luxury for me. Also keep in mind temperatures of 40 Degrees C were not unusual for this area, in winter.

It sounds like you live in a semi-rural area, does the state government in Iowa not maintain the roads? Measure traffic? build new routes as appropriate? You should not have the traffic problems of we city dwellers slowing you down. Travelling 200 KM's in semi-rural WA can be easily accomplished in two hours (speed limit is between 80 and 110 KM\h on highways).

A seat like that costs ~$600-$900 cross-country,

A localised problem. I can get on a high end airline (Singapore Airlines) for A$1000 to Phuket (4800 KM from Perth) with a short stop in Singapore. I got this flight on sale for A$750 but the normal price is around A$980-1075. From Perth to Brisbane (PER-BNE you cant get much further apart without leaving Australia) on QANTAS it can be as low as A$550 return for a 10 AM flight. The AUD is fetching 0.92 USD today.

and then talking about your first-class style seating?

This is why it's a localised issue, what I described was SAL's economy seating. Taking a mid day flight is usually easier and better then a red eye flight although the cost difference between the red eye and mid day flights on SAL are nil, the red eye provided me with the best arrival time in HKT at 09:35 local time (also fewest people on the plane, more likely to get a row to myself).

My point with this is, if you purchase a budget airline ticket then expect budget airline service. For the record I do travel on budget airlines, I cant justify (to myself) QANTAS's inflated prices on the 2.5 hour PER-ADL flight but I can justify the extra money on THAI or SAL on a 5.5 or 6 hour flight. There are a lot of good tips on flying cheap with premium airlines, some carriers charge less for the red eye, most also charge less for certain days (Tuesday, Thursday around here) so massage the dates and see what you can come up with. It's easy to travel better if you put a bit of time and effort into it, do a bit of research as there's quite a bit of useful info out their on various forums and what not.

Perhaps you have unlimited money, but most of the world doesn't.

I dont have unlimited money so I plan ahead, but most of the world doesn't or at least don't do a very good job of it. My travel plans are for next week, they were made in April.

You also need to stress less, this is just a forum.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29755167)

I live in a rural area outside a town with a population of about 10,000. If I drive 2 hours, I can get to a couple of metropolitan area that have 500,000 plus residents. In my mindset, any city with over a million people in it is a big city, so it isn't real fair to call it a research problem.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752569)

Air travel is less expensive than rail in most cases for me. I'd love to take a train to my most common destinations of Dallas and Kansas City, even a straight shot on the Texas Eagle from Union Station in Los Angeles to Dallas is showing up as a 48-hour trip costing $118 each direction using a AAA discount. The seats do look more comfortable than an airline seat, but being cooped up on a train for two days won't sit well with me.

Even going up to San Francisco is difficult. Taking a train from Union Station to Oakland is 11 hours, followed by a bus to San Francisco running almost an hour, and costs $52 each way. I can drive up there and back for less than the cost of a rental car and gas, or I can fly up for about the same price while landing in SFO, with a flight time of barely over an hour.

When it takes 12 hours to make a trip I can drive in seven and fly in three (factoring in drive to the airport and security delays), I'll gladly save the time for a bit of hassle.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754141)

Even going up to San Francisco is difficult. Taking a train from Union Station to Oakland is 11 hours, followed by a bus to San Francisco running almost an hour, and costs $52 each way. I can drive up there and back for less than the cost of a rental car and gas, or I can fly up for about the same price while landing in SFO, with a flight time of barely over an hour.

I have no idea if this example was picked because it's particularly bad, but I hope you're not deducing that rail travel as an idea is bad because of this fucked up connection -- 12 hours to travel ~600km, between the two largest cities in the area? That is totally fucked up.

Your flight time estimate must have some optimism though: reserving less than two hours for drives at both ends, security, loading and unloading sounds optimistic, or maybe your origin and destination are right nect door to the airports (or maybe my experiences of American air travel have not been representative -- I nowadays try to avoid flying inside the USA).

Re:Air vs. Rail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29754173)

Hey, I really enjoyed Philmont.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 4 years ago | (#29755079)

I've tried trains, they just don't make sense on most trips. Even in what's supposed to be the best train area in America, the "Northeast Corridor", a Delta Shuttle flight booked in advance is still half the price and half the time of a train ride (regular or Acela) from New York to either D.C. or Boston. I'm sure there are specific scenarios like yours where trains are awesome, but even today, planes are usually better.

Re:Air vs. Rail (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29755211)

Unless the inbound flights are rather limited, it is a little silly to lay all the blame on the airlines for the flight times that your parents booked.

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751553)

About one quarter until they had to release their earnings and all the investors pulled out.

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751555)

There were even SST sticker books for the kids.

SST [discogs.com] stickers for the kids? Cool!

Re:people are spoiled these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29751589)

Midwest Express

Re:people are spoiled these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752315)

I'm old enough to remember the days of air travel before deregulation. It was very expensive and you had to dress well, but you were treated with respect. There were even SST sticker books for the kids.

It would be interesting to see an airline with only business class and first class. How long would it stay in business?

About 2 years [wikipedia.org]

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

ZooDog (714750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753051)

Ever heard of the Trump Shuttle [wikipedia.org] ? Almost put him out of business...

Re:people are spoiled these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29753325)

They already went out of business ... both MaxJet and Silverjet offered all business class service between NY and London/Paris with extra amenities (private lounges, showers at the destination etc.) at very reduced rates relative business class tickets on major carriers ($2k-$3k for round trip business class ticket). British Airways is contemplating launching a similar service in the same markets but we'll see now that they're gone.

Re:people are spoiled these days (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 4 years ago | (#29755063)

It would be interesting to see an airline with only business class and first class. How long would it stay in business?

Singapore Airlines [wikipedia.org] is doing pretty well. They don't match your requirements perfectly, but they do fly some business-only flights (e.g. the Newark->Singapore non-stop), and their "economy" service beats most American carriers' business for comfort.

Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (4, Insightful)

Creosote (33182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751211)

Another story on the lawsuit currently circulating on the wires includes this nugget: "Through a spokesman, Delta denied that it was involved in any hacking. 'Obviously, the idea that Delta would hack into someone’s email is clearly without merit,' spokesman Trebor Banstetter wrote in an email."

Without prejudging the facts in the case, I'm not sure that "clearly" and "obviously" are adverbs that belong in any statement relating to wrongdoing on the part of a huge corporation.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751257)

But they certainly belong in the statements of anybody speaking on behalf of the corporation. The originators of these types of comments are always PR, marketing, legal and executive people. Which is also why I think that there a special place in hell that should be reserved for them.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (1)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751497)

They only speak this way because our legal system awards ridiculous sums to people who claim a corporation did them wrong regardless of the real damages done. Hopefully there is an even better place in hell for these crazies that get rich off of bullshit lawsuits. The corps are just trying to protect themselves so they don't have to shut their doors tomorrow. Clearly you would understand if you have seen the shit companies get thrown at them. Maybe this case is a legit one, maybe it is not, but the corporation protecting itself until they can defend or settle.

It is very possible that they did nothing wrong and if that is the case then why is it not valid for them to use absolutes? It makes complete sense that if you know you did nothing wrong to state that in absolute terms and not "I don't think we did anything".

Your sig is ironic: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, sue." yet you are bashing the defendant. Classic.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751839)

I've directly seen the lawsuit that are thrown at companies. I've also seen everyone in my list speak internally about cases I was intimately involved in. I found that that kind of talk was always there, regardless of how blatantly bad the situation might be.

As for your comment about irony, it is possible to dislike frivolous lawsuits as much as corporate double-speak. Just as an FYI.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29753931)

The corps are just trying to protect themselves so they don't have to shut their doors tomorrow.

Who do you work for, you corporate lickspittle? I'm sure the fucks at the top of Enron were only trying to avoid having to "shut their doors tomorrow."

Classic.

You want to know what's classic, asshole -- the bitch Lay whining and puling that "We had to sell one of our twelve mansions in a struggle to maintain liquidity". I'm sure all the poor bastards who went down because of her and her husband's evil, selfish actions were just lining up to kiss her poor, bleeding ass.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (3, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752609)

"Obviously" has drifted into everyday corporate parlance, and it's very irritating to me. It is the audible equivalent of the long-running lose/loose spelling issue across the Internet -- I just notice it every time. We have sales people come in that are demonstrating products we've never seen before, and they talk about how their product can "obviously" perform some function. If it were obvious that it did all of these things, we wouldn't have them here. And it comes across as demeaning, because we didn't know those features were included, but by saying that they "obviously" were there and yet we were ignorant of them, it comes across as suggesting that we didn't do our homework or weren't bright enough to realize how superior their product was.

I have stopped one in mid-sentence and pointed out this problem. To his credit, he tried to avoid the word, and caught himself using it several more times, correcting himself each time. I should try that on more of them.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752911)

Corporations do all sorts of things wrong, but they do them wrong in certain ways. Hacking into a private email account isn't normal corporate behavior. Spurious legal claims is how a corporation would get access to your private email.

A company might kill thousands from poor quality controls, but their executives won't sneak into your house at night and stab you.

Re:Delta "clearly, obviously" innocent (2, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754921)

Another story on the lawsuit currently circulating on the wires includes this nugget: "Through a spokesman, Delta denied that it was involved in any hacking. 'Obviously, the idea that Delta would hack into someone’s email is clearly without merit,' spokesman Trebor Banstetter wrote in an email."

He's quite right. There are outside companies you can pay to do that for you.

High Speed Rail (3, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751287)

I'd like to point out that we may suffer many fewer flight and road delays if our country had a well-developed passenger rail service.

Busy routes like LA-SF, LA-Phoenix, and Miami-Atlanta could easily be replaced by fast trains [wsj.com] and therefore take a lot of load off of our air and highway infrastructure at a relatively small price.

Re:High Speed Rail (1)

Osinoche (769786) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751431)

Airplanes rule. TrainRail drules. ____++++____

How's that crack pipe taste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29751511)

How's that crack pipe taste?

Man you must be so high you can fly without a plane.

Re:High Speed Rail (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29751689)

I'd like to point out that we may suffer many fewer flight and road delays if our country had a well-developed passenger rail service.

Traffic expands to consume whatever amount of road you're willing to build. Your high speed rail will be consumed and the airlines will still suffer delays.

Poor service from airlines is a consequence of extreme price competition. The airlines have long since ceased to compete based on on-time performance or comfort. Price is the only remaining factor. Most of the cattle they're hauling around seem to be willing tolerate any level of degradation short of pissing themselves as long as the ticket price is $2 lower than the other guy. If that $2 means there are no extra aircraft, no extra flight crew, no open gates at the destination, etc. then you can just sit on that runway for 7 hours.

Consider this; if the airlines were allowed to collude to some degree they would almost certainly try to earn higher margins. The higher prices would shed a large fraction of optional air travel (no, you don't really need to attend a training seminar on the other side of the continent.) Less traffic would alleviate runway and gate schedules and reduce fuel consumption and pollution. Airlines would feel less pressure to squeeze as many asses into their aircraft as possible. It could be that the airlines, freed from competing exclusively on price might adopt a system that would actually be a benefit on many levels, despite their super price sensitive customers.

Frankly I would prefer some collusion if it led to those benefits over the filthy, degrading hell that is modern air travel.

Re:High Speed Rail (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752803)

Traffic expands to consume whatever amount of road you're willing to build. Your high speed rail will be consumed and the airlines will still suffer delays.
Really, you mean now that there's a high speed rail between LA-Phoenix, I living on the east coast will jump on a plane and then ride this rail service b/c it's there? Now, that expanded traffic is what creates a multiplier effect for infrastructure spending/investment.

Re:High Speed Rail (3, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753019)

High speed rail won't be filled. The cost to add another car to the train is completely marginal compared to the basic infrastructure needed to start service. With airlines, planes are the most expensive part of the process, and they don't scale. Every plane needs another crew, ground crew, etc.

Re:High Speed Rail (1)

lewiscr (3314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751711)

Californians thought so, that's why they approved the California High Speed Rail [ca.gov]

Re:High Speed Rail (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752633)

Yep. It's a $40 billion, 30-year project to build a train that will get from San Diego to San Francisco in under four hours.

Except that San Francisco has said that it can't terminate there, and land prices and structures may force it to go around the Los Angeles area. And there are stops on such a frequent basis that the train will be spending as much time in acceleration/deceleration as it will be at cruise speed, possibly extending the trip to as much as ten hours -- a little slower than the eight hours it takes to drive it, and a lot slower than the three hours that air travel would take. Oh, and the $40 billion cost will be funded by bonds (the first quarter is what was approved by voters), with the expected cost to the state to pay them off to be around $80 billion.

Re:High Speed Rail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29754067)

Californians thought so, that's why they approved the California High Speed Rail [ca.gov]

Yeah, well, they're the same insane fuckers who voted to let the cops extract DNA at arrest time, not after conviction. And you'll have no guarantee that the sample ever really did get destroyed/deleted if you're innocent, even if you diligently follow the arduous procedure to "request" that.

For starters, destruction should be the default action, not a matter of "petitioning" the court. (Not that it should ever have been taken in the first place.) And in any case, a judge or prosecutor can override your request with no explanation.

Despite the lunacy of many of my fellow voters, CA is still the best place in the US to live.

Re:High Speed Rail (1, Funny)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751735)

Train vs. plane is certainly an option, except for track right-of-way.

Train vs. car has major problems in that once you are there, you need your car to get around. Usually this is the whole reason for taking the car in the first place.

Then there is the right-of-way problem. Trains were replaced by trucks for most freight in the US around 1960 or 1970. I believe there was some major deregulation that changed the cost structure for trucking about that time. This pretty much ended passenger rail service in the US which was supported by freight. Having to rely on just passenger fares led to massive cutbacks and absurd delays. I took a train once from Chicago, IL to Columbus OH in 1975 and it only took about eight hours longer than driving would have.

So they ripped up all the tracks. If you want to go from Phoenix to LA by train you have to take the bus to Flagstaff first. The land where the tracks were has been sold off and stuff built there in many cases. The day of the train is pretty much over in the US because of this. I suppose where there are tracks, mostly in the East, you could have some kind of faster rail service. But that is what they tried with the Acela - it isn't very good. Certainly not up to the standards in other countries where they have preserved the tracks from the 1800s.

Mostly the era of trains has been ended because there isn't anywhere to put the tracks into major cities any longer. We could probably have monorails combined with Interstate highways, but nobody has built a monorail in a long, long time - except maybe Disneyworld. We could dig tunnels for the trains, but that would be incredibly expensive with today's technology. Neither is very likely.

One way or another, the climate folks aren't going to shut up until there is actual proof. One way to get some proof - positive or negative - would be to cease passenger air travel. It is a luxury that we can give up in the name of gathering some real evidence. Sure, it is going to put millions of people out of work, but that might be a small price to pay when compared to some of the other ideas. So who knows, we might have to tear down miles and miles of buildings to rebuild the train tracks.

Re:High Speed Rail (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754355)

Train vs. car has major problems in that once you are there, you need your car to get around.

If there was more demand for hire cars, they would get cheaper.

And there's no reason not to have trains that you can drive on to and drive off so you could take your car with you.

Re:High Speed Rail (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29754981)

Double standards. Why is it acceptable to have to take a taxi/expensive shuttle to the airport, but that would not be acceptable for a trip to the railway station ? Look at the Avignon, Champagne-Ardenne, or Aix-en-Provence TGV stations. They're quite far from the city centre.

Re:High Speed Rail (0)

jamesl (106902) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751795)

The linked article doesn't say that airlines "could easily be replaced by fast trains." It says, "The Amtrak ridership suggests high-speed rail would be viable in out busiest air corridors, the study concluded."

No mention of the cost.

If you believe that it could easily be done, why don't you do it. This weekend maybe.

Re:High Speed Rail (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752205)

I don't have a link handy for this one, but rail costs far less to lay per mile than asphalt. It also requires far less maintenance. I believe that is enough reason to call it easy in comparison to other infrastructure projects.

Re:High Speed Rail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752589)

Just checked- Amtrak this weekend NYC to DC will run you over $200 round trip. United airlines same dates NYC to DC - under $200. I am all for rail travel but it is not cheaper.

Re:High Speed Rail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29753539)

Laying track not buying tickets

For $11 Million (2, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751293)

I'd be sure to "accidentally" leave my password lying around in plain sight.

Re:For $11 Million (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29751355)

You forgot about the part where you would also have to start an advocacy group and work hard enough to piss someone off enough to care about.

Re:For $11 Million (5, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751383)

You forgot about the part where you would also have to start an advocacy group and work hard enough to piss someone off enough to care about.

Great point. What would I have to do for just $5 million?

Re:For $11 Million (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29752111)

how good are your knees?

Back to the future (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751361)

Thinking back to Nader v. General Motors Corp., 307 N.Y.S.2d 647 (N.Y. 1970) and overzealous surveillance.
Larger corps have a few game plans:
1. Pay off and you stop.
2. Discredit with a "past", real, hyped or almost created.
3. Useless busy work via infiltration and re directing. Or a personality implosion of the groups eg COINTELPRO.

A fishing expedition? Looking for leaks, press contacts and members.
The planting of logger.

Re:Back to the future (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751727)

A fishing expedition? Looking for leaks, press contacts and members.
The planting of logger.

At first I thought it was a haiku, but then I counted syllables.

Momentary confusion on what you meant by "the planting of logger"... for some reason I thought it had something to do with environmental activists in the PacNW. Must be past my bedtime.

Anyway, I've cleaned up your haiku:

Email - leaky boat
A fishing expedition
Planted keylogger

Re:Back to the future (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753093)

A messy break in covers a deep software log application.
HP showed the reaction if its an internal leak.
If they are getting raw docs from the corp, it will have to be stopped.
If consumer rights group are using public info, is more easy to let it slip in the press.

WaterclosetGate... (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751471)

...look for the leaks.

Re:WaterclosetGate... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751517)

WaterclosetGate ... look for the leaks

That gives me coprophobia...

The Industry (4, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29751717)

I work in the industry and I believe that a Bill of Rights for passengers is long overdue. Will it necessarily cost the airline more in revenue, no. But, the demands need to be reasonable.

Re:The Industry (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752615)

No offense intended, but I've read the article, and the bill of rights items are things I consider to be an extremely low bar.

Three hours of sitting on the tarmac, knowing that even after the plane takes off you have to endure the flying time as well, would be very stressful to me. For a short flight, it could double or triple the time spent in that can. For a long flight, it could turn an eight-hour flight into eleven hours.

The others are just absurd to think of being missing. Air? Medical attention? To hell with airline rules or the law; my health comes first.

Maybe I've been spoiled by air travel in the past (absolutely terrifying thought given my experiences), but the situations that people have endured are heinous. I'd be on the phone to 911 to tell them I was being held against my will long before 12 hours passed.

An appropriate punishment (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29752345)

If Delta's found to have done this, all their executives should have to sit in an airplane on the tarmac for a week. With no food, or bathrooms. There's some poetic justice!

I don't travel much, (0)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 4 years ago | (#29753147)

... but I've long ago decided that I'm stuck on teh tarmac, I'm gonna going to poop my pants. Definitely.
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