Mail service -- and bill payments --
returning to normal
Mail service is rapidly returning to normal as the air transportation
system gets back to regular operations. Mail that traveled by air
came to a standstill when aircraft were grounded following the events
of Tuesday, Sept. 11.
The United States Postal Service processes half of
the world's mail volume -- 650 million pieces daily. Commercial
aircraft transports 25 percent of that volume.
The Federal Aviation Administration continued to halt
all mail shipments on passenger planes even after airlines were
allowed to resume flight schedules. That ban has since been lifted.
Private cargo airlines, such as Columbus, Ohio-based
AirNet Systems, which transport checks for the banking industry,
are also just about back up to speed.
Spokeswoman Lori Williams says AirNet Systems normally
transports checks Monday through Thursday nights. Last week, they
flew Friday night and Saturday to make up for lost time. Williams
says operations are back to normal.
What this means for consumers is that, more than likely,
if you sent a bill payment on time it probably reached its destination
either on time or maybe a day or two late.
Stan Lata of Bank One, one of the nation's biggest
credit card issuers through its card unit First USA, says the majority
of their customers' payments are being received on time. Lata says
most credit card payments are shipped by ground transportation and
weren't affected by the grounding of planes.
If you sent a payment on time but are socked
with a late fee because, you believe, the payment delivery was legitimately
delayed by the halt in air transportation, contact your credit card
issuer and ask that the fee be waived. Be prepared to send a copy
of the dated check, if necessary.
-- Updated: Sept. 30, 2001