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.
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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