CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - FOX 46 is still pressing Charlotte city leaders for comment about the computer glitch at Charlotte Douglas International Airport that caused nearly 3000 flights to be canceled and left many passengers stranded.
FOX 46 wants to know what lessons the city learned from the response at the city-owned airport, what more could have been done to help passengers - who slept at the airport and couldn't get rental cars or hotel vouchers - and what can be done to prevent this from happening again.
Last week, city spokeswoman Jordan-Ashley Walker told us she was "working to set up an interview."
"We are working to set up an interview for you next week," Walker said in an email on June 20. "I will be in touch in the next few days with additional information."
This week Walker asked what questions we planned to ask in advance. It is not common journalistic practice to provide questions ahead of time. FOX 46 e-mailed several questions that we already included in a previous broadcast listing several questions we wanted answers related to lessons learned from the response.
On Thursday Walker, again, declined to let us speak to the aviation director or city manager.
"We respectfully decline an on-camera interview," said Walker. "For information regarding American Airlines, please contact American Airlines."
FOX 46 wants to know:
- Why didn't buses take passengers to hotels after rental cars ran out?
- Why didn't the city try to locate lodging for passengers who were stranded and couldn't get a hotel voucher?
- Are city leaders satisfied with the way the response was handled?
- Are there lessons that can be learned from this? Would the response be the same if this happened again?
- How often did city leaders communicate with American Airlines?
- What do you think can be done to prevent this from happening again?
- Why is there a refusal to comment on what happened?
Walker instead referred us to the following statement sent on June 18:
"Charlotte Douglas International Airport continues to provide assistance to the airlines our passengers as PSA and American Airlines work to resolve their operational issues. We are not sure when these airline issues will be resolved and we strongly recommend that American Airlines passengers with tickets check their flight status before coming to the airport. This issue appears to be isolated to PSA flights. Passengers on other carriers are not affected by this issue.
The airport remains in an irregular operations plan, which was activated Thursday to assist stranded passenger and we remain in that operational status. This includes extended concession and checkpoint hours, additional aviation department support staff and making available emergency supplies to travelers including diapers, wipes and formula, blankets and pillows. We are also assisting in coordinating ground support with additional busses to bring passengers back to the terminal, as necessary.
We remain in constant communications with American Airlines and PSA and our partners as they continue to resume normal operations."