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!
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.