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What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 9:17 am

I've been hearing a lot lately about a new policy being implemented by most of the major U.S. airlines....the "Passengers Bill of Rights" (or something close to that title).

It's a series of changes that the airlines are supposed to start implementing to reduce delays and, in general, make all passengers happier with the airline. This is supposed to include a passenger being informed (by telephone or e-mail) of any cancellations or delays.

My question to all you frequent flyers would be ...... Have you noticed any positive changes in the airline industry as a result of this new "bill of rights" policy initiated by US airlines?

Have things indeed gotten better? Or are they even worse now?

Thanks.
 
co/ba
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Wed Jun 13, 2001 9:30 am

It gives passengers(a minority) the right to abuse ground staff and then threaten lawsuites at the airlines in order to recieve upgrades which they are either not entitled to, or it is just not available. I do feel ticket agents, gate agents, and flight attendants will have to cope with an increase in hostility from those few people out there who only want to make trouble because they want something for free.
 
PanAm747
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:50 am

The good ol' days of commercial airlines are gone (Read: username).

Now a days people feel because they paid a lot of money for a plane ticket, they are entitled to everything. These are the same people who buy tickets to sports games and say that they have a right to interfere with the game (run on the field, etc.) because they bought the ticket.

Have you ever noticed the differences of public transportation (cabs, subways, busses, etc.) and airlines? How many people have ever complained about the public transportation as opposed to airlines?

I think the airlines should severely lower everyone's expectations (I.E. Southwest), that way people will have nothing to complain about.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
goingboeing
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 11:28 am

Well PanAm747 - When I buy a ticket on Southwest, I expect safe passage from point A to point B. I expect an ontime departure and arrival. I expect to be treated as if they appreciate me spending my money with them. I expect a reasonably comfortable seat for my 6'4" frame, and I expect a beverage and perhaps a bag of peanuts.

When I buy a ticket on any other airline, I expect safe passage from point A to point B. I expect an ontime departure and arrival. I expect to be treated as if they appreciate me spending my money with them. I expect a reasonably comfortable seat for my 6'4" frame, and I expect a beverage and perhaps a bag of peanuts.

So, I pretty much expect the same thing from everybody, and for the most part, everybody delivers. If there is a level 5 thunderstorm parked off the end of the runway, I don't want the airline to launch any plane that I'm on into the jaws of the storm. Or, if the #2 engine has a problem, I'd rather not have them dispatch the plane with me on it. Most airlines currently don't want to do that either, and they will delay the flight. Here's where the passenger bill of "rights" comes into play. The PBOR would make it where airlines would have to pay people on that plane and others down the line who are impacted by the delay.

Of course, if those complainers who want compensation are killed because a plane flew into a thunderstorm, or had an unrepaired mechanical problem and crashed, they will be the first to sue the airline for not running a "safe" operation.

 
ha2vegas
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Wed Jun 13, 2001 11:44 am

Ever notice how no one ever mentions exactly how bad customer service in the airlines really is...specifically? Well, I'll tell you. In the last reporting period, the worst of the majors (HP) complaint ratio was 6 complaints for every 100,000 passengers. That's 0.00006% Average was slightly under 4 per 100,000. I wonder how many other industries would fare as well?
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 11:45 am

I think people simply want a little respect. Why do many people speak cruely to ground agents or flight attendants who have little or no control over most of the problems? Because they don't feel like they are being treated right. They are the customer, and the airline is the corporation. As GoingBoeing stated, passengers just want to feel as if the airline cares that they are spending their money with that airline. In most of my experiences it really isn't like that at all. It's like you are trying to deal with a company that just sees you as another measley piece of cargo taking up a seat on one of its planes. I'm sorry but its time all parties learned some respect.
 
b757300
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 1:24 pm

How about an Airline Employee's "Bill of Rights"?
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
PanAm747
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 9:21 pm

Goingboeing-All of those expectations are fine. However, some people take those too far. Some people want a 5-star meal in coach, and can not understand that air travel is sometimes uncertain with delays and cancellations. When they don't get the meals, or encounter delays then they whine and moan.

Air travel is different today. When people want/need to travel by air, they buy the cheapest ticket they can afford. This sets up the attitude that all airlines are cattle hearders
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
LAXFlyer
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Wed Jun 13, 2001 9:24 pm

I'm still waiting for an "Employee bill of rights." Well said COba
 
Alpha 1
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Wed Jun 13, 2001 9:35 pm

Ok, SJC-SFO, let's talk about respect on this issue, shall we? One of the provisions states that airlines need to be more forthcoming with info on delays. Well, I've never seen that as a problem where I work. We get the information, we let the people know what's going on. Sometimes we may wait 10 minutes or so to get all the information we need, but we don't just not tell people what's going on. Now, the respect part. It NEVER fails that there will be someone in the boarding area that will say "you're lying", or "just tell us what's REALLY going on", or something like that. In other words, they automatically don't believe ANYTHING they're told. Those are the ones who end up sending in the compalint letters to the DOT; they are the ones that are eating up this constant media hype (which is what a lot of this is), about how airline employees "lie" all the time. And they are part of the reason why the Congress is thinking about implimenting some regulations that would be disasterous for the industry and consumers.

Are there some employees who just don't get it and lie about a situation? Of course there are, but they are not as pervasive as the media or Congress would lead the public to believe. Such employees should be disciplined when they do such things. But I suspect that, if the truth be told, such employees are a rare minority in the business. Most of us want to just deal with the situation at hand, see it to it's resolution, then move on. Most of us don't enjoy the delays anymore than any flyer.

Until the public gets over this "Watergate syndrome", the belief that we're just a pack of cheerful liars, which is very far from the truth, then there will continue to be problems.
 
cfalk
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 9:57 pm

The bill is simply another effort by the Trail Lawyers' Association of America to find a new source of revenue for them, now that they have gotten used to multi-billion dollar awards. Pretty soon you will have ambulance-chaser-style ads, saying things like "Have you ever been delayed on your flight? You may be entitled to compensation! Give us a call!"

Instead of a huge complicated bill which leaves plenty of things vague and will tie up the already overstretched U.S. court system, there is a very simple remedy. Require each commercial airport to be rated by the FAA as to how many aircraft movements the airport can manage per hour, taking into account proper spacing, etc. Reduce that number by 10%, to account for weather, cock-ups and the odd charter, and that number will be the allowable slots. Then make the airlines bid for these slots with the airports, and make it a felony for the airport administration to grant more than that number of slots.

Simple, with clear responsibility, and no need for the courts. Right now, I think the airlines schedule their planes without any regard to how many the airport can actually handle.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
goingboeing
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:33 pm

<< Right now, I think the airlines schedule their planes without any regard to how many the airport can actually handle. >>

And they do this in response to customer DEMAND. If people didn't want to fly out of LGA at 5:00 p.m., airlines wouldn't schedule so many flights out of LGA at 5. Judging from the loads, however, the public might demand even more. The problem is, unless the public DEMANDS a reduction in the number of flights at any given airport at any given time, then they should sit quietly while they are number 35 for takeoff because a thunderstorm passed overhead at 5:01.

As far as expectations, customers can do a lot. How hard is it to get to the gate an hour early and ask the gate agent if this is a meal flight in coach? If it isn't, head on down to Mickey D's and grab a burger. Most flights 2 hours or less are not meal flights.

If the flight is late, they should ask themselves how much quicker the plane will get there if they pitch a fit to the gate agent.

If they are flying in to Philly to meet someone for dinner at 6:00 they should think twice before booking the 5:00 flight out of Cleveland - it might be delayed.

If they are upset because the plane was supposed to leave the gate at 5:00 and didn't push back until 5:15, they should remember the two "wheelie bags", laptop PC and briefcase they drug on board and spend 5 minutes themselves finding a place to stow them. Multiply that by a couple of hundred other passengers and see how much time could be saved.
 
KUGN
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:52 pm

I am somehow uncomfortable with the idea of goverment jumping into my rescue as a consumer. I remeber they tried to help consumers with deregulation of local telephone/DSL service and all we got was more regulation and lower quality, slower paste of DSL introduction, depleated telecoms, and new middle-tier companies with lots of money.

Why should I expect that goverment would help me any better with this "pax bill" of "rights" ? It is good for politicians to talk about it (McCain?), but all they can get is more beurocracy, and more cost which will be past down to consumers.

Last weekend I had my best ever transatlantic flight ever. I flew British Airways, connecting at LHR. The previous flight arrived at the gate at Terminal 1 35mins prior to my connecting departure Terminal 5. I got on time, my luggage got on time.

The flight attendants during flight, check in agents about everyone was as helpful as they could.

I tend to believe that neither UK nor US goverment made those proffesionals act in such manner. But still they offered wonderfull consistent product. It was their company that worked on that, not some politician.

So, regarding "pax bill" of "rights" -- thanks, but no thanks.
 
cfalk
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 11:07 pm

Goingboeing,

I agree with you - Passengers are mostly pretty ignorant of what needs to happen for a plane to leave on time. So much the more reason NOT to give them more "rights" that they can abuse. The only result will be a bunch of lawsuits, the cost of which will find its way into the price of a ticket, making travel more expensive for all of us, in order to benefit some lawyers and a few people who will win the lottery in court.

Mandating a fixed, maximum number of flights that can pass through an airport during a given time frame will force airlines to spread their flights out, or use bigger planes.

Another thing. One of the reasons that some airports like ORD, ATL, and JFK are saturated is because of their use as hubs. Many of the people going through these airports have absolutely no business in that city whatsoever. If airlines insist on having hubs for transit passengers, why not have them in depopulated areas? Put a massive hub right in the middle of the Kansas plains - enough room for 20 runways and no noise problems with neighbors. Forcing airlines to adhere to strict enforcement of slot rules would make them consider this option.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
wannabe
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Wed Jun 13, 2001 11:54 pm

Here is a personnal example of why we shouldn't need the "bill of rights".
Last Thursday I was scheduled on a AA flight from DFW to LGA. The flight evidently originated in Lima, Peru and was about 1 hour late in arriving, which was posted on the board almost 2 hours prior to the originally scheduled departure time. When the aircraft arrived, he ground people at DFW announced that the aircraft would need to be inspected by US customs and then cleaned, and it would be 1 more hour till boarding. They kept us informed throughout. Once our flight crew got on and passenger boarding started, it turned out that there was a mechanical problem with the plane, giving false landing gear indications in the cockpit. The pilot kept us informed throughout the fix process as to what was going on and what the next steps could be. Although the flight was a breakfast flight, he had lunches brought on board as we waited. He came back through the cabin several times to talk to passengers, and once the broken part was found (a micro switch), he passed it back through the cabin for all to see. We wound up leaving 3 hours behind schedule, but I did not hear anyone complain. As long as people are kept in the loop and are treated well, we should not need another lawyered up document to define what we are entitled to. Most times, such a document does more to cause problems than it does to fix them.
 
LON-CHI
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:29 am

First, let me just say that I can't imagine how hard it must be for ticket, gate and customer service agents to deal with so many idiotic, selfish and rude customers on a daily basis. Every time I fly, I go out of my way to be nice to these people (even though it does irk me sometimes how often the courtesy is rarely retuned).

That being said, as a frequent flyer, I am all for a Passengers Bill of Rights. I've been fairly lucky over the years flying, in terms of delays, cancellations and other hassels. But, on the occasions that something has gone wrong, I have been completely amazed at the airlines response (or lack of). I've experienced delays or cancellations that the airlines claim is weather related that, with a little investigating, reveals it is really due to a mechanical, low passenger load or some other reason that is the airlines responsibility. Or, when airlines knowing far ahead of time that a flight is going to be cancelled or delayed but not revealing it to the passengers or the employees on the front line until you're waiting to board at the gate or actually on board. If the airlines would just be truthful and manage information better, it would go a long way in improving customer attitudes.

Basically, the airlines need to be held accountable when they fail to deliver what they promise. They have a captive market and no one to answer to. For the person who mentioned the low complaint ratio, I strongly believe that most passengers feel "what's the point?" When you do complain, you'll be lucky to get any response and if you do, it most likely will be a form letter that does not even address the problem.
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 2:31 am

>>Ever notice how no one ever mentions exactly how bad customer service in the airlines really is...specifically? Well, I'll tell you. In the last reporting period, the worst of the majors (HP) complaint ratio was 6 complaints for every 100,000 passengers. That's 0.00006% Average was slightly under 4 per 100,000. I wonder how many other industries would fare as well?<<

That is people complaining to the government, not to the airlines. Let me put it in perspective: You bought a $500 Weber Grill at the Home Depot. When you get home, you find out that it has a dent in it, chipped enamel and that some parts are missing. Do you:

a) go back to the Home Depot to return it and try to exchange for a new one?
or
b) not bring the grill back, but go back and scream at the guy who sold it to you?
or
c) complain to your local congressman that the grill stinks?

Where I work, the answer is generally choice a, and occasionally b. That is the same in the airline industry.
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 3:08 am

I think the problem lies with people who want to pay less than $200 to fly coast-to-coast and then expect to get treated like royalty. The American public's desire for cheap travel is what has caused the massive hub and spoke system and cattle-car seating. Like in most other things in life, you pay for what you get. And now, 20 something years after deregulation, the media is fanning the fire by sensationalizing every last incident and convincing the American public that it's the airlines fault for providing the service people were asking for. Without a doubt, this falls under the saying: "You've made your bed, and now you have to sleep in it."
 
goingboeing
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 3:17 am

LON-CHI I've got to take some exception to some of your statements:

<< But, on the occasions that something has gone wrong, I have been completely amazed at the airlines response (or lack of). I've experienced delays or cancellations that the airlines claim is weather related that, with a little investigating, reveals it is really due to a mechanical, low passenger load or some other reason that is the airlines responsibility.>>

First off, machines can break. But what's the cause of the following delay - Aircraft is scheduled to depart MCI at 6:45 a.m., but because of fog in STL, it has to hold in KC for an hour. Already the flight is one hour behind for the day, and it really is a weather delay. Let's say the plane gets to STL and then goes to CLE and back to STL. It's still running late, but the pilot notes a problem with a warning light. So, maintenence checks it out and the flight is delayed another half hour. So, it's an hour and a half delayed - what's the cause of the delay - weather or maintenance? And in the end, what difference does it make? If it's late, it's late, and I do not consider a maintenance delay to be the airlines "fault". I want a machine to be completely airworthy if it's going to take me 5 or 6 miles up in the air. Also, airlines don't cancel for low loads. If the DFW-MCI leg of a flight is light, what does the airline tell the MCI passengers who were planning on getting on board that plane (and would have filled 98% of the seats) for it's return to DFW? Now, sometimes an airline will "steal" a plane from one route to cover for one that has a mechanical to accomodate more passengers on another route, but they pretty much look at which option will impact the fewest passengers. It's pretty intricate, but I'll bet they are cutting down on complaints by doing what they do.

<< Or, when airlines knowing far ahead of time that a flight is going to be cancelled or delayed but not revealing it to the passengers or the employees on the front line until you're waiting to board at the gate or actually on board. If the airlines would just be truthful and manage information better, it would go a long way in improving customer attitudes. >>

Watching the AA flight displays at DFW the other day, I couldn't help but notice how often the status changed on many different flights. It LOOKED like they were trying to be proactive. But...so many people don't get to the airport until 1 hour (or less) before departure, how in the world is the airline supposed to notify them that the plane is running late until they finally get to the gate? Should the airline call you at your home, office, hotel, or car phone to tell you that your flight is running late? How do they do that?

You can hold the airlines accountable without having them pay some monetary "reward" and raising my airfares...you can forego the "elite" status on the offending airline and fly the competition. If the original airline doesn't improve it's service, they'll be punished far worse, and far more justly, than any government mandated "bill of rights" can do.
 
rookie
Posts: 7
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 4:06 am

No one has mentioned anything about the people in Detroit a few years back and what rights they had. The courts seemed to agree with a lot of those people. It seems that because of this site most are pro airlines. There seems to be alot of pilots,ground crews and gate agents. Some have said that people want everything for a $200 ticket, are the passengers the one who says thats all they will pay or is it the price the airline said to pay. No one is wrong for expecting exactly what the airlines say they will do, get you from point a to point be at this time,on this day and in this amount of time. Peoples time is worth as much as an airlines time.If all this attention that is being paid by congress wouldn't of happened the airlines would still treat people as cattle and say we will gladly take your money but don't say a word about how you are treated. I live in MSP and really have one player in town and the last time I flew was to MKE. We pushed back from the gate no effort was made to start the engines, after sitting for 15 mins. the pilot said there was a brake problem and maintenence would have to look at it. We sat there for another 15mins. with nothing from the cockpit and then were told another 15 mins. We finally left 1hr. and 20 mins late. Not much honesty there. People were really mad because if they would of pushed back to the gate we could of got on the only competitors flight, Sun Country to MKE and made it there on time ,but they waited until the other flight left so we had no choice but to wait. Not very fair for a paying customer. Try and remember there are always two sides to the story and if enough people complained more than complimented which way will congress go?
 
Matt D
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 4:19 am

A lot of interesting points have been raised here, most of which I agree with. However, as in most disputes like this, there's "his" side, "her" side, and then "the truth".

The fact of the matter is that the airlines are, to a certain degree, just as guilty as the Public for creating this mess. And just as it's up to the public to make some concessions, the airlines must do likewise. Otherwise, we'll get nowhere, and the cycle of frustration will escalate indefinitely.

As an example, when I took United a couple of years ago from ONT-SFO, the flight was delayed by nearly 3 hours. The usual excuse of "weather" (as an airline enthusiast, I am aware of the SFO fog, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt) was given. They said that SFO is not allowing any takeoffs or landings. I was upset, but I also know that sometimes, especially in dealing with SFO, "shit happens".

I had no real reason to doubt the sincerity of their claim-that is-until a nice shining 737-500 showed up as an arrival at the gate. When I asked where it came from (even though I checked on the monitor to confirm), she told me that it came from SFO.

If SFO was closed for the last three hours, and nothing was taking off or landing, and it's only an hour flight between SFO and ONT, and a plane inbound from SFO had just landed, it didn't take Columbo to figure out that something fishy was going on. When I inquired to the GA about my suspicions of them being less han honest with us-pointing to the just arrived plane at the gate, she said she was 'not of liberty to discuss it, and that when it's time to board, she will call us'.

Then how many times has a "few minute" minor delay mushroomed into several hours or more? Although I can't really prove it, it seems to me that a favorite tactic of the airlines is to be fully aware that a flight is going to eventually be cancelled, or has no chance of taking off within the next 7 hours, will only choose to inform the pax in 15 minute increments that it should "only be a few more minutes", in essence holding passengers hostage from the truth, their destinations, and making alternate bookings. Then, when the last other flight to wherever they were going has left for the day, they will finally inform you that your flight, which should have left 6 hours ago, has been cancelled.

What about Northwest and DTW and the 8 hour parking lot? Need I say more?

How about paying $2700 for that LAX-EWR ticket when the guy sitting next to you paid $149? Now don't get me wrong, I think that for the most part, the airlines should be free to set their own fare levels, but when you have fare disparities of that magnitude, that is simply unethical.

It's incidents like I just described that the airlines have done to themselves to get the abominable reputation they enjoy today.

Now let's look at it from an airline employees point of view?

You have a flight, booked with 197 pax, and 195 of them how up on time, get boarded with no incident. then after you have broken a sweat, and gestated an ulcer in your paunch, are ready to pull the jetway for an on time departure when the other 4 pax show up, not only asking to be checked in, but DEMANDING to ve checked in. And when the GA (rightfully) spells out that your ticket clearly states that you need to be at the gate at least 10 minutes before departure (not to mention her 15 PA announcements), and you are late, this person has the nerve to get belligerent. So what usually happens? The plane gets held, pissing off the 195 pax just so 4 others who couldn't (or wouldn't show up on time could board. I truly feel sorry for the GA's whenever I see that.

Flying airplanes is an expensive business. It seems like no matter what the airlines do, the pax are never happy. They want to fly in brand new state of the art 737-700's, A320's, and 777's. They want a nice leather recliner seat, similar to what they have in their living room. They want to be served a 9 course filet mignon meal, and pay $99 round trip.

Again, it doesn't take a CPA to see that that is clearly an unachieveable goal. What's more important? A roomy chair, or a low fare? Do you want a nice new plane, or an ancient clunker of questionable ancestry? Do you want peanuts or Beef Wellington?

Well, unfortunately, the public can't have it that way. Not if they want the airlines to stay in business. The airlines have to pay for salaries for everyone involved to get the plane from point A to B. They have to make their monthly payments on some very expensive jets. They have to pay for fuel and maintennance. They have to pay airport rent and landing fees. And, being in a business to make money, should be entitled to make a little profit after all expenses are deducted.

I'm not sure that a passengers Bill Of Rights is the long term answer. It sounds like a knee-jerk response to the problem more than anything else. But that doesn't mean that the airlines SHOULDN'T share some of the blame, and be part of the solution. It's all a two way street.

Wanna know what I think the best way to solve this is?

Good old fashioned honesty, good manners, and a practical sense of reality, on the part of the airlines and the public alike.

 
fly_emirates
Posts: 970
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 11:22 am

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 4:35 am

As a flight attendant, i agree with the bill of rights.. because some of the attendants really act rudely.. and i have seen some situations where the attendants lose patience with some passengers specially if they have children or infants.. but when you applly for this wonderful job, you have to expect many things and try to display the best behaviour you could.. but in some cases, you should be serious with some passengers who causes trouble.. like people who dont obey safety regulations or who try to flurt with female flight attendants..
 
LON-CHI
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 5:31 pm

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 5:27 am

Goingboeing,

You might not consider a maintenance delay the airlines "fault", but they (airlines) do. That's why they'll put you up in a hotel if that can't get you on a flight until the following day. And that's the big difference between a weather delay and a delay that is the airlines responsibility.

Airlines will never admit canceling for light loads, but it happens. Case in point, I was scheduled on a domestic U.S. flight a while ago. It was on a Friday and for the hell of it, I kept track of that flight the week leading up to my trip. That flight was cancelled four days in a row. Sure enough, on the day of my flight, we were told at boarding time that our flight was cancelled (no reason given) and we had been put on another flight an hour later. We were able to keep our tickets and seat assignments and no one, to my knowledge, was bumped. Was it just luck that everyone made it on the flight? Maybe, but it sounded very suspicious. So, I asked a friend who works for the airline in question about it. She is a high level manager in operations. In the strictest confidence, she said "yes", they will sometimes cancel a flight for a light load if they can do it smoothly and get away with it. In my case, it was not a big inconvenience, but I was pretty shocked that it happened.

Here's another example. Two months ago, I was flying LHR-ORD on UAL. I found out the plane I was to fly on was coming in from Chicago earlier that morning, so I kept track of it, since if it was late, I knew my flight would also stand a good chance of being late. Well, that plane actually got in early. So, several hours later, when I was sitting at the gate before boarding, I knew something was wrong since all the flight attendants were sitting with me an not on the plane. Sure enough, an announcement was made that the flight was delayed two hours. The reason that was given to us? Late arrival of the plane due to weathe!. When we finally boarded, I noticed some mechanics hard at work on one of the engines (it looked like they had been there awhile). When we were all the seated, the pilot came on and announced that we would be delayed another hour due to some "routine maintenance." So now we were delayed three hours, most likely due to mechanical problems. If that was the reason, I and the other passengers could have demanded that we be put on other flights. But since the first delay was due to "weather", we didn't have that option. Why did UAL say the plane was initially delayed by weather? Only they know for sure, but I knew it wasn't true.

Finally, Goboeing, to respond to your last point about how airlines are supposed to notify passengers about delays when they're not in the airport, passengers can call and check on the status of their flight, which I, and many others, do before leaving for the airport. Some airlines will now even page or call you with status updates.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I would share some specific details about a couple of my recent experiences to clarify my previous post.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:54 am

Not trying to be argumentative LON-CHI, but concerning a PBOR - please name one US Government program that has resulted in improvements without a corresponding increase in costs. Then ask if a "bill of rights" is worth it.
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 7:53 am

I dont like the bill, but I wasnt treated the best on my NWA trip on spring break. I was flying with my sister, so I borded with her, she was on somekind of program because she was underaged. well, the gate agent didnt feel like taking us back the the plane, so all of the satnd bys went on before us, we had the tickets in advace.so, she was sopseto have a window seat, she did not. I didnt even get to sit by her. They put me next to an emengency exit. A woman started to complain that she wanted a window seat, so I was kicked out. The flight got worse but not as a result from the airline. But still, We had our tickets 6 months in advance, and we didnt even get our seats, the stand by's got them. The airlines should have more respect than. " well...I dont feel like going back there right now". But I will agree with co/ba on his first post though, it will be abused. Reguards

Mace_2
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 9:14 am

I think some of you are missing (my) point. Airlines are increasingly dishonest with the customer. Say it says on my ticket that my flight leaves at 8:05 AM. The airlines tell me this in order to get me there on time (understandable, yet still dishonest. it should read check in no later than XX:XX) so they can be more efficient. Now THIS IS NOT A DELAY, but the airline is actually planning the flight on leaving at 8:20. I garuntee you this happens as for one example often flight status at airlines websites will be listed as "ontime" even though the flight actually is leaving 15 minutes later than every passenger was told on his/her ticket. Something is obviously at a disconnect. This has happened several times and is not just a rareity. THE PASSENGER DOES NOT WANT "A nine course meal". We would just like something nicer than the dog food we often get.

What no one seemed to listen to in my post is that passengers are often treated like ignorant sacks of crap. Now they may be ignorant to the dynamics of getting a plane to leave on time, but they are the customer, and they dont deserve to be treated like shit.

I don't know how to say this right, cause I'm just not getting my point across. I agree that there are many travellers who demand more than they deserve, but there are also many who demand near to and often less than what they deserve.

I really think alot of what you guys are saying is quite true.....Maybe after my brain is no longer fried I'll be able to explain this better.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 12:11 pm

My recent flights on AA was scheduled for 10:57 and pushed back at 10:57. It was a light load, but if they REALLY meant that the 10:57 time was when they'd like to BOARD, then they should have pushed back at 11:15. BTW - the gummint says that it ain't late unless it's more than 15 minutes past schedule departure time.

I've never gotten hungry and bought an airline ticket to get a meal. I really don't see the issues with food. I still remember when "airline food" was a joke. Suddenly, we want Wolfgang Puck to prepare crepe's on the UAL shuttle.

I've never been treated like a sack of crap by any airline employee. Then again, I've never treated any airline employee like a sack of crap. What goes around comes around. If a flights late, cursing the gate agent will most often result in the gate agent "responding in kind". The fact that most don't is a credit to them.

 
ha2vegas
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 1:02 pm

Low Complaint Ratio

Thu Jun 14, 2001 12:16 pm

Ok lets assume the consumer model is correct, and that for every complaint officially registered, 3 more are not. (This is a standard satisfaction model for most consumer oriented environments). In fact, lets more than triple the model and pretend that for every complaint registered, 10 are not. That would bring the complaint ratio all the way up to 0.0004%.

Also, I submit the gov't numbers are a fair guage. If the department store makes good my grill, I don't complain to the manufacturer. (Likewise, if the airline resolves a complaint, the passenger doesn't write the DOT.) If the store can't or won't help, I go to the manufacturer. If they make it good I stop there. If not I go to the Better Business Bureau.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:20 pm

I haven't had time to read all the comments, so just a few observations about the PBOR in general.

This is another case of something the industry should be doing on its own, but if they're forced to do it will probably do it badly and at higher cost. Either the Six Families will shape up their customer service act on their own, which will defuse consumer and congressional fury, or they will be hit with the PBOR. The choice is theirs.

Meanwhile, on Southwest, I recently waited for a flight at BWI delayed by mechanical problems. The gate agent explained everything he knew and gave us detailed updates every ten minutes, and checked in with us even if he had nothing new to say. He admitted that they didn't know how long it would take to get another plane to the gate, but in his experience it hadn't been more than X amount of time (45 min, I think). A flight attendant came off the plane and *offered us drinks while we waited.*

In the end, a new plane was found and we left BWI about 70 minutes behind schedule. But we had been kept informed, offered drinks, and not decieved. It was clear that Southwest was concerned about us.

If the Six Families consistently treated their customers that way, they would find much less fury about service. (there would still be fury about fares, but that's another issue). Alpha 1 is right that there's lots of media hype, and that more airline employees than not do treat customers well. But there still needs to be improvement.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:33 pm

GoingBoeing-
I am very kind and courteous to all airline staff. The response I often get is often condescending and makes me feel as if "the airline doesn't care that I'm spending my money with them". I have been treated quite rudely by many airline employees, and though it may not be a common thing, it seems more than in other sectors. Anyway, I understand what you are saying, but I still think that there is alot that needs to be changed in the industry, maybe this just isn't the right way.
 
Guest

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 7:21 pm

>>Also, I submit the gov't numbers are a fair guage. If the department store makes good my grill, I don't complain to the manufacturer. (Likewise, if the airline resolves a complaint, the passenger doesn't write the DOT.) If the store can't or won't help, I go to the manufacturer. If they make it good I stop there. If not I go to the Better Business Bureau.<<

There is one more difference. Many people don't complain about their flight. My parents were stuck in IND about 5 years go due to a mechanical and they had to find a hotel to sleep in, but they didn't complain. They knew that nothing very good would become of it. I have been very late and once missed my connection, yet I am still not writing a letter. I just don't have time.
 
goingboeing
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 8:24 pm

Lowerairfare - you point out something that the "bill of rights" will never address. That is - the people, who will scream at the gate agent for delays and tell them they're lying, and DEMAND some sort of compensation from the gate agent. But most gate agents don't have the authority to give away free trips. So these people with lot's of time on their hands sit down and write the airline AND the DOT and as is human nature, add a little "dramatic embellishment" to the story. Unless the PBOR gives gate agents carte blanche to give away flight vouchers, which is what the vocal idiots want anyhow, all the government inflicted rules in the world won't help a thing.
 
cfalk
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RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 9:59 pm

Like I said before, this bill is nothing but a trial lawyer's wet dream, will not do anything concrete to alleviate congestion and delays, and will cause the airline staff (especially gate staff) more headaches.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
LON-CHI
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 5:31 pm

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 10:30 pm

Below is a summary of the PBOR that Rep. Bud Shuster introduced in Feb 1999.


Summary of the Shuster Passenger Bill of Rights

Requires airlines to pay compensation to passengers if they are kept waiting on the runway for more than 2 hours either prior to takeoff or after landing. The compensation would be twice the value of the ticket and would increase proportionally as the wait lengthens. Compensation would triple at 3 hours, quadruple at 4 hours, etc. Departure delays attributable to air traffic control would not require compensation from the carrier.

Prohibits an airline from using a single flight number to denote a flight that it knows will involve a change of aircraft. The penalty would be multiplied by the number of passengers on the flight.

Requires an airline to explain the reasons for a delay, cancellation, or diversion to a different airport and penalizes the airline, not the employee, if the explanation is false or misleading. The penalty is multiplied by the number of passengers on the flight.

Requires airlines to refund the money of any passenger on a flight that is cancelled for economic reasons. Requires airlines to report all cancellations to DOT including the flight number, departure time, and load factor of the flight cancelled. DOT must review reports submitted and determine whether a pattern of canceling a specific flight exists or of canceling flights with low load factors (under 30 percent). If DOT finds that a flight was cancelled for economic reasons, passengers on that flight must get their money back.

Requires airlines to make a good faith effort to return lost property to the owner if the person's name is on the property.

Prohibits security screeners from separating babies from their parents.

In cases where airlines share their two letter designator code on a flight (code-sharing), requires airlines to notify passengers if they will not actually be flying on the airline whose code is being used.

Directs airlines not to prohibit or charge an additional fee to passengers who only use a portion of their ticket. This is designed to permit "hidden city" ticketing (where the passenger buys a ticket for a more distant point but gets off the plane at the first stop because the ticket to the more distant point was cheaper) and "back-to-back" ticketing (where the passenger buys two round trip tickets but uses only half of each because doing so takes advantage of the cheaper tickets one can get by staying over a Saturday night.

Requires airlines to reveal, upon request, the number or percentage of seats that are available for use by those redeeming frequent flyer awards.

Directs DOT to study and report to Congress on whether airlines are providing adequate supervision of unaccompanied minors on their flights.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 10:40 pm

"Requires airlines to pay compensation to passengers if they are kept waiting on the runway for more than 2 hours either prior to takeoff or after landing. "

Well I guess that eliminates all penalties right there! How many planes have you ever seen stay 2 hours on a runway? At the gate, on the tarmac, or on a taxiway, OK, but on the Runway???

I wonder if that is the actual way it's written in the bill  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
LON-CHI
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 5:31 pm

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 10:54 pm

Cflak,

The definition of a “departure delay” in the actual PBOR is defined as the time after door of the plane is closed and when it actually takes off.

The PBOR can be found at http://www.house.gov/transportation/aviation/avbills/h700.pdf
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: What Do You Think Of The New "Pax Bill Of Rights"?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:02 pm

SJC-SFO said:

"I think some of you are missing (my) point. Airlines are increasingly dishonest with the customer. Say it says on my ticket that my flight leaves at 8:05 AM. The airlines tell me this in order to get me there on time (understandable, yet still dishonest. it should read check in no later than XX:XX) so they can be more efficient. Now THIS IS NOT A DELAY, but the airline is actually planning the flight on leaving at 8:20. I garuntee you this happens as for one example often flight status at airlines websites will be listed as "ontime" even though the flight actually is leaving 15 minutes later than every passenger was told on his/her ticket."

SJC-SFO, that's a load of manure! I have never, in 14 years industry, seen this confusing scenario that you mentioned. If your ticket says 8:05, and no delay is posted, then how are we "planning" to close the door at 8:20? Even think that maybe there's a last-minute catering problem? Or that there's a fuel discrepency? But I've never seen what you describe happen "knowingly". I think in that case you're just looking for something that isn't there. And if everyone is onboard, and 15 minutes elapsese before the plane pushes, the airline is not going to post that anywhere.

And I disagree with you. I've rarely seen pax treated like s**t. If by that you mean that you're not given personalized, individual attention, then so be it. That's hard to do as a gate agent when you work 5 flights a day, and deal with over 500 customers on those 5 flights each day. I have never seen an agent verbally abuse or physically threaten an customer. I have seen the opposite many time-and why? Because a flight is delayed or cancelled. The end of the world I know.

As far as being dishonest, agian, I think you're off the mark,and have bought into this media hype about airline employees. I'll wager that if you knew the truth about it, much more often than not, no one has been dishonest with you-in many cases, the customer simply refuses to believe anything they're being told. When I tell someone about the delay, and they immediately tell me "I don't believe you", then guess what? It wouldn't have mattered what I would have said. That's a problem that doesn't get talked about.

That doesn't mean there aren't employees who don't get it and are dishonest-there are. But unfortunately, the media has lumped virtually all airline employees into that category, and too many people still believe everything they read in the papers and hear on TV. I've had people come up to me many times and say "Well, in USA Today they say you guys...", or 'on Dateline NBC, they said you guys......".

Airlines need to be more proactive, but customers' attitudes need to be changed over a period of time, so that there are less problems at the airport.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:25 pm

I can't help myself:

Summary of the Shuster Passenger Bill of Rights

Requires airlines to pay compensation to passengers if they are kept waiting on the runway for more than 2 hours either prior to takeoff or after landing. The compensation would be twice the value of the ticket and would increase proportionally as the wait lengthens. Compensation would triple at 3 hours, quadruple at 4 hours, etc. Departure delays attributable to air traffic control would not require compensation from the carrier.


What does congressmen Shuster propose to say to the public when they watch a corresponding doubling of the airfares to cover these penalties?

Prohibits an airline from using a single flight number to denote a flight that it knows will involve a change of aircraft. The penalty would be multiplied by the number of passengers on the flight.

99.999% of these type flights have the words "aircraft change" somewhere on the reservation screens. Again, multiply the corresponding fare increases by the number of times this punishment is invoked.

Requires an airline to explain the reasons for a delay, cancellation, or diversion to a different airport and penalizes the airline, not the employee, if the explanation is false or misleading. The penalty is multiplied by the number of passengers on the flight.

Who decides what's "misleading"? And who's going to pay for the researchers to look into these matters? Multiply the corresponding increase in airfares by the number of diversions, and look for an increase in taxes to pay the investigators

Requires airlines to refund the money of any passenger on a flight that is cancelled for economic reasons. Requires airlines to report all cancellations to DOT including the flight number, departure time, and load factor of the flight cancelled. DOT must review reports submitted and determine whether a pattern of canceling a specific flight exists or of canceling flights with low load factors (under 30 percent). If DOT finds that a flight was cancelled for economic reasons, passengers on that flight must get their money back. .

Okay...so the 30% loaded flight goes out on time, meanwhile, the 90% load flight, whose aircraft is experiencing a mechanical problem, and who in these horrible times would have had the 30% loaded aircraft changed to their route, are delayed...and so is everybody else down the line. Oh, the cash is just flowing like water out the doors of the airline. And rather than 30% people being disgruntled, 90% of the people are ticked off. Good going.

Requires airlines to make a good faith effort to return lost property to the owner if the person's name is on the property. Lemme see here - I'm too freaking stupid to remember that my briefcase is in the overhead bin and walk off the plane without it. Now, the airline is subject to punishment for my stupidity?

Prohibits security screeners from separating babies from their parents. But...it's perfectly okay for the parents to break the neck of security screeners or gate agents who try to stop the parents from chasing the kid into an unauthorized area.

In cases where airlines share their two letter designator code on a flight (code-sharing), requires airlines to notify passengers if they will not actually be flying on the airline whose code is being used. Is this really a problem?

Directs airlines not to prohibit or charge an additional fee to passengers who only use a portion of their ticket. This is designed to permit "hidden city" ticketing (where the passenger buys a ticket for a more distant point but gets off the plane at the first stop because the ticket to the more distant point was cheaper) and "back-to-back" ticketing (where the passenger buys two round trip tickets but uses only half of each because doing so takes advantage of the cheaper tickets one can get by staying over a Saturday night.

The solution for this is to raise the "hidden city" fares. No problem, and higher costs for the consumer. Don't think airlines won't do it...they'll need all the money they can get to pay the other fines.

Requires airlines to reveal, upon request, the number or percentage of seats that are available for use by those redeeming frequent flyer awards.

Look for more of a Delta style plan where you get a guaranteed seat in return for a greater number of miles redeemed. Then, the airlines can say "Why, they are ALL available".

Directs DOT to study and report to Congress on whether airlines are providing adequate supervision of unaccompanied minors on their flights.

TAX INCREASE ALERT!!! who's gonna pay the salary to the DOT employee in charge of monitoring this.

Bottom line - this "protection" is going to come at a price. IMHO, if it ever passes, within a year, the public will be screaming for the "bad old days".
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:43 pm

Ok, let's take these parts of this 'BOR one at a time:

"Requires airlines to pay compensation to passengers if they are kept waiting on the runway for more than 2 hours either prior to takeoff or after landing. The compensation would be twice the value of the ticket and would increase proportionally as the wait lengthens. Compensation would triple at 3 hours, quadruple at 4 hours, etc. Departure delays attributable to air traffic control would not require compensation from the carrier."

Ok, so your plane leaves the gate during the busy time of the day. It waits in line for like 20 minutes to take off, then ATC comes on to the Captian and says you have to d-there's a line of storms developing in his flight path, and that ATC has implimented a delay program. Now, meanwhile, the gate you were at is not occupied by another aircraft. And right now, because of this delay program, all gates are taken because some flights were held at the gate waiting clearance. ATC tells the captain there's no release time, and that he can't expect one for at least 90 minutes. With no gate to back to, the delay eventually reaches 2 hours.

So, Uncle Sam says because of this scenario, which does happen, the AIRLINE needs to compensate the customer? I didn't read anywhere where weather-related delays are exempt. Well, if this provision goes thorugh, expect your airfares to go up to cover the cost of this idiocy.

-------------------------------

"Prohibits an airline from using a single flight number to denote a flight that it knows will involve a change of aircraft. The penalty would be multiplied by the number of passengers on the flight. "

I don't have a problem with prohibiting it. I have a problem with a "penalty" for such things. (And guess who gets the $$$ for this penalty-you, the customer? Yeah, right-it goes into Uncle Sam's coffers).

------------------------------

"Requires airlines to refund the money of any passenger on a flight that is cancelled for economic reasons. Requires airlines to report all cancellations to DOT including the flight number, departure time, and load factor of the flight cancelled. DOT must review reports submitted and determine whether a pattern of canceling a specific flight exists or of canceling flights with low load factors (under 30 percent). If DOT finds that a flight was cancelled for economic reasons, passengers on that flight must get their money back."

ROTFL-this is a good one. Last time I checked, at least at CO, we'll even allow a non-refundable ticket to be refunded due to ANY cancellation. And sounds like to me the DOT will have to add some bureaucracy to have all these things "reviewed". Oops, there goes your taxes to pay for more staff!! And who decides what an "economic" cancellation is? And who's "economics"? If a flight booked to 30 is cancelled to run a flight booked to 135, isn't the carriers' economics considered in that?

--------------------------------

"Requires an airline to explain the reasons for a delay, cancellation, or diversion to a different airport and penalizes the airline, not the employee, if the explanation is false or misleading. The penalty is multiplied by the number of passengers on the flight."

Does this mean we'll have something like DEA agents, maybe called 'AEA Agents" Airline Enforcement Agents, standing at the gate to make sure I'm not a lying sack of s**t.? I'm only semi-kidding there. How will this work? If someone compalins to the government that he/she felt we were lying, and we says that delay was exactly what was stated, what happens? Does the government "investigate" this "incident", and how do they do so? Again, sounds like higher taxes to pay for more staff.

--------------------------------
\
"Prohibits security screeners from separating babies from their parents."

Never seen that happen, but ok, I agaree.

--------------------------------

"Directs airlines not to prohibit or charge an additional fee to passengers who only use a portion of their ticket. This is designed to permit "hidden city" ticketing (where the passenger buys a ticket for a more distant point but gets off the plane at the first stop because the ticket to the more distant point was cheaper) and "back-to-back" ticketing (where the passenger buys two round trip tickets but uses only half of each because doing so takes advantage of the cheaper tickets one can get by staying over a Saturday night). "

I guarantee you this one will NOT end up in any final bill, if such lunacy is ever enacted by Congress. Airlines will tell Congress to stick it on this one. Although I suspect it was put in because some Congressman/woman has tried it and got caught, and now they're mad becuase they were caught being dishonest. Congress can't go telling the airlines to "be more honest", then also tell them you can't penalize a customer for being less-than-honest when buying his/her ticket. I don't want to get into hidden-city or back-to-back here, but this is the government directing the airlines to allow people to be dishonest. It can't be a one-way street.

---------------------------------------

"Requires airlines to reveal, upon request, the number or percentage of seats that are available for use by those redeeming frequent flyer awards.

Directs DOT to study and report to Congress on whether airlines are providing adequate supervision of unaccompanied minors on their flights. "

Lumped these two together because I'm tired of typing and the laundry is crying out to me now!  Smile I agree wtih both of those.

In all, some of the minor provisions are ok, but some of the "biggies" are a load of crap, which, if implimented, will cause that vocal minority of idiots who fly more ammunition in which to browbeat, intimidate and threaten agents if they aren't given what they want. In the short run, it will be something McCain and Co. can take home and win votes with in the election. In the long run, such idiocy will increase ticket prices, will cause airlines to cut back on services, and increase ground-rage and air-rage.

 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:46 pm

Goingboeing,

Good job. And just to beat the dead horse some more, the key elements of the bill (compensation for delay, "misleading" explainations, what cancelations are "economic", etc) are all things that will DEFINATELY result in a lot of court cases - more work for the trial lawyers.

I can just imagine the kind of awards. A guy is delayed 3 hours. He gets $10,000 in compensation, plus $50 million in punitive damages.

Actually, the $50 million is rather low. It will probably be more.

Guess who pays for these fines? The travelling public through increased ticket prices!!! The winner becomes the lawyers and the guy who found a good reason to sue.

One scary thought is the possibility of sabotage. Everybody will be thinking of finding a way to make sure that their flight is delayed a few hours, in order to pick up a check. Ideally, he has a friend who works for the airline, who will pull some pin that holds the nose wheel or something, and "discovers" the problem just at pushback, after the doors are closed. After the money is recieved, they'd split it.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
LON-CHI
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 5:31 pm

RE: What Do You Think Of The New

Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:51 pm

Here is another bill, also introduced in Feb 1999.


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John McCain (R-AZ) announced the bipartisan "Airline Passenger Fairness Act" (S.383) that would establish a national policy to provide consumers with a basic expectation of fair treatment by airlines and would also seek to encourage airlines to provide better customer service by outlining minimum standards.

Under the "Airline Passenger Fairness Act," air travelers would be able to:

Obtain a full refund of the purchase price of a ticket if the passenger requests it within 48 hours of purchase;

Find out whether the flight on which that passenger is booked has been oversold;

Receive accurate information about an airline's frequent flyer program, including the number of seats that can be redeemed on each flight, and the percentage of successful and failed frequent flyer redemptions on each flight;

Use whatever portions of a ticket he or she chooses to use to get to his or her destination;

Receive his or her checked baggage within 24 hours of a flight's arrival, unless additional delays are reasonable;

Find out from an airline all of the fares that the airline offers, regardless of the method used to access fares;

Receive prior notice when a scheduled flight will be delayed, if reasonable; and,

Receive accurate information about the reasons why a passenger's flight has been delayed, canceled, or diverted to another airport.

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