Airline ‘passenger rights’ still in a holding pattern

1682108_e4e431bebf.jpgLast year when airline delays were really bad (what a moment… when were they not bad?), the White House came out with a number of steps to address the issue; some of them were proposed regs, and one of the regs took effect on the First. It requires airlines to report more details on flights after they have been cancelled or diverted from other airports. Under the old Bureau of Transportation Statistics rules, airlines didn’t have to report any information once a flight was cancelled or diverted, and didn’t have to report how long airliners sat for hours on the ground before passengers could leave.

Behind the push for new rules were folks like Kate Hanni, the passenger activist whose lengthy stay on a jet stranded in Austin, Texas, launched the latest passenger rights lobbying push. But her very aggressive efforts haven’t quite carried the day: the House Aviation Subcommittee decide to leave any passenger rights legislation off of the extension they wrote for the FAA, a six-month extension that President Bush signed.

flight-times-530.jpg The bill means that no long-term FAA reauthorisation will be done until sometime around March – if then. By next March, the new cabinet, which will probably include a new FAA administrator, will barely be settled. The extension is a barebones item, and does not have any language that would bar the FAA from auctioning off landing slots.

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2 Responses to Airline ‘passenger rights’ still in a holding pattern

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