Airlines Point the Finger on Others to Cover Up for their Own Mistakes While Lobbying Congress for a One Billion Dollar Tax Break – – Enough is Enough ! It’s Time for Congress to Step in and Safeguard the Flying Public by Passing an ‘Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights – Kate Hanni, PBOR Spokesperson

Napa Valley, CA. (March 19, 2007) – The Coalition for “Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights” (PBOR) issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on reports that thousands of passengers were stranded aboard airplanes at several airports this weekend. Passengers reported being trapped in airplanes against their will for more than 10 hours, some exceeding 14 to 15 hours in certain airports. Reports also point to inadequate staffing by the airlines for some of the problems that contributed to the massive delays.

“We are outraged by weekend reports that the lives of hundreds of thousands of passengers were turned upside down because of the airlines’ outright failure to provide a very basic level of customer service to the flying public.

Meanwhile, the airlines continue to point fingers — airports blame the airlines for the failure to have enough deicing fluid — the airlines blame the airports for no gates available. The finger keeps getting passed around, while passengers out on the tarmac remain in the freezing conditions for 14 hours. The question is: Who’s looking out for the flying public ?

We have had enough excuses; no more ‘mea-culpas’ by airline CEOs on national television. Airlines point the finger at others to cover up their own mistakes, while lobbying Congress for a huge tax break. Legislation is the only way to solve these strandings and the time to do so is now.”

Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445.1570

3 comments on “Coalition Outraged by Weekend Reports of Thousands of Passengers Stranded in Airplanes, – Some for More than Ten Hours at Several Airports

  • I have recently been a victim of humiliation, degration and theft by airport security in Oakland, CA. I fully agree that we as passangers need protection. I filled a claim with the proper authorities. To my astonishment in LESS than 30 days my claim was approved, however never posted and the abuse never acknowledged or addressed. I have been asked to sign a form releasing them and ending my claim, however I hesitate to do this so quickly. Please comment.

  • In regards to my previous posting this is the statement I made to the airline authorities about my experience: I was at the Oakland International Airport going through the passenger security checkpoint in a wheelchair with an attendant to assist me. A man of an older age, late 40’s to mid 50’s, tall and thin with wire rimmed glasses and partially bald in the front, approached me and said he needed to search my purse. Taking my purse beyond some chairs and an aisle to a table some distance away from where I sat in my wheelechair he proceeded to remove the items from my purse one at a time. As he took out each item he held it aloft, as he did so making issue and derogatory comments regarding such items as my cigarettes, an ashtray I carried, Poise pads, hand lotion, Listerine, lipsticks, wallet and so on placing the items into the bin on the table. He then continued his abuse in a grand show of examining my purse with a pocket flashlight. Upon completing that investigation he insisted I remove my light jacket and informed me that ALL the items needed to be re-scanned and he disappeared from sight for a period of 10 to 15 minutes. When he returned he notified me he was keeping several items, as I questioned him as to which items he became increasingly rude and nasty. Further humiliating me by raising his voice and causing people to notice. Even the sweet young girl attendant wheeling my chair was embarrassed for me and kept asking if I was okay. Finally, needing to escape the harassament and keep some form of dignity I retrieved my possessions and asked the young attendant to proceed and hid my face as people stared. Once I was safely aboard my flight I began to re-organize my purse and as I went through my walled I was distressed to find that 3-$20 dollar bills ($60.00) was missing. This being the SHORT versing and the distinct impression that I have not been the only victim of such an abuse of power, I do not feel the authorities have or will properly follow through nor investigate such criminal activity. I would appreciate any advise you might give. deborahbx10@yahoo.com

  • My mother-in-law went through a similar experience last year at Chicago Midway Airport. She was in a wheelchair trying to pass through security when she was belittled and humiliated by a TSA screener. She wrote a complaint letter immediately afterwards at the counter, but I’m sure they tossed it out as soon as she was out of sight. I made a complaint on her behalf through the TSA Office of Civil Rights. I don’t think it went anywhere.

    My husband found the name of the TSA Federal Security Director for Screening Operations in Chicago. I sent him an e-mail detailing what happened, and he actually opened up an investigation. Due to privacy laws, they were not able to tell me what actions they took against the offending employee, but they definitely addressed the situation. They sent my mother-in-law and me letters of apology.

    My suggestion to you is to find the right person to send your complaint to. If TSA in Oakland has a Federal Security Director for Screening Operations, you can start with him. Other helpful personnel titles would be Customer Support Manager and Assistant Federal Security Director. If what happened to you is fairly recent, they might still have the incident captured on video surveillance. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me at lucycfitzpatrick@hotmail.com. Good luck!

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