FlyersRights.org

No Snow Job 

Many Flights Canceled, But  Zero Stranded On Tarmac 
Thanks To FlyersRights

The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the most flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

 

It’s hard to remember now, but being trapped on an icy tarmac used to happen many times a year before passengers united to form FlyersRights.
  
The Valentine’s Day fiasco of February 14, 2007 was the breaking point.  An ice storm in New York trapped thousands of passengers for up to 11 hours on grounded jets at JFK. Most were operated by JetBlue Airways.
  
People were outraged and fed up. A revolution had begun, fueled by weeks of television coverage, newspaper headlines and congressional hearings. The passenger Bill of Rights spearheaded by FlyersRights caught on fire.
That infamous incident along with several similar ones involving passengers trapped onboard aircraft forced DOT to act. 
 
In December 2009, DOT instituted the landmark rule, setting a three-hour limit on such tarmac delays. Violators would be faced with fines of up to $27,500 per passenger.
So, in one of the greatest victories for the consumer against an industry, this winter has seen no incidents of passengers stranded. 
See Me After Class 🙁
New “Detention” Pods at Airport Exits
TSA’s all about slowing you down, whether you’re coming or going. 
AP
 
TSA and airports want to save money by not staffing airport exits. 
Apparently, there is no such thing as an easy way out.
 
These unmanned portals have replaced officers at the security exits of two small Northeast airports, adding several seconds incased in a bulletproof glass pod to the end of every passenger trip.
New Exit Portals at the Syracuse Airport
A “security” culture getting out of control?
New Exit Portals at the Syracuse Airport
 
Travelers step into the elevator-sized cylinders and wait as a door slides closed behind them. After a couple seconds, another door opens in front with a robotic voice stating, ”Please exit.” 
 
These machines could become the wave of the future as TSA prepares to shift exit-monitoring duties to local airports next year as a way to save $88.1 million. The manufacturer, New York City-based Eagle Security Group, Inc., says it is in talks with other airports. 
 
Claustrophobic passengers obviously won’t be impressed by this system. Why do you need to be locked up in there? Those pressed for time won’t be either. The pods are simply too slow. 
 
This technology creates the possibility of a bottleneck at the point of exit in case of an emergency. We would hope that both doors would open in the event the fire alarm goes off. Just look at the Rhode Island nightclub fire to see what happens when there is any kind of problem at an exit. 
  
These ‘exit pods’ are like another Chertoff costly boondoggle that will require ‘upgrading’ at taxpayer expense within a few years.
  

Bait And Switch
First Class Benefits, Free lunch, no travel

A man in China purchased one first-class ticket on China Eastern Airlines and used it to scam a year’s worth of free meals at the VIP lounge in Xi’an airport, according to a report from Malaysian Chinese newspaper.
The would-be traveler tricked China Eastern into buying him food for a year. The man never actually took a flight; he used his first class ticket to gain access to an airport’s premium lounge, feasted on free food, and then re-booked his flexible ticket to another day. Queue the next flight time, and the process was repeated over and over again. The Chinese-language Kwong Wah Yit Poh newspaper, the source of the report, claims he did this 300 times before airline staff got wind of the ruse.
A brilliant way to recoup some of those “fees” the airlines keep piling on us! 
China Eastern called the customer’s actions a “rare act”.
However, the majority of passenger victories involve mileage programs. As we know, frequent-flyer miles are not solely earned by travelling. According to The Economist, a correspondent for the American magazine Pacific Standard says he accrued more than 64,000 frequent-flyer points-enough for a First Class transatlantic flight with Virgin Atlantic by repeatedly buying $3,000 in dollar coins from the US Mint. He promptly deposited the coins at his local bank, replenishing his funds for the next mileage-eligible purchase. 
The Age newspaper says a Melbourne man earned 380,000 Qantas frequent-flyer points when his bank ran a promotion offering 100 extra points for every credit card purchase, but failed to specify a minimum amount to spend. There followed 3,800 one-cent transactions, mainly with a toll-road operator, over a three-day period. 
The paper also cites the case of David Phillips, an American civil engineer who accrued 1.25 million miles by buying 12,150 servings of packaged chocolate pudding for $3,000. 
Alternatively, you can try to outsmart the airline industry’s antiquated IT infrastructure with a complex ruse called “fuel dumping”. This process, whereby you dupe online booking systems into removing the fuel surcharge from your airfare (which, confusingly, has no relation to actual fuel costs), is explained by The Economist here. Once you get your head around the concept, this website outlines some specific strategies.
If all else fails, your only hope may be to pray for a website glitch. In September, United Airlines inadvertently sold some tickets for between $5 and $10 due to an input error. Such mistakes are surprisingly common. Delta Air Lines made a similar blunder just three months later. 
Lady Luck doesn’t always smile on you, in the case of Southwest in 2012, customers who thought they were buying half-price tickets ended up being charged up to 20 times each for their bookings.  
You’ll Think You’ve Flown On This Airline! 
No Frills Airline - The Carol Burnett Show
No Frills Airline – The Carol Burnett Show
Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights
Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights

 
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