So what exactly is the point of Flyers Rights these days? Every week is the same with the “newsletter” — more mindless bitching, seeming to imply that planes should fly only 50% full (as this was apparently the historical average, never mind that it drove the airlines to bankruptcy), and the airlines should basically not care about their shareholders.
Hate to tell you, but they are public companies, and they have an obligation to their shareholders. And no, I do not own any airline stocks. But I do recognize that they are a business, and as such, they are going to maximize their profits — that is how capitalism works. Back to my original point — what is the point of this organization?
Our objective is to pass the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights 2.0. We think government can do better. We think airlines can do better.
Call it criticism or call it FlyersRights embracing our duty to the flying public. Yes, we rail on about corporate responsibility. But don’t air passengers deserve consumer protection and fair treatment in the marketplace?
No other Passenger group publishes a weekly newsletter, provides a free hotline and has a staffed office in DC.
Airlines spend millions to influence government the way founder Kate Hanni did at great personal sacrifice with other volunteers for Flyersrights.org.
We were able to accomplish much through massive public pressure on government due to the airlines’ outrageous abuses holding passengers up to 10 hours in tarmac confinements.
airlines have every opportunity to be profitable -and clearly are today- but when they use government to gain monopoly like power, intimidate regulators, get the courts to exempt them from all state and most federal consumer protection laws, deceive consumers, and buy off Congress with political contributions that come from airfares, something is rotten and has to change.
Just look at the steady unbundling of basic services in favor of a pay-as-you-go model that has exploited consumers. People are paying more for less, and getting poorer service as well.
Also, factor in that most fees are hidden until customers begin the booking process, and purchasing airfare ends up like the world’s biggest bait-and-switch scheme. Through it all, the airlines’ stance on has been: Too bad.
Fee hikes are not well-publicized, and are often unceremoniously buried in benign press releases. When people complain, the response is unsympathetic. And the merged airline industry has been in lockstep agreement on this: Virtually all airlines now charge for checked bags, and fee hikes happen in unison. Aside from Southwest consumers have no alternative.
Are you satisfied with sardined seat space? Happy with the gutting of frequent flyer programs? Pleased with the dishonest use of force majeure (“act of God”) alibi for cancelled flights – so it frees the airlines as contracting parties who’ve taken your money, from fulfilling their contractual obligation to deliver you to your stated destination, date and time?
If you were trying to escape in an emergency, do you think you could get out in economy-class in 90 seconds? The FAA requires that any plane be capable of evacuation in 90 seconds or less, yet has zero statutory language that mandates minimum pitch for legroom for egress. What about DVT or blood clots, aka ‘economy-class syndrome’ due to lack of legroom?
Are you content with the airlines’ lack of backup emergency operations plans? Wouldn’t you rather them account for delays, using reserve crews, positioning crews in anticipation of expected weather, having a backup aircraft that would speed up maintenance delays?
Are you fine with no DOT complaint hotline, even though FlyersRights got it passed years ago, but was never funded by DOT?
Call us complainers, but we’re proud to be the watchdog for you – the Ralph Nader of the skies.