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US DOT Says Italy Discriminates; Might Ban AZ  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 18730 times:

The US Department of Transportation is out today with a tentative show cause complaint to the EU and IATA stating that "Italian airports constitute an unjustifiable or unreasonable discriminatory, predatory, or anticompetitive practice against U.S. air carriers and impose an unjustifiable or unreasonable restriction on access of U.S. air carriers to the Italy market."

In their complaint the US government alleges that the Italian airport authorities have been imposing differing sets of user charges at Italian airports for US operators, as much as 58% higher compared to charges imposed on other operators including EU carriers.

The US says it has attempted to raise this directly in government to government consultations that such charges violate US-EU air transport agreement and have even received supporting correspondance from the EU itself questioning the legal validty of the Italian policy.

However, the Italian authorities have not altered their airport charging policies in the meantime, and differentiated fee system continues, with U.S. carriers suffering its harmful effects.

Accordingly the US finds that these actions, are in violation of Article 12 of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement and warrant remedial action under the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act (IATFCPA).

As such the DOT shall "impose operational restrictions on the Italian-flag carrier Alitalia - Compagnia Aerea Italiana S.p.A. (Alitalia), designed to bring about the elimination of the differentiated fee system. Specifically, we tentatively conclude that if we finalize the present tentative findings, we will proceed to preclude Alitalia from participating in any or all services (on-line, interline or codeshare) between any point or points in Italy, via any intermediate point in the EU, and any point or points in the United States"

Parties have 7-days to file comments before order becomes final.


Order 2013-3-1


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinealitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4742 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 18705 times:

Is this driven by extra security and resources needed to deal with US carriers - specifically out of FCO they're sequestered for security & check in at different terminal.


Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 18672 times:

Might it be justified, or used as justification, when you consider flights to the USA must depart from special sections of the international terminal where flyers are penned in like cattle after a second security screening? I'd assume this costs extra money in logistics, etc. It also forces US flyers to have to walk to the far ends of the concourses where US flights can be segregated, so it punishes us, too. Granted, there is a valid reason, as most international based attacks on US flights originated outside at airports with poor security (or where officials are easily bribed) and transited the EU without rescreening.


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7204 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 18582 times:

This sounds like it could turn into an embarrassing back-and-forth between the two governments. In my opinion though Italy is probably doing this because their money is being thrown down the can and the government doesn't quite give a hoot about other airlines, which probably offer much better service between the states than AZ (i wouldn't know though). We shall see on this one.


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User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18561 times:

Regardless of the reason - differing charges are not allowed per the US-EU open skies agreement.

Its not an issue in UK, France, Germany, Spain, etc. Just here in Italy that has continued to impose a different set of charges compared to what the home EU carrier for example enjoy.

Anyhow as of January 15th 2013, the EU transport folks themselves found they could not reconcile the Italian fees with the Article 12 U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement and asked Italy to provide "a valid legal justification for the differentiated fee system." Two months have passed without an answer.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1297 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18453 times:

Frankly the Italians might not even know why they have differing fee system for US airlines.

What might have started as protectionism maybe in favor of AZ one day, has since been buried deep in byzantine regulations while the monthly invoices go out.

I hope people realize that Italy is the country where your tax rate can be based more upon which finance office or inspector you meet then what any underlying regulations is.


User currently offlineGRUIAD From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18207 times:

It looks like it is a differential system based on intra-EU flights and extra-EU flights. In the accusation, apparently Italian airports are charging a different landing fee for flights within the EU than flights coming from outside the EU. The intra-EU flights get a discount, which presumably mostly benefit EU carriers.

User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7458 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18159 times:

Surely, if certain airlines have additional security requirements, then the airport is allowed to charge for providing these.

That said, surely AZ flights to the US would have the same requirements.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 17959 times:

Does the Italian Govt actually own a share of AZ? If not, aren't the US punishing a private company for something their government is doing? Surely AZ have no say over what fees US airlines pay in Italy?


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User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24824 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 17899 times:

Why is IATA, an airline trade association, involved in the DOT complaint?

User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 17421 times:

IATA is not involved in the complaint in any way. However, IATA member carriers and travel agents would have to comply with restrictions that arise from a Final Order in this matter, assuming the matter is of course not otherwise amicably resolved.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently onlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1899 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 17103 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2):
Might it be justified, or used as justification, when you consider flights to the USA must depart from special sections of the international terminal where flyers are penned in like cattle after a second security screening?

I don't really understand this. I've departed on flights to the US from other EU airports and no 'special sections' were needed. They simply departed from the same terminal as other international flights with the only exception being that passports were checked before boarding and there were a few security agents randomly searching the carry-ons of boarding passengers.


User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 16206 times:

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 11):
I don't really understand this. I've departed on flights to the US from other EU airports and no 'special sections' were needed. They simply departed from the same terminal as other international flights with the only exception being that passports were checked before boarding and there were a few security agents randomly searching the carry-ons of boarding passengers.

CDG on CO had special screening area. At HAM, we were penned into this tiny area not large enough for the 757 we were on, and the security people were MEAN. MUC has a special end of the terminal where you are penned in, away from all the other gates, with a second security line and not enough seating. The rest of the terminal is wonderful. LHR UA flights arrive at the farthest away gates possible in the non-schengzen area and depart there to, away from all concessions.

I've not visited each and every airport in the EU since the 2nd gulf war, but that's my experience. Oh, and SYD traps you in the end of the terminal without enough seating and no concessions for the USA flights too...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 16205 times:

Just as we Americans are very sensitive to issues of 9/11, Rome and Italy (and Vienna, for that matter) can't forget the 1973 terrorist attack in the airport that killed over 30 people and twice that number injured at FCO. Most of the dead were American citizens. The new set up and terminal satellite at FCO in the last few years are nice and easy to use. Alitalia uses these same areas and same security measures for their non-stops to the U.S., too. I will say that traveling from Italy to the US has more layers of noticeable scrutiny than, say, Germany. In Italy, I've been asked where I stayed the night before, etc-never had that happen in Europe before by security people before you even get to the check-in counter. And if you look up at the balcony walkway at FCO, you always see lots of police with assault weapons in addition to the ones roaming the terminals.

[Edited 2013-03-15 19:56:05]

[Edited 2013-03-15 19:58:39]

User currently offlineWesternDC6B From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 15948 times:
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Greetings, A-Netters. This is my first post. I have been through FCO several times. I have not flown AZ; my flights have been on Delta, so I am not sure about the "pens" comments. The only issue I ever had was with the lack of available departure lounge seating. Aside from that, the process is generally smooth. The security people and the Delta people are always courteous.

With my looking like a cross between a retired Viking and a grizzly-bear, one would think I'd be pulled aside for further checks for being "Different" Hoiwever, it has not happened. I daresay the security at FCO is 10 times more pleasant and professional than the TSA in the transit corridor at ATL.



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User currently offlinehawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3188 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14992 times:

At VCE in 2007, there was a special security area for the DL and US flights. But when I flew AA from LHR in 2009 and DL from BRU last year, there was no separate security line for US-bound flights.

User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2848 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14594 times:

I'm sure this is just one of many games that U.S. carriers have to play when it comes to serving foreign markets. If anything, I imagine dealing with the Italians must be a walk in the park compared to, say, the Chinese, Nigerians, or Venezuelans. At least the Italians are subject to extensive E.U. oversight, whereby issues at the local or national level can be reported to supranational authorities who can then sort things out well outside the jurisdiction of the notorious Italian state judicial and political systems. Then again, anytime the vague issue of sovereignty infringement comes up, the E.U. becomes powerless. Even if the E.U. sides with the U.S. here, could they actually get the Italians to cooperate?

Now, in my own experience, saying that Italian airport security is lax would possibly give the impression that there is any effective security at all. Back in 2008, my mom and I departed FCO's main international Terminal C (now known as Terminal 3). I accidentally left a full bottle of water in my carry-on, and was told this was "not allowed". At any U.S. TSA checkpoint, the bottle would be immediately confiscated and the entire bag/bin it was in re-screened. But this was Italy, where the security girl told me this, then returned to her seat and let me continue on with the water. I felt a little guilty, but then I saw an Italian lady waltz through the metal detector while wearing all kinds of jewelry, and carrying on a full-fledged cell phone conversation. The detector went off, a few staff leapt up as if to tell her this was "not allowed", but she grabbed her bag and walked away without any hesitation or recourse from the security staff. At any U.S. TSA checkpoint, this would be grounds for shutting down the entire secure area and re-screening everyone and everything. But this was Italy, where American-style security standards are a concept as foreign to Italians as fast food or SUVs  .

As such, I am not surprised to see that U.S. (and Israeli) carriers depart from a terminal and gates completely isolated and segregated from the standard FCO international fare. The costs of constructing this facility, maintaining and operating all of the required screening equipment, and paying heavily armed security staff is probably, oh I don't know, up to 58% higher than that used by airlines from other countries. If the U.S. airlines have issue with Italians passing on these extra costs to the tenants that require them, they should probably be asking the U.S. government to reduce or eliminate the costly security measures at foreign airports, not asking the E.U. to penalize Italy for a situation that is well beyond its own control.



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User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11800 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16):
As such, I am not surprised to see that U.S. (and Israeli) carriers depart from a terminal and gates completely isolated and segregated from the standard FCO international fare. The costs of constructing this facility, maintaining and operating all of the required screening equipment, and paying heavily armed security staff is probably, oh I don't know, up to 58% higher than that used by airlines from other countries. If the U.S. airlines have issue with Italians passing on these extra costs to the tenants that require them, they should probably be asking the U.S. government to reduce or eliminate the costly security measures at foreign airports, not asking the E.U. to penalize Italy for a situation that is well beyond its own control.

If the costs are too high than perhaps Italy should be negotiating with the EU/US about article 12 of the open skies agreement then, after all they agreed to it. Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and so on seem to have no problems following it. In the meantime if they choose to disregard it, for whatever reason, the US is well within their rights to retaliate as they see fit.


User currently offlinejcwr56 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 475 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11578 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 17):
In the meantime if they choose to disregard it, for whatever reason, the US is well within their rights to retaliate as they see fit.

Just don't forget, the Italians could easily ban U.S carriers as punishment for the U.S. ban on AZ. A show order along this line is not something you just throw out there, and for the DOT to issue this, State had to give their support due to political implications.

So it will be interesting to see what happens.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11483 times:

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 18):

Just don't forget, the Italians could easily ban U.S carriers as punishment for the U.S. ban on AZ. A show order along this line is not something you just throw out there, and for the DOT to issue this, State had to give their support due to political implications.

I'm not sure how much legal standing Italy would have on banning the US carriers, as it is not like the US would be randomly doing it- the US would be banning AZ because Italy is breaking their bilateral agreement. Anyways a ban on the AZ will have a much larger effect than a ban on the US carriers in Italy. For American carriers Italy is just a small spoke, the US is a major market for AZ . Also with this ban AZ would also be unable to participate in the Skyteam JV, so while American carriers will just be missing out on revenue from Italy, AZ will be losing all revenue they get from the JV.


User currently offlinertfm From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 415 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10902 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 12):
LHR UA flights arrive at the farthest away gates possible in the non-schengzen area and depart there to, away from all concessions.

Whatever the reason are for UA's gate locations at LHR, it's got nothing to do with a 'non-Schengen' area - the UK isn't part of the Schengen agreement.


User currently offlinewindowflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10182 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16):
I imagine dealing with the Italians must be a walk in the park compared to, say, the Chinese, Nigerians, or Venezuelans.

Can't speak for the Nigerians or Venezuelans but my experiences in China have all been very good, both entering and leaving. In fact, I was so late for my last flight out of Beijing that a security agent I spoke to sent me to the diplomat line.
Still had to run like hell but I caught my flight just moments before the gate closed.

PS - Upon seeing my condition the friendly flight attendant who approached me with a hot towel asked if I would prefer a cold one instead. (Shame) The cold towel was heaven though.



Flown: A-300,319,320,321,330,340,380. B-727,737,747,757,767,777,787. L-1011,DC8,DC9,MD80,CRJ-200,Dash-8,HS-748,Concorde
User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12890 posts, RR: 100
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9928 times:
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Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 18):
Just don't forget, the Italians could easily ban U.S carriers as punishment for the U.S. ban on AZ.

They could. That would rather hurt the Italian economy. Its time for them to get out of the public and behind closed doors to a sensible compromise.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 769 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9786 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16):
Now, in my own experience, saying that Italian airport security is lax would possibly give the impression that there is any effective security at all. Back in 2008, my mom and I departed FCO's main international Terminal C (now known as Terminal 3). I accidentally left a full bottle of water in my carry-on, and was told this was "not allowed". At any U.S. TSA checkpoint, the bottle would be immediately confiscated and the entire bag/bin it was in re-screened. But this was Italy, where the security girl told me this, then returned to her seat and let me continue on with the water. I felt a little guilty, but then I saw an Italian lady waltz through the metal detector while wearing all kinds of jewelry, and carrying on a full-fledged cell phone conversation. The detector went off, a few staff leapt up as if to tell her this was "not allowed", but she grabbed her bag and walked away without any hesitation or recourse from the security staff. At any U.S. TSA checkpoint, this would be grounds for shutting down the entire secure area and re-screening everyone and everything. But this was Italy, where American-style security standards are a concept as foreign to Italians as fast food or SUVs .

I concur. I was in Italy in 2009 and flew through MXP. The security was kinda humoursly-lax. I struck up a conversation with the security guy at the metal detector when I went through like I was going through a TSA-controlled check-point in the USA. The guy kinda laughed at me and said we weren't in America. I'd taken my shoes off and all that stuff. He told me I didn't have to do half the stuff I'd done.



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User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9643 times:

I'm not sure why you guys are going off topic about security.

This has nothing to do with security issues, or the mandated secondary screening of all US bound flights.

This has to do with Italy choosing to impose a separate and higher set of landing and take-off charges effecting US carriers negatively compared to EU peers for example.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinehawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3188 posts, RR: 7
Reply 25, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9590 times:

LAXintl, the security point came up as US-bound flights seem to depart from special areas at Italian airports and/or have separate security lines. This sort of thing might be used as a reason to charge more for US airlines, even if it is not legally justifiable under the bilateral agreements.

The entire argument fails completely if passengers on AZ flights to the US also are subjected to the separate security screening and AZ is not charged higher landing fees for those flights.


User currently offlineUA2162 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 494 posts, RR: 2
Reply 26, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9535 times:

You're doing business in Italy. Whether it's warranted or not, such practices should be expected.

User currently offlineI39OO From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9229 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16):
Now, in my own experience, saying that Italian airport security is lax would possibly give the impression that there is any effective security at all. Back in 2008, my mom and I departed FCO's main international Terminal C (now known as Terminal 3). I accidentally left a full bottle of water in my carry-on, and was told this was "not allowed". At any U.S. TSA checkpoint, the bottle would be immediately confiscated and the entire bag/bin it was in re-screened. But this was Italy, where the security girl told me this, then returned to her seat and let me continue on with the water. I felt a little guilty, but then I saw an Italian lady waltz through the metal detector while wearing all kinds of jewelry, and carrying on a full-fledged cell phone conversation. The detector went off, a few staff leapt up as if to tell her this was "not allowed", but she grabbed her bag and walked away without any hesitation or recourse from the security staff. At any U.S. TSA checkpoint, this would be grounds for shutting down the entire secure area and re-screening everyone and everything. But this was Italy, where American-style security standards are a concept as foreign to Italians as fast food or SUVs  .

Funnily enough, the only times I've seen people being stopped by BAA security at LHR for having pen knives in their hand bags they weren't inbound from Italy but, surprise surprise, NYC and connecting to Kiev. T5B, I was working at the Ready to Fly desk immediately before security.

The fact of not having TSA-like Cerberuses in Europe is something I'm grateful for every time I fly, every 2 weeks or so on average.

[Edited 2013-03-16 11:17:35]


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User currently offlineLofty From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8937 times:

I have to say the majority of security issues I have had at LHR have been ex the USA, Including a snake in hand baggage.

User currently offlinertfm From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 415 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7186 times:

Quoting Lofty (Reply 28):
I have to say the majority of security issues I have had at LHR have been ex the USA, Including a snake in hand baggage.

Although a snake is not actually a prohibited article from a security perspective.....  


User currently offlinegreenair727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7034 times:

Quote:
Is this driven by extra security and resources needed to deal with US carriers - specifically out of FCO they're sequestered for security & check in at different terminal.

Shouldn't security be the same for all carriers to the US, meaning AZ would be subject to the same security requirements of say, DL or UA?


User currently offlinejumpjets From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2012, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6969 times:

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 11):
I don't really understand this. I've departed on flights to the US from other EU airports and no 'special sections' were needed.

I flew from Milan LIN to LHR last September and naturally was in the non-schengen departure area, which had its own security checks and was a very small waiting area. We had to share [in very close proximity due to the very limited space] at that time with a large number of US bound travelers. In fact it was so small the security people stopped some of the passengers bound for the US from coming into the departure area, presumably until after the LHR passengers had gone.

So we non-schengen travellers all seemed to be treated the same and be subject to the same level of security checks. So from that one limited experience it would seem hard to charge US passengers more as compared to other non schengen travellers for the extra security they had to go through.


User currently offlineflyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1016 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6887 times:

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 31):
I flew from Milan LIN to LHR last September and naturally was in the non-schengen departure area, which had its own security checks and was a very small waiting area. We had to share [in very close proximity due to the very limited space] at that time with a large number of US bound travelers. In fact it was so small the security people stopped some of the passengers bound for the US from coming into the departure area, presumably until after the LHR passengers had gone.

I wasn't aware LIN had direct flights to the US?  



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User currently offlinefactsonly From Montserrat, joined Aug 2012, 813 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6892 times:

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 31):
I flew from Milan LIN to LHR last September and naturally was in the non-schengen departure area, which had its own security checks and was a very small waiting area. We had to share [in very close proximity due to the very limited space] at that time with a large number of US bound travelers.

There are no direct LIN-USA flights (LIN is exclusively for European destinations), so your US bound passengers would have been heading for a non-Schengen Euro hub - like LHR - to change flights.


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8864 posts, RR: 75
Reply 34, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6864 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 24):
This has to do with Italy choosing to impose a separate and higher set of landing and take-off charges effecting US carriers negatively compared to EU peers for example.

What gives you the idea only US carriers pay higher landing fees ?

The US has a history of hiding behind international agreements when it wants to, this is a politically motivated IMHO.



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User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 35, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6767 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 34):
What gives you the idea only US carriers pay higher landing fees ?

Nobody says they are the only ones. But if the agreement they reached with Italy says they can't be charged higher than others flying between Italy and the US then Italy is breaking the agreement.

Quoting zeke (Reply 34):
The US has a history of hiding behind international agreements when it wants to, this is a politically motivated IMHO.

Odd, the US is frequently criticized for ignoring international agreements when it wants to. Now the US is being criticized for trying to enforce an international agreement. What, exactly, is their political motivation right now? Keep in mind too that it is not just the US...the EU themselves informed Italy that they were breaking the agreement several months ago and asked Italy for a response as to why (which they never got, of course, as European countries have a tendency to ignore the EU when convenient for them).


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1079 posts, RR: 1
Reply 36, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6730 times:
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unknown as of yet Why the Italians charge US carriers more tan anyone else BUT if they do? then just show just Cause AS to WHY and that might put the whole thing to REST Y'Think??

User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6751 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 36):
unknown as of yet Why the Italians charge US carriers more tan anyone else BUT if they do? then just show just Cause AS to WHY and that might put the whole thing to REST Y'Think??

Except the EU and US have already done that and Italy has ignored them. Hence the DOT's extreme warning about Alitalia's US operations in an attempt to light a fire under Italy's ass.


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1079 posts, RR: 1
Reply 38, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6734 times:
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Quoting Polot (Reply 37):

This is not Good!! I know a LOT of Italians who travel to Rome Every Easter and evey summer Italy might want to re-think this since There are as many Italians Here in the US that could easily lose business were this to become a real Problem My wife and I LOVE Rome and Naples and the Italiand do NOT seem to mind the Dollars. or Euro's we've dropped there over the last 10 years


User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 587 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6610 times:

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 11):

This is actually standard procedure here in the UK for ANY international flight, has been for sometime. US bound flights occasional have extra checks such as shoes off at the gate, but rarely now. Still have to show passports at the boarding gate for any int'l flight though.


User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 587 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6595 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 24):

I disagree. It has everything to do with flight security, is that not part of the argument?


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 41, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6538 times:

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 40):
I disagree. It has everything to do with flight security, is that not part of the argument?

Again who says these charges are for security ?

Not the Italians. Not the US.

What US is complaining about is a different landing fee structure, not parking fees, not taxes, not user fees, not overflight fees.

The differing charge structure is applicable at all Italian airports to operators such as the US. Be it passenger, cargo or whatever.

Again guys, there is zero evidence this has anything to do with security.

Anyhow - aviation security is a required government mandate, not something airlines pay for.
If a government wants money to fund aviation security then they go implement things like ticket taxes. Not build it into a national landing fee structure which are meant to support and fund things like infrastructure.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineericaasen From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5841 times:

The question is, what does DL and AF/KL do if AZ gets banned? Thanks to the joint venture they'll all stand to lose revenue. If the ban is short lived, I doubt they'd do anything, but if the ban goes on for an extended period of time would DL try to fly some of the AZ routes on their own metal?

User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2367 posts, RR: 11
Reply 43, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 5443 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 41):
What US is complaining about is a different landing fee structure, not parking fees, not taxes, not user fees, not overflight fees.

If a fee structure is in place that puts higher fees for US bound traffic, either it be on a USA-airline, or AZ, or whatever airline that operates from Italy to USA, would that be illegal? I can easily see that there could be valid reasons for doing that, such as security reasons. Nor saying it's legal, just asking the question.
The fact that all USA-airlines now have to pay this fee, is not because they are USA-airlines, just that they "happen" to all fly between Italy and the USA.

In that respect, it's like higher fees for widebody airplanes vs narrow-body. If all European airlines use narrowbodies to Italy, they’ll pay lower fees than USA-airlines. Not because they are European, no, just because the USA-airlines can not operate with narrow bodies, and have to operate larger, heavier wide bodies by definition. And these carry heavier airport fees.

Again, I'm asking if it is legal to increase fees because of specific requirements which may be unique to this one country - USA. Off course, as long as the same fee structure also applies to Italian, and/or other EU airlines operating between Italy and the USA.
And would this also apply to a ticket LIN-AMS-ORD, for instance? Probably not, as any extra security requirements will be taken care of in AMS, rather than LIN?

Rgds,
PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 44, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

The European Commission today provided comment today to the DOT.

Basically they state they are very concerned about the matter, and will be launching their own inquiry into the Italian practice.
They state such an inquiry is being launched through a internal procedure used as a last step before possibly initiating infringement procedures under the EU Treaties.

A quote:

We have now officially asked the Italian authorities to justify in legal terms their differentiated take-off and landing charges.

Having investigated this, the differentiation by destination seems not to be linked to the cost of providing a service related to the operation of aircraft or the processing of passengers and cargo covered already by the airport charges.


=



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1297 posts, RR: 2
Reply 45, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4815 times:

Lets see what stories the Italians can come up with.

Maybe they don't even know why its being done the way it is.


User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12890 posts, RR: 100
Reply 46, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4701 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 44):
Having investigated this, the differentiation by destination seems not to be linked to the cost of providing a service related to the operation of aircraft or the processing of passengers and cargo covered already by the airport charges.

roh roh...

Now how long was the legal process going?

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 47, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4251 times:

Alitalia filed an answer with the DOT.

Basically it says Alitalia supports continued US-EU discussions regarding concerns about fair and competitive practices at Italian airports.

They also says they understand the Italian government has already indicated that the differential system will be eliminated, and while consultations have not proven to be ineffective in resolving the dispute yet, proposed DOT actions would impose extraordinarily harsh sanctions on Alitalia, and departs from well-established principles of proportionality.

Basically they want the DOT to hold off any actions, and excuse them as a party of the proposed sanctions.

  



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 48, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4017 times:

Quoting rtfm (Reply 20):
I'm not sure how much legal standing Italy would have on banning the US carriers, as it is not like the US would be randomly doing it- the US would be banning AZ because Italy is breaking their bilateral agreement. Anyways a ban on the AZ will have a much larger effect than a ban on the US carriers in Italy. For American carriers Italy is just a small spoke, the US is a major market for AZ . Also with this ban AZ would also be unable to participate in the Skyteam JV, so while American carriers will just be missing out on revenue from Italy, AZ will be losing all revenue they get from the JV.

The legal standing is straightforward. AZ is a national carrier, both fiduciarily and in terms of its fleet (I-....). So any US carrier registered in the US (even though it is not property of the US govt.) could be banned. That would hurt quite a bit. Rome is a major tourist destination right after Paris and London, and it brings good revenue in the high season. But you have a point in terms of revenue loss: everybody will lose if it comes to that.


User currently offlineflyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1016 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Quoting HBGDS (Reply 48):
The legal standing is straightforward. AZ is a national carrier, both fiduciarily and in terms of its fleet (I-....).

Actually, the vast majority of Alitalia's fleet is on the Irish register (EI-xyz).

B777: 9/10 (only I-DISU is registered in Italy)
A330: 12/12
A321: 12/22 (10 A321s on the Italian register)
A320: 45/51 (6 A320s on the Italian register)
A319: 21/22 (only I-BIMA is registered in Italy)

The regional fleet is all EI-xyz.



Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 50, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 42):
The question is, what does DL and AF/KL do if AZ gets banned? Thanks to the joint venture they'll all stand to lose revenue. If the ban is short lived, I doubt they'd do anything, but if the ban goes on for an extended period of time would DL try to fly some of the AZ routes on their own metal?

The proposed Order does NOT ban Alitalia from the United States. Alitalia will continue to be able to fly nonstop to and from the USA just as it always has. The Order, as currently proposed, WILL preclude AZ from placing its code on partner-operated services that connect through a third country to reach the USA --- disruptive, to be sure, but not nearly as disastrous as AZ not being able to fly to the USA itself.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 51, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3347 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 50):
The legal standing is straightforward. AZ is a national carrier, both fiduciarily and in terms of its fleet (I-....).

Actually, the vast majority of Alitalia's fleet is on the Irish register (EI-xyz).

B777: 9/10 (only I-DISU is registered in Italy)
A330: 12/12
A321: 12/22 (10 A321s on the Italian register)
A320: 45/51 (6 A320s on the Italian register)
A319: 21/22 (only I-BIMA is registered in Italy)

The regional fleet is all EI-xyz.

Thanks for the correction. I guess I'm still living in the 90s.... Cheers!


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 52, posted (1 year 4 months 22 hours ago) and read 2826 times:

Getting comments from US airlines and trade groups now.

AA filed its comments with the DOT.
They basically say they have been subject to significantly higher fee schedule at Italian airports, and even with EU pressure Italy does not appear poised to remedy current situation any time soon.
Per the US-EU air transport agreement the Italian differentiated rate system is unjustified and discriminatory practice against US air carriers.
As result, AA strongly supports the US government use of IATA Competitive Practices Act remedial actions.


The trade group Airlines for America also filed its comments.
A4A supports the departments findings that Italian government practices is unjustly discriminatory, and violates the US-EU Air Transport Agreement and accordingly warrants action under the IATA Fair Competitive Practices Act.
The procrastination in resolving this discrimination has let this discriminatory practice go un-remedied for years and the legal principles at stake are clear and must be acted on.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 53, posted (1 year 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 2698 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 52):
The procrastination in resolving this discrimination has let this discriminatory practice go un-remedied for years and the legal principles at stake are clear and must be acted on.

This is the key argument. Italy claims to be looking into it, but that answer only works for so long before it's a hollow claim that should be dismissed. It seems as if it's reached that point. According to treaties (which SUPERSEDE local laws, even the US Constitution) both with Italy and the EU, the US is being harmed and Italy has nothing really to examine let alone take years to figure out.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAzure From France, joined Dec 2012, 610 posts, RR: 16
Reply 54, posted (1 year 4 months 10 hours ago) and read 2477 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Does the Italian Govt actually own a share of AZ? If not, aren't the US punishing a private company for something their government is doing? Surely AZ have no say over what fees US airlines pay in Italy?

An interesting point. The Italian govt does not have a share in AZ, which is a privately owned company. See the list of AZ shareholders here : http://corporate.alitalia.it/en/governance/shareholders/index.html
AFKL remains by far the largest shareholder (25% of the capital). Therefore the DOT ban on AZ may hurt non-italian interests. But still, the nationality of the shareholders or the country of aircraft registration are probably meaningless for the DOT as AZ is an Italian company. I suppose the US authorities have closely examined their legal grounds to consider such sanctions, otherwise AZ may litigate againt them in front of an international jurisdiction.
That being said, there is no reason why Italy should not apply EU regulations. The EU also should sanction Italy for such an offense.



I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - A. de Saint Exupery
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24839 posts, RR: 46
Reply 55, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

US Airways has filed comments with the DOT.

The carrier supports the DOT findings and its proposed remedies, and encourages the DOT to respond to such competitive distortions which prevents US carriers from being treated on equal basis as they are entitled to.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
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