If you went to Dunkin’ Donuts and stood in line for an hour, only to have a 16-year old clerk serve you misshapen donuts that she dropped on the floor, you wouldn’t buy them would you? What if you heard about that story from your best friend? It would probably make you think twice about going to Dunkin’ Donuts, right?
Why don’t we feel that way about Colgan Air? Probably because we don’t even know what Colgan Air is. Colgan is a division of a company called Pinnacle — they operate “commuter” flights from secondary airports to primary airports for major airlines like Continental, USAirways, and Delta. While the planes are festooned with the corporate banner of their carrier, they are in fact, not part of the larger airline.
According to various commercial pilot accounts, Colgan has a less than stellar service record, and a questionable training program. Colgan has a reputation amongst pilots for penny pinching and cutting corners.
Nowhere is this reputation more evident than in the Continental (read: Colgan) 3407 crash that occurred just outside of my hometown, Buffalo, NY. The pilot for 3407 failed 5 flight tests, and the co-pilot had never de-iced an aircraft! Why would an airline allow for two such poorly prepared incompetent pilots to endanger the 50 lives of passengers on board?!
More importantly, why would YOU fly on an airline that clearly couldn’t give a rat’s ass about your safety? Why is no one outraged? Why has Colgan not been closed down? Why would you continue to book flights with airlines that use Colgan or Pinnacle?
For all of you that wouldn’t get in a car with a drunk driver, or a Greyhound with a driver that failed his driving test (five times!) why on earth would you fly with an airline that employs people that are no better?