FlyersRights.org
     No Kidding
Tuesday, August, 27, 2013
The airlines may be running out of things to charge and make extra revenue.    
Last week a budget Asian carrier revealed kid-free cabins.
Singapore’s Scoot Airlines banned children under the age of 12 from sitting in its “quiet zone”.
Passengers flying Scoot Airlines can be upgraded to the 41-seat “Scoot in Silence” cabin for $14, where children under 12 are banned.
The kid-free cabin has more legroom than the rear section of the aircraft, with a 35-inch seat pitch, four inches more than in economy class.
The budget fleet of Singapore Airlines is the latest carrier to introduce a child-free zone on planes. Back in February, Air Asia X started ‘Quiet Zones’ banning children.
Last year, Malaysian Airlines banned infants from first-class on its Airbus A380 superjumbo aircrafts and Boeing 747s, explaining that passengers complained of crying babies.
Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, recently prompted a strong reaction from Twitter users after he said children should be stashed in the luggage hold during flights.
A survey by the Telegraph newspaper last month reported that unruly children remain the biggest in-flight annoyance for the majority of travelers – ahead of drunken passengers, surly cabin crew and over-talkative neighbors.  Nearly 70% would support the introduction of kid-free flights.
A third of respondents said they would pay more to sit in a kid-free zone, a quarter said they would pay up to $75 for the opportunity and 7% said they’d pay even more.
When considering opportunity costs, how much money would you be willing to spend to have a slightly more comforable plane ride?
Would you pay extra to be on a row with all thin people?  Or how about not sitting by someone reeking of cheap perfume, cigarette smoke, or alcohol?  Maybe you’d pay extra to fly on a TSA-free airline?
Amtrak now has quiet cars, so look for this trend hitting US airlines.
Delta Ranks Lowest on Brand Respect 
Guess which airline “fares” the worst when it comes to the best-known brands in the business world?

Delta Air Lines managed to beat out Philip Morris, the cigarette maker, to take the trophy for Least Respected Brand, according to a new survey from CoreBrand.

Its findings looked at 100 brands that had the highest familiarity and then measured them for their favorability to gauge perceptions about the brand.

Thank you to FlyersRights member Margalo for this news tip, who wrote, “No doubt you were happy to hear on a survey released (Aug. 20, announced on CBS) on most liked/disliked corps, that Delta was the most disliked corp of all major corps!  I have refused to fly Delta since 2009, when they cheated us of a refund.”

Whad’Ya Know! 
Bankrupt AA Posts Record Profit in July
  
The Justice Department and FlyersRights have said American Airways and US Airways don’t need to merge to be successful.  
Then yesterday AA posted a record monthly profit in July – not bad for a company that’s still in bankruptcy!
This news comes after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit attempting to block the proposed merger between AA and US Airways, saying it would “substantially lessen competition” for commercial air travel.
The DOJ argued that the companies would remain viable without merging, saying AA had manipulated the bankruptcy process “to lower its costs and revitalize its fleet.”
Letters from the E-Mailbox
I cannot believe that FlyersRights is taking the government’s side to stopping this (AA-USAirways) merger.  Does not anyone realize that if the merger is stopped.  American will have to start from square 1 in bankruptcy court!!!!  The unions, employees and creditors will have to go through this procedure again.  It will cost the company millions of dollars.  Also this whole thing could end up with American filing chapter 7 liquidation and then thousands of people out of work, one less carrier and fares will skyrocket and United and Delta will control the American flying public.  Is this what you want?????  The creditors and shareholders will lose too along with the frequent flyers of American.  American had told their employees if they do not merge many more people will be let go and the airline will shrink including its hub in Chicago.  
I cannot believe flyers rights supports the loss of jobs.  The government does not care, because in their mind they would like to nationalize the airlines like they did with Amtrak.  What a mistake that is.  Forty Two years and still the service cannot support itself without heavy government subsidies. Also talk about nasty workers, try riding some of the trains and see how passengers are treated. They are a monopoly and the workers know it.  The more government gets involved in private companies and Americans lives, the worse things get!!!!!!!!  -xman
All mergers and
bankruptcies are uncertain as to their outcomes.  And all bankruptcies result in at least some job losses. There will likely be job losses no matter what happens, especially at some hubs (nearly all airlines agree there are too many of them and prior mergers have always involved loss of hubs).
The is fact that pro-business, Republican state governments who are rarely pro-consumer in Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida are all suing to stop the merger, not just the Federal Government.  New York, Illinois, California did not join the suit.  Why?  Perhaps they felt that having fewer airlines would help enhance their airport hubs and the states joining the suit felt it would hurt or eliminate theirs.
Why has the Business Travel Coalition led the opposition against this merger?  Because its members, who are large corporations with millions of business employee travelers, see higher air fares and worse service if it goes through.
American is not going to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  It is now profitable and has a big cash reserve.  All legacy carriers except American have gone through Ch. 11 bankruptcy without liquidation (including USAirways, United, Continental, Northwest, and Delta).  Typically, creditors become the stockholders and can then sell their stock or control the airline, and unions also get on the board and hold stock.
The big losers are stockholders who get wiped out, senior employees and retirees with lots of benefits, some management employees, and the lessors of unneeded or unwanted aircraft and airport gates.
I have been riding AMTRAK as well as flying for many years.  If airlines continue to merge the future of air travel will look either like AMTRAK or like the cable TV industry where a few providers charge high rates and the public has less and less choice.
The airline industry sees concentration with less competition as their savior.  Mergers also allow airlines to reduce frequent flyer benefits, and this has already happened with other mergers.

This merger will likely lead to high consumer costs and poorer service and choice.  Even a liquidation of American, while very unlikely, is not all bad.  It could provide new entrants into the marketplace or provide cheap airplanes and better access to major hubs for other airlines.

FlyersRights.org did not oppose the merger outright, and were it restructured with consumer protections we would not have opposed it.
USAirways, which is really America West management who bought USAir out of bankruptcy, became a much better and lower cost airline after that acquisition.
Paul Hudson  
FlyersRights president
The US Embassy in Jamaica refuses to give me a visa and I am not a
terrorist, what should I do?  -k.s.
FlyersRights has not been involved in visa issues, but this has become a big air travel issue since 9/11.  There is also heightened concern about illegal immigration, as 40% of illegal immigration is now the result of overstaying tourist and student visas.  
The State Department can also deny visas to some foreign nationals based on their political views. The Department of State also denies visas to some foreign nationals based on their political views.
My understanding is that the US DOS now wants to know things that would indicate whether you are likely to become an illegal immigrant, not just about terrorism.
Americans are now required to get visas to many Latin American and other countries and pay hefty fees which are largely in retaliation for post 9/11 US visa restrictions.  This has led to fewer foreign tourists in the US and fewer Americans traveling abroad.  Ironically, the Saudis have now negotiated quick US entry for its citizens.
A streamlining and reduction of visa costs and obstacles should occur, consistent with national security and illegal immigration considerations.
Paul Hudson
FlyersRights president
  
Regarding the claim:
 You won’t find any limitations for how close airlines can squeeze in seats.
ef=”http://strandedpassengers.blogspot.com/2013/08/just-plane-packed-jetblue-herds-more.html” shape=”rect” style=”color: black;” target=”_blank”>(from FlyerRights newsletter 8/13/2013).

 

Since requiring more legroom would necessarily reduce the number
of seats on the aircraft, such a requirement would impose a
standard “relating to a price” under § 41713(b)(1), and is
accordingly preempted by the ADA. Section 41713(b)(1) not only
preempts the direct regulation of prices by states, but also
preempts indirect regulation “relating to” prices that have “the
forbidden significant effect” on such prices.
I think it’s clear that it can be disregarded and seat pitch regulated or mandated by the DOT and/or the FAA.
 
My reasoning is that current DOT and/or FAA safety standards indirectly influence prices, for example the downtime caused by mandatory inspections and maintenance, the affect on throughput (the number of planes in the air) caused by the mandatory spacing between aircraft, the mandatory evacuation slides, that  add cost and weight to an aircraft and with that weight consuming fuel and adding to operation cost and thus influencing price.
 
In other words, the ‘influence on price’ argument against regulating seat  pitch is shown to be a specious argument used by airlines to increase revenue at the expense of comfort, dignity and safety. 
Please get seat pitch back to what it was in 1985, I had no difficulty with it then, even though my size was the same then. I could also fit my carry-on under the seat in front of me, which I can’t now, the space is too small, too short, too narrow, also sometimes there appear to be air vents or heater vents under seats. I think I saw someplace that seats have not changed, only the spacing. I’d say that’s untrue, my experience with my carry-on says otherwise, seats appear to have shrunk in all dimensions except height of the seatback. Depth and width are noticeably smaller and height above the floor is slightly less, and as we know ‘pitch’ is becoming extinct.  -P.S.

 


Kate Hanni, founder FlyersRights

Founded by Kate Hanni in 2007,

 

Paul Hudson, president FlyersRights

 


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