What to do with those 'mobile lounges' at Dulles

Sunday, January 31, 2010

At long last: Most of us will no longer have to endure the wait and jostling of the people movers (i.e., "mobile lounges") at Dulles International Airport; now we have the AeroTrain to get around ["A new form of travel at Dulles," Metro, Jan. 26].

But as I said in an e-mail two years ago to the U.S. Transportation Department and Congress's transportation committees (receiving no acknowledgment or response), I believe strongly that the Transportation Department and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority should evaluate the cost and benefit of redeploying Dulles's 24 mobile lounges, which appear to be headed for mothball status.

These lounges might solve multiple problems at other key U.S. airports where passengers have been stranded by interminable delays or mechanical breakdowns. The lounges could ferry food and medical supplies to stranded passengers and possibly be refitted with compact electric incinerator toilet systems. The cost of building mobile lounge maintenance facilities at these airports would be a factor, but that would go into the overall cost-benefit analysis.

Roger C. Courtney, Burke

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Unsurprisingly, the Dulles AeroTrain broke on its second day of operation Wednesday, leaving passengers stranded in the wrong terminals with no one to guide them. Passengers were running around trying desperately to make connections as Airports Authority personnel stood by shrugging and saying, "I don't run the trains." When are those who run Dulles going to be held accountable?

Jeff Miotke, Arlington


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