Thursday, August 23, 2007

Airports: SNAFU

Snafu, or SNAFU, is one of those terms writers always misuse to describe a situation that is unexpectedly out of control. Actually, the letters stand for "situation normal, all f----- up" (sometimes euphemistically rendered as "all fouled up.") The term comes from the Army, and it was in use before World War II, but the war gave it a boost into everyday language.

Snafu describes the situation once again tonight at the nation's airports. It's got to the point this summer where we barely consider it news that the air-traffic system is in meltdown -- again.

Check out The flight-delay alerts are blinking like the monitor on a hedge-fund manager's desk. Ground delays (here's a link explaining what they are again) are posted over the place. This afternoon and tonight, O'Hare joins the usual suspects among airports on the East Coast in originating long delays, rather than just being affected by them. It's a real Goatf---, as they say in today's Army.

Can this crisis continue much longer before people in large numbers say the hell with it and stay home? Stay tuned. Labor Day weekend is coming up. Then the business-travel season resumes.

And come fall we'll learn whether the situation is (fouled) up beyond all repair. That's Fubar in the old Army.

Or a Clusterf--- in the new.


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