After a perceived scuffle at an airport was caught on video, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly suggested witnesses had missed the forest for the trees as flight delays and cancellations present a serious concern to American travelers that, so far, President Joe Biden’s administration has failed to address because they’re “not big on solving problems.”
O’Reilly delved into the ongoing issue with airline reliability during the Monday edition of his online program “No Spin News” which focused on a number of issues, including “Christianity fading around the world” as a recap of Easter weekend. While that holiday is not recognized for high travel volumes like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the host touched on concerns that impacted traveling over the weekend, particularly with regards to JetBlue.
“So here is, over the weekend, a JetBlue versus Delta situation,” O’Reilly led in. “Remember, they fly the same routes much of the time. So on Good Friday, April 15th, Delta had delays, 24 percent, alright. JetBlue, 51 percent. 51. Double Delta. And 5 percent of flights were canceled on JetBlue. Saturday, April 16th. Delays on Delta 19 percent, JetBlue 44 percent. Unbelievable.”
In a conversation with Mediaite, O’Reilly wondered why the Biden administration, in particular Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, had not addressed the issue.
“For some reason, the Biden administration is not big on solving problems,” O’Reilly stated. “This is a huge problem.”
Flight delays and cancellations have been an ongoing problem throughout Biden’s tenure as president stemming from multiple causes. The COVID pandemic and the response to it are perhaps the most notable of issues facing passengers as illness and staff shortages resulting from vaccine mandates have impacted thousands of flights.
Furthermore, airlines have reportedly experienced difficulty in adjusting to the deployment of 5G wireless internet. The “C-Band” frequency has caused concern about equipment disruption requiring airlines to ground or cancel flights. When it was announced that 5G would be delayed, Biden lauded the decision stating, “This agreement protects flight safety and allows aviation operations to continue without significant disruption and will bring more high-speed internet options to millions of Americans.”
There has been little else offered by the administration on the concerns and Buttigieg has demonstrated that his priorities reside elsewhere.
Ensuring equity & accessibility for every member of the traveling public is one of @USDOT's highest priorities.
Past federal transportation investments have often failed to address inequities or made them worse, but this time we are integrating fairness into everything we do.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) April 14, 2022
“Ensuring equity & accessibility for every member of the traveling public is one of @USDOT’s highest priorities,” he wrote leading into Easter weekend. “Past federal transportation investments have often failed to address inequities or made them worse, but this time we are integrating fairness into everything we do.”
Evidently, that fairness included an equitable distribution of flight delays that led to O’Reilly’s outburst at New York’s JFK airport on April 3 while traveling to Turks and Caicos, as reported by the Daily Mail.
On Sunday, former Fox host Bill O’Reilly threatened a JetBlue employee at JFK Airport after his flight to Turks & Caicos was delayed: “You f*cking scumbag! You’re gonna lose your job!” pic.twitter.com/30LFyNy2Yj
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) April 19, 2022
The political commentator apologized for the confrontation where he allegedly said, “you f*cking scumbag, don’t talk to me like that,” to a JetBlue employee and was reportedly heard saying, “you’re lucky I don’t put my fist through it,” referring to the employees name tag.
O’Reilly explained that hundreds of passengers had been delayed and were stranded in the terminal for at least three hours when he decided to seek answers. Allegedly, fellow passengers had recognized him and were turning to the public figure for answers.
“The story,” O’Reilly told Mediaite, “is JetBlue can’t get their flights off the ground. It was crazy in the terminal,” he added before suggesting his actions may have prevented a riot.
He went on to argue JetBlue is committing “fraud in the inducement” for selling tickets for flights they know they are unable to complete and lying about it, and that the administration must tackle these problems. O’Reilly invited JetBlue onto his program to address the matter as well, and he has not received a response.
On Twitter, he once again tried to set the record straight, “The character assassins on social media completely lying about my interaction with a JetBlue guy who misled passengers during a five-hour delay. We’ve covered on BillOReilly.com. I. expected this.”
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