2067 SIGNATURES!!!!!!

We really are doing GREAT! We still need more so keep this going, if we all use our contacts and family members wisely if we all pool together and get everyone we know to sign this, we will reach our goal. Pass it on again, ask your friends and family as so many of you have to support this effort we are working so hard for.

http://www.petitiononline.com/airline/petition.html

Sign it for Airline Passenger Rights

Tell everyone you know.

78 comments on “WE HAVE A PETITION – 2067 SIGNATURES AND GROWING!

  • Not to minimize your experiences, I found myself in such a spot, complete with August heat, anxiety, poor info from crew, cigarette cravings, and screaming children but only for about 3 to 4 hours.

    But, (and God help me I’m a lifelong Democrat) why does this country have to legislate everytime someone is inconvenienced? Were your rights seriously “violated”? Were you subjected to illegal search and seizure, or racial profiling? Were you molested? These are serious issues.

    Our aviation system needs some serious help, but passing laws (in many situations) does nothing but put a band-aid on bleeding artery. No one ever wants to get to the root of the problem.

  • What a good idea! I wish you all the luck in the world with this…

    And if you can succeed — or at least get the attention of the airlines and have them actually impliment some positive changes even on a voluntary basis — maybe all air passengers around the world will benefit.

  • I have to fly a great deal as many people do. It has become one of the most frustrating experiences you can imagine. No food, no pillows, no respect. Granted the Bill of rights may not change this trend overnight, but passengers must feel that they have a voice. The air rage with passengers is becoming very unsettling. Anytime I fly I never know what to expect. To actually arrive at my destination on time with my luggage in one piece feels like a blessing. I support this bill of rights, if for no other reason than it gives me hope that the Airlines will began to re examine their customer service.

  • First, anything that uses “bill of rights” diminishes the real Bill of Rights, you know, the one this country is founded on.

    Second, anyone who supports this has NO CLUE how the airline industry works. I find it laughable at best, scary at worst that anyone would think there are reasonable solutions, and wouldn’t affect ticket prices, and further damage the aviation industry.

    “Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.”

    The sheer volume of complaints makes this impossible without hiring thousands more employees. Where’s that money going to come from? From my time working in customer service, doing what you just recommended, we found that about 3 in 10 complaints were actually legitimate. People want compensation because THEY were late, or because THEY didn’t like the in-flight movie. This is one “right” that is not practical.

    Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.

    This, for the most part, is already being done, and you have no way of enforcing the 10 minute rule. “Airport television monitors” are controlled by the airports, not the airlines. The airlines can tell the airport to change them, but they can’t MAKE them. Again, you have no clue.

    Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.

    Ok, fair enough. You were stuck on a plane for 9 hours. That sucks, but you do understand that those situations are extremely rare right? I’m a medallion frequent flyer and I’ve never experienced this.

    This is the only point I would give some credibility to. However, what if there aren’t any gates? Move a plane? You can’t do that in a snow storm. Keep a gate empty? Loss of money for the airlines. Bring a bus up to the plane? Can’t do that on an active taxiway. What if the conditions prevent the bus from making it? Again, you don’t understand how things work.

    Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.

    Those types of delays are rarely foreseen, and you’re not excepting weather, which the airlines have no control over. Your compensation for weather delays is not dying in a crash.

    Where do suppose they put all the food and water they’d need for a 3 hour delay on the aircraft? There’s no room. Airports have medical staff, airlines don’t provide that.

    Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.

    This is done already. The airlines get hefty fines if they don’t. This is a non issue.

    Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.

    A lot of airlines already do this. They are required to at least have delay information available over the phone. This is another non issue.

    Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.

    Again, no exception is made for weather and other things outside of the airlines control. Your compensation for a weather cancel is not dying.

    Invol denied passengers are already compensated according to DOT requirements. This is a non issue.

    150% huh? This will makes fare go up.

    The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.

    Not practical. Who decides who is on this committee? What are the qualifications? What would they enforce?

    Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.

    They are. It’s called a website. This is a non issue.

    Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.

    Impossible to ensure this. Airlines already notify about lost bags w/in 12 hours. Most airlines let you track the status on their website.

    And I suggest the airlines are just supposed to trust the passengers when they say the value of the contents, and assume it’s all brand new?

    Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.

    Irrelevant. The same rules apply to all domestic airlines already. It’s impossible to force international carriers to comply. Unless of course you want the domestic carriers to pay for the intl carriers mistakes too, just because the codeshare on them?

    Again, these are not “rights”. This is a ridiculous wish list from people who think the airlines are just a big ATM. There are no solutions, just complaints from the clueless.

    The best part is knowing Mrs. Hanni is going to waste a lot of time and money before she find out that this will get no where.

    I have some suggestions for the real estate industry Mrs Hanni, wanna hear them?

  • I got a kick out of the harsh review of the Passenger Bill of rights from the last poster. He/she appeared to be a plant from the Airline Industry.

    The points he made tried to make complex issues seem so easy to dismiss.

    I maintain that the Passenger Bill of Rights being discussed are a starting point and experts in the Aviation Industry would go through each of them and make sure which ones are practical. The experts would be consumer advocates, aviation experts and Airline representatives. All would work together and iron out the details.

    The list is a good start of a long process. The Airlines are not doing the job without being pushed, so government and public pressure is necessary.

  • I just wonder how many people who are on this bandwagon think that gov’t legislation similar to that which has been proposed should also be proposed in their respective industries? Do Doctors offices and Hospitals have the legal repsonsiblity to notify you of delays of more than 10 minutes? Should the mall contact all of it’s potential shoppers at Christmas to advise of poor parking conditions and check out lines which stretch beyond 10 minutes?

    Did you also know that the Americans with Disabilites Act covers the Wheelchair and Special needs passenger’s rights that you have proposed? Did you also know that many airline websites already let you know when booking, how late flights generally run?

    I agree with you, American Airlines completely dropped the ball. But if your company dropped a ball on a customer, how far do you think the Federal Government should force you to go?

    CBS and the national press love airline stories. Airlines are big with big planes and high visibility. Who is suprised about this coverage?

    As mad as you might be about American’s treatment….ask yourself….Do I want my job to be Federally Regulated should I upset a customer?

  • Bruce,

    Get a grip…the anti legislation post you disagree with was posted by an Airline Plant? Right, Airlines are so worried about Mrs. Hanni that they assigned employees to post blogs on her website.

    How about this instead…what the anti legislator said…Makes Sense and was very well thought out. He is right you know. There are already laws that cover much of what this “Bill of Right’s” covers. Mrs. Hanni should have done her homework before drafting this thing.

    I guess I should also mention that I’m not an airline employee and I do fly alot. I wouldn’t want to be accused of being a “Plant.”

    Common sense and do your homework on an issue before you run to Congress.

  • DOES ANYONE have the phone number for the operations center at AMR headquarters?

    This way, you can ring RIGHT into the operations center and DEMAND that they move the plane to a gate. Sometimes they are just so slammed, they forget where all the planes are, as evidenced by Austin. Had a passenger been able to call into ops, perhaps they wouldn’t have been left to die out there for 9 straight hours.

    DOES ANYONE HAVE THE PHONE #?

  • In 2000 I was on Southwest from Dallas to San Antonio. We boarded plane and were told delay because no pilots available. Pilots were delayed because of bad weather from another flight. We waited for over an hour. I tried to get off and board another airline and was told we could not exit the plane. We were given free drinks and peanuts. Passengers started to get hostile. I wanted to get off ,being a Vietnam Vet I felt clastrophobic. I asked to get off,,the attendants went from friendly to terroristic. Scary.
    Now after 911 I feel the airline industry has too much power and no checks/balances to appeal to these people. They need more regulation.

  • Being a “road warrior” for IBM, who travels every week, I find the current state of “scheduled” airline service UNACCEPTABLE. But what is my alternative? I signed this petition with the following comments:
    I also advocate federal funding of high-speed rail passenger service, like the TGV “Bullet Trains” of Europe and Japan, to provide a viable alternative to airline/ interstate highway travel and “level the playing field” of our transportation infrastructure. Airlines, airports, and interstate highways have been heavily subsidized by federal spending, to the tune of $10’s of billions of dollars, to the detriment of the rail industry — which once had far more timely, comfortable, and RELIABLE passenger service than the airlines have now. Amtrak is WAY underfunded to compete effectively with the airline industry. France and Japan have had 180+ MPH bullet trains for over 40 years. China has recently developed a 266+ MPH “mag-lev” train. If we are the technology leaders of the world, why can’t we have similar, competitive rail technology?

  • People keep using the excuse that economics make it impossible for airlines to comply with the proposed solutions.

    Yes.. they are a business and need to make a profit. Well… then raise ticket prices across the board! I don’t expect airlines to add more attendants, and add services to prevent/address these issues without raising prices. I for one, am more than willing to pay for more dependable services – and to not be treated like a two-year old when I fly. I’m tired of airlines trying to operate like Wal-Mart.

    These days, it seems that nothing is more dehumanizing than getting on a plane.

  • I’ve just recently flown
    since 9/11.

    I refuse to fly ever again
    as long as conscious economic
    decisions are made by airlines
    to provide the bare minimum
    for passengers not flying
    first class.

    It’s never been ideal, but
    lately it’s more like a
    competition in which passengers
    jockey for position, baggage
    space, arm and leg room.

    That’s more like “cattle car”
    than comfort – a word which
    I notice is often absent from
    airline advertising these
    days.

  • Re: “weather” cancelled or delayed flights. The airlines will use “weather” as the excuse if there is only a mist in the air, to keep from having to pay for hotel overnights. I contend that (1) bus drivers can drive in the rain, (2) train engineers can drive in the rain, (3) if, with all of their IFR technology, airline pilots cannot “fly in the rain”, the airlines should have MUCH better procedures for handling the travel disruptions of affected passengers. Such as arranging alternate transportation on Amtrak or interstate buses where available. In the 30’s and 40’s, flight attendants carried railroad passenger train timetables as an emergency backup, in case their flight was “grounded” short of its planned destination. Before Amtrack, in the 50’s and 60’s, rail passenger service was mostly “on-time”, reliable, and unaffected by rain or snow. They also didn’t stop at midnight and put everyone off, to return in the morning and stand in line continue their journey. The airlines simply are not prepared to handle the volume of travel disruptions from a single cancelled flight.

  • American Airlines is an airlines who has had these delays in good weather. I find it important to always treat everyone with respect and use common sense judgment.

    Airliners make very little profit per seat or per takeoff. Given that, I can see that they have difficulty. On the other hand, within .5 hour to 2 hours, you know if the flight will or will not take off. I think that after 1.5-2 hours that anyone who wishes to get off can and after 3 hours, everyone should have to get off the plane. At least in the airport, you can meet some of your needs. I also think that airliners should operate on a 24-hour basis (as long as the pilots get adequate sleep) or that at least one grocer should have to stay open so that a parent can take care of their child’s needs if any. I think that it would have been faster to have gotten a rental car than to have waited those 10 hours so that is just bad judgment.

    I have a minor asthma condition but I can get extremely thirsty. I probably would have been arrested had I been on that flight because I would try not to follow the rules. I wouldn’t be that disorderly but I would try to make any excuse to get off the flight: I’m afraid to fly, I forgot my inhaler so I need to get off. I work as a financial advisor and any hour that I’m not working (or am out sick) is very costly. People are coughing on each other and as a narotic person I would also want to get off. I have a difficult time waiting 15 minutes for a haircut, nevermind 10 hours on an aircraft. The average 45 minutes for takeoff I could do. But anything over 2 hours would drive me bonkers. I would rather be driving for 14 hours than wait on a plane for 10 hours and then travel for 2 hours. I’m like that as a driver, I would rather travel 15 minutes to reach the destination than sit 10 minutes through traffic and take 3 minutes to get there. That’s just how I am.

    Take care. Hopefully, you can all contact Congressman Sarbanes from Maryland (MD).

  • I find that it is commonsense to have fluids on an airplane. I realize there is a threat, but after 10 hours, there is bound to be someone who is a diabetic on the plane. It’s definately foreseeable and the airlines should have to pay up big. I think anyone, after two hours, shall have the option to get off the plane whether it is through a gate, down the steps, or down the slide. Just my two cents.

  • After having read other posts, it
    seems too often we buy into the
    notion that “it would be too
    expensive” or “there are better
    things to be done with time, effort
    and resources” or “personal responsibility” or “no governmental
    role in this”.

    There’s merit to all those counter
    arguments. What I’m asking for are
    reasonable efforts. “Personal
    responsibility” doesn’t solve all
    problems and deflects blame and
    responsibility. Government does
    have a role in this as it is an
    industry regulated by government –
    especially since 9/11. It can be
    expensive to make changes that doesn’t mean you forego it altogether or sacrifice passenger accomodation for the sake of profit
    that’s not a fair compromise.

    There may be better things to do
    with time, money, and effort, but,
    that’s a copout too and an excuse
    for leaving things the way they are
    or allowing them to worsen.

    There are probably quite a few
    more reasons NOT to.

    I, for one, am not asking for
    extraordinary measures, just reasonable measures. Much can be
    done, if there is the will to do it.

    If what is currently being done is
    considered the “best that can be
    expected” under whatsoever circumstances or justifications you
    care to claim, then, I would submit there are many of us who claim that
    that is insufficient and unreasonable.

    Now there may be those in positions of power who believe our request is
    unreasonable and insignificant, but
    somehow that argument is never made
    when making a case a pitch for customers.

    As far as should this apply to mail delivery, doctor, lawyer, hospital care, as a matter of basic human
    dignity and common sense – yes.

    It should not be take it or leave it.

    As our population continues to grow and as more people live longer lives, our impact and imprint on
    quality of life here at home and around the world will continue to
    grow with it.

    These are not problems which ignored will get better or go away.

    So what can / do we have a reasonable expectation of?

    Collaboratively rather than as adversaries what CAN REASONABLY be done to address these issues?

    And if those in power think they don’t have to listen to the people at large, then maybe this can be a way to let them know that we are more than just profit / loss margins, bottom lines or constituencies to be fooled or bamboozled come election time and
    that these conditions affect ALL of
    us not just those at or near the bottom of the economic class lines.
    economic

  • Airlines must publish departures *on time* or delayed because of some other law that was passed. For this reason, if an aircraft is pushed away from the gate, it is *on-time*. Ergo, even when I flew into O’Hare for a connecting flight that had not left yet (my flight into O’Hare was delayed), they had closed the door *on-time* and pulled back the ramp. Its frustrating as heck to know it is sitting there a few feet from the door but you cannot board.

    I have been captive several times as I travel a lot and one time we even landed in Souix Falls because our fuel was running low (trying to land in Minneapolis/St. Paul) and we were not allowed to get off. And our supplies were low as the flight was scheduled to be only 45 minutes.

    More laws generally just cause even more unintended consequences.

    If we want it fixed, allow international carriers into the intra USA flights. Let KLM, Swiss Air, BA, etc. service O’Hare to Atlanta, etc. Competition is needed — then we will get better treatment when we have a better choice of carriers.

  • I have to agree with the Lieberterian; competition is more effective than laws. But laws, do create a minimum of satisfaction and that’s all.

    I think the most effective law is a boycott of an airline that has dissatisfied you.

  • P.S. Every time you have a worse than normal travel disruption due to cancelled or delayed flights, “weather” or otherwise, write/e-mail your complaint to your Congressman and 2 Senators. I do. Tell him you want equal federal funding for high-speed rail passenger service as has been allocated to the airlines, airports, and interstate highways. Ask him for a competitive alternative to less than adequate airline travel. They spend a lot of money on a lot less “worthy” causes.

  • I read about this petition in the New York Times this morning. I have been stuck on planes before, once for over 3 hours. The terms being asked for in this petition are more than fair. I’d love to believe that this doesn’t need to be legislated, but I know better. Even if publicity changes things in the short term, the airlines will revert to their old practices in the long term. I’m signing.

  • I think its about time someone brought up how the airlines treat their customers. Your paying for a service and you get treated like dirt. I haven;t had the experience of being stuck in a plane as long as some were but I have had lts of bad experiences while flying. Too many to mention. I hope this bill does go through and pass. Its about time the airlines realize we are paying customers and human beings. Not baggage.

  • P.S. Compared to airlines, rail passenger service is MUCH MORE environmentally freindly and MUCH LESS dependent on gas/ oil/ petroleum prices. It is MUCH MORE energy conservative, petro-fuel used per passenger mile. It is MUCH LESS prone to terrorist activity. Ever hear of a terrorst hijacking a train and saying “take me to Cuba” or crashing it into a sky-scraper? All we need to do is undertake a 5-year effort to upgrade the railbeds in our high-volume intercity travel corridors to 180+ MPH capacity to enable high-speed rail passenger (and freight) service. Think of the possible reductions in petroleum dependence, greenhouse gas emissions, “gridlock of the skies”, interstate highway congestion (both cars and commercial trucking) that high-speed rail would bring.

  • If you boycott one airline, the next one turns out to be just as bad.

    When AA cancelled my 9 PM flight from St. Louis to Richmond, they said “we can get you there by 4 PM tomorrow on the next ‘available’ flight”. I rented a Hertz car and was there by 9 AM the next day.

    When Delta cancelled my 1 PM and then my 6 PM Friday flights from HartFord to Richmond, they said “we can get you there by 11 AM tomorrow (Saturday) on the next ‘available’ flight”. I drove to New Haven, caught the Amtrak Acella to DC, rented a car and was in Richmond by 11 PM Friday.

    In two weeks of travel from Richmond to Hartford via Delta in November, I had 7 cancelled flights out of 8 flight segments, 3 cancelled flights on one segment — cancelled 6 PM Sunday, 6 AM and 7:45 AM on Monday, finally getting to Hartford by 3:30 PM on Monday — missing a 9 AM scheduled conference.

    When I started flying every week for IBM in 2000, you could count on at least one flight disruption (delayed or cancelled) every two months or so. Now, with Global Warming bringing more “weather” to airline travel, the disruptions are every other week — sometimes EVERY WEEK.

    We NEED an ALTERNATIVE, a CHOICE – High-speed RAIL passenger service. You can’t boycott the “weather”, nor can you “legislate” it.

  • Road Warriors Unite!! Lobby your EMPLOYER to put their weight behind the effort to get federal funding for an alternative to poor airline service — federal funding of high-speed RAIL passenger service. It’s usually the employer who is paying for this crappy service.

  • Was the weather at the destination or at the site where the plane was? If it was at the site, than they wouldn’t have de-icer in that it only snows there twice every 10 years. However, I think liquids on a plane is a must and I feel that people should be able to get off a plane (with or without refund) if it is inconvenient for them. I like the idea of taking longer using a car or bus instead of being stranded on a plane. I like that the ventalitation is better and I’m much less likely to be claustrophic in a non-moving aircraft.

  • If you live in MA or a state whereby there is no credit freeze law, consider sending an email to a state where they have one. Consider Utah for instance

  • If your flight is “delayed” for any reason – weather, fire, illness of a passenger, etc. – and you are stuck on the tarmac, AIRLINES HAVE NO WAY OF GETTING YOU OFF THE AIRPLANE!! There is NO WAY to exit unless the plane is hooked up to the “jet-way”! Airlines should be FORCED to provide an emergency exit!

  • I can see wisdom on both sides of the PBOR legislation argument, but can we not at lease agree that there is too much room for dehumanizing experiences at airports and on airplanes? I am a frequent flyer, and cannot believe that many things I witness are even legal. And I belive that the airlines often take a deliberately antagonistic position against passengers. The event cited, where passengers were left for hours on the tarmack, is dangerous and unconscionable, and could have happened to anyone. I am sure you will not find anyone on board defending it, and I am shocked that anyone else would. Perhaps it is FAA regulations to blame, but better to move an airplane from a gate in a snowstorm than to have someone die in one! RIGHT??
    People are treated like trash and mostly take it patiently. Something has to change, and this is a good start. I welcome other suggestions–except the idea that it should be left alone.

  • Why should the airlines care anything about “customer service” when they don’t have to suffer the consequences of any normal business that treats it’s customers like so much “meat”. They are simply bailed out by the govt. when they go out of business!

  • I fully support your petition and will contact my congressmen and senators regarding the issue. Anyone who thinks this is ridiculous, or that you should be grateful just to be alive, or you get what you pay for is most likely an airline employee/rep. Inexpensive airlines, yes, efficient airlines, no. Compared to other developed countries our airlines are repeatedly rated the worse value globally. Good luck and I do commend you for standing up for OUR rights.

  • On c-span this morning, one caller also commented on the treatment of passengers. I think this is one of the most important issues. Overworked flight attendants, clerks, and other personnel are often rude and uncaring. This has made air travel a dreaded, not an enjoyable experience. It is someting that airlines need to work on!

  • I fully support your efforts to legislate passenger rights. I recently took a trip to England and found my passport and return ticket missing after arriving. I was told by the airline that I would have no problem replacing the ticket. However, after taking a train all the way from Scotland to London in order to arrive at the next mornings flight (sleeping at the airport) I was told at the counter that they “could not replace the ticket” and that whoever told me they could (two supervisors!) was “mistaken”. I was further informed that they had no available flights for the next two days and that I would have to buy another ticket on another airline if I wanted to leave any earlier. I did so and have been seeking compensation from America West (now the great US Air) ever since. To no avail. My next step is small claims court I guess.
    Good luck!

  • LEARNING TO FLY—-AGAIN

    We were climbing through 29,000 feet with Las Vegas at our tail when the US Air flight attendant curtly refused to serve me a seven-dollar, in-flight box lunch.

    The hushed whine of the Boeing 757 engines had lulled me into a much needed doze since takeoff. Seat 16A was now my bed. Brenda, My traveling companion in 16B knew intuitively that I would be hungry about now and asked if I wanted a lunch. I looked up to see the flight attendant scowling at me. He said that if I hadn’t made a choice by now that I would not be served; and started pushing his cart down the isle. I said, “I’ll take what ever you have.” That wasn’t good enough. Brenda quickly flipped through the in-flight magazine and found the page with a menu. She said, “Give him the croissant sandwich.” Marching back smartly he said, “The croissant is on the breakfast menu; this is not breakfast; this is lunch. Do you understand?” Brenda, being the proper southern lady that she is said, “You don’t have to be rude, sir.” The lady in 16C, a perfect stranger, chimed in, “Yes, that was rude!” Now I am fully awake, and not feeling very southern gentlemanly.

    “What is your problem?” I inquired.
    “Huh?”
    “What is your problem?” I repeated. “Do you not like your job?”

    He looked amused that a mere head of cattle would talk back to a herdsman that way, as he shoved the box toward me. I might have forfeited the lunch in favor of more rest had he been the first herdsman we had encountered with US Air, but he was herdsman and cowpoke number four. (I mean no disrespect to herdsmen and cowboys when I make their comparison to the rude US Airways agents and employees.)

    What was my problem? I wondered. Do I have some tattoo on my forehead? Do I resemble the shoe bomber? The total of my infraction was being ten minutes late for my flight the night before; an infraction for which I accepted full responsibility and expected reasonable consequences. US Air wanted us there forty-five minutes before the 11:10 p.m. flight back to Charlotte and we arrived thirty-five minutes before flight…So be it.

    Cowpoke one gleefully informed us of that fact as we hustled to his counter, panting and tugging our luggage from the far end of the terminal where the Hertz shuttle had dropped us. “I can put you on the standby list for the 12:10 flight through Pittsburg. Take your bags over there and get up to gate D-1 and wait.” Ok, fine.

    Through security to gate D-1 we wait through the boarding calls until the gate appears to be closed. I wander up to cowpoke two and ask if there are any seats left on the airplane. No response. I ask again. “NO!” he yelled without looking up. Regaining my balance I ask, with appropriate sarcasm, “Was that a no, sir?” He stood to full height, looked me in the eye, and yelled, “YOU MISSED YOUR FLIGHT!” as if to say, don’t you know that you are now grist for my mill, that I can have my way with you with impunity? Hmm, I thought that was why they overbooked every flight and sold standby coupons. I thought I was doing them a favor by missing my flight. But silly me, I’m learning to fly all over again…And I thought flight training in the Air Force was tough.

    Back to a taxi and hotel we awaited an early morning standby possibility. In the terminal the next morning we were magically selected for full security examination, including the pat-down, wand, and full luggage teardown and reassemble. Of course all this puts us late for gate arrival and standby request. Needless to say, we didn’t get a call to board; but if we could hang around another two and a half hours, maybe, just perhaps we would make the next flight.

    Brenda found the number for some traveler’s advocate and informed her that I was running perilously low on heart medication. Finally, at the next boarding I was called and given a seat assignment; they were going to split us up, we assumed. Then, magically, at the last minute, Brenda was given a seat adjoining mine; but not before they had had their fun with us, watching our expressions while saying our goodbyes.

    My learning to fly with the U. S. Air Force was tough and disciplined. Learning to fly US Air, you never know what to expect, except extreme rudeness if you dare a hiccup in their procedures. Avoid that at all cost. It rings a sour note at the end of an otherwise enjoyable Vegas vacation.

  • A couple of thoughts from a frequent traveler:

    1) i think most of us just want the same consideration that the airlines demand from their customers. If a flight is delayed in the airport more than 2 hours (regardless of the reason), the flier should have the unilateral ability to cancel their plans and get a full refund of the ticket. With the ridiculous rules surrounding airline tix these days, that would seem to be a fair trade.
    2) airlines should not be permitted to push back simply to make their “on time” stats. If departure is not imminent, or the gate isn’t needed, stay at the gate.
    3) when on the tarmac, the portable stairs could always be used to deplane passengers. This could occur even when a gate isn’t available, and would only require one driver, and 4-6 security personnel to chaperone the passengers to the nearest stair entry. I’ve had to do this at many airports, and i can’t imagine that every single airport in the US doesn’t have this capability.
    4) Baggage service. . .the current regs for what the airlines are required to do for lost/delayed baggage is a joke. they are not required to pay for any clothing, and i believe most are limited to providing up to $25 for sundries (and have you seen the ridiculous “toiletry” kit they hand out?). The bottom line here is that this is the airlines responsibility, and if they can’t get your luggage to you on time, they should be made to pay. For any traveler, if luggage is delayed more than 4 hours when you are away from home, they should have to pay for your OWN brand of toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, makeup, hair gel, etc. $50 for the first 4 hours, escalating to $100 for a 12 hour delay, and an additional $100 for every 24 hour period after that. This should be payable AT THE AIRPORT, and not require submission of receipts and waiting to receive reimbursement. It wouldn’t take long for the airlines to add the personnel that should be there anyway to deal with baggage. Also, i think that 95% of airline baggage office employees should be immediately fired. They are generally the rudest, most incompetent people i have ever seen.

  • An anecdote to follow my last about the baggage issue: a few years ago i went to Kalispell, Montana for a business trip, flying Horizon Air (an airline that i previously really liked). Somehow, Horizon managed to misplace my co-workers bag on a direct flight between Seattle and Kalispell. They didn’t find and provide the bag for 4 days (it finally showed up the day we were leaving). I believe they provided an allowance of $25 per day – this was supposed to cover toiletries and clothes, i guess. He ended up wearing the same jeans and sweater to business meetings for 4 days, just buying new underwear and tshirts at JC Penney. No other compensation offered. And then they lost his bag again on the way home. True story.

  • and i’d like to provide one other gem about my all-time least favorite airline – Delta. My fiancee and I were trying to fly from New York (JFK) to Jacksonville, FL last year on a friday night for a wedding, we were informed that the flight was overbooked. We were eventually bumped, and missed the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The gate agent never officially told us we weren’t getting on the flight until he shut the door to the jetway. With our luggage on the plane. The gate agent also lied to me about that, claiming that my bags would be down at baggage claim. He then offered $200 in vouchers as compensation, claiming (falsely) to my face that “that was all he was authorized to give.” They also refused to put us on the next flight (the following morning), citing Delta’s policy of “inconveniencing the fewest number of passengers.” (Wouldn’t logic dictate that if you involuntarily bump passengers, you put them on the next flight, and bump a couple people from there to the next flight and so on?) They booked us on the same flight the following evening (saturday). The incompetent gate agent also refused to provide transportation back to NYC where we lived. I was livid. At baggage claim, of course my bags were not there. I went back up to the front counter, and after about 30 minutes i finally managed to find the one decent employee Delta has at JFK. He sympathized, got us on priority standby for a flight out of LaGuardia the next morning, provided a voucher for car service (a standard protocol in the situation, according to him), and was generally pleasant. During the long ride back to the city, i read all of the small print on my ticket and the voucher, and discovered that the airline OWED me $400 due to the involuntary bump. Further, they can offera voucher, but upon demand, they HAVE TO PAY IT IN CASH! (read the back of your ticket). The next morning, we went to LaGuardia to try to get on a standby flight. During the 4 hours we waited, we watched about 100 people get bumped from various flights (I’m not exaggerating). I got a little bit of my revenge by telling each and every passenger about the $400 (the agents were paying $200). When we didn’t get on THAT flight, i got further revenge by convincing the agent that i was owed another set of vouchers ($400 this time). TO BE CONTINUED. . .

  • (continued) We went back home to the city, then headed back to JFK for our scheduled flight Saturday afternoon. By this point we had also missed the wedding, but were hoping to make part of the reception. At JFK, i found a senior counter agent, and explained that i was not only owed an additional $200 per ticket from the night before, but that i was owed it in cash. After pretending like i was crazy, she finally acknowledged that i was right, and pulled out a checkbook that she had right there. I gave her my $200 vouchers from the night before, and got 2 checks for $400 each. I also pointed out the incompetent gate agent from the night before, who happened to be in the area and visible. We finally got to Jacksonville on Saturday night, and our total payments received from Delta was $1600 ($800 in vouchers and $800 in cash). During this time, i watched countless people have their vacation plans ruined by the incompetence of an airline. Unfortunately, i still have to fly Delta a lot, and i hate it almost every time. The lesson here: know your rights, and insist upon them. I believe the general rule is that if you are involuntarily bumped, you are entitled to compensation equivalent to the value of your ticket ($200 max). If the airline doesn’t subsequently get you to your destination within TWO HOURS of original schedule, you are entitled to double compensation ($400 max). They can offer vouchers, but you can demand CASH, which they will NEVER tell you about without you asking. Safe travels. . .

  • A three-hour threshold is too generous for the airlines. One hour should be the most time that you can be kept in your seat when the plane is not moving. I have a moderate form of claustrophobia; I hit “panic mode” sooner than that. I spent > 3 hours on a flight terminated on the tarmac at Miami Int’l when a storm had closed the airport. The airline never bothered to tell us that a spacious carpeted terminal area was waiting for us on the other end of the jetway…and the opportunity to reschedule our flights before others filled those seats.

  • Me my self feel what there trying to do is right, everybody talking about them charging more money to the passagers for trying to get this bill passed and having to hire more people well if you cut half of the money the big wigs make then there should’nt be a problem with money and I don’t think because there asking to be treated farely gives others the right to bitch..I would bet that most of the people that are bitching don’t even fly that much but for the one’s that fly all the time this may help but bottom line comes too something has to be done….

  • More likely Bruce is a “plant” for the ACLU or another legal group. Half this fiasco was caused by regulations from the FAA, the airports, etc., but we want to sue the people perceived to have all of the money.

    Unfortunately Austin is typically the “goto” location for three airline hubs. That means there are many times when there are no gates to park a plane and with today’s security problems, the airlines can only follow the instructions that they are given.

    If you were sincere in your “Bill of Rights”, you’d be creating guidelines for the FAA, Homeland Security, the airports as well as the airlines. But by putting a dollar value to everything, be honest, this has nothing about passengers’ right. This is all a big lawyer scam to make easy money for someone.

  • As much as I despise government regulation…

    The argument that “we can’t control the weather” is a very lame excuse for the airlines not to invest in redundant systems–UPS, FedEx, and DHL don’t leave packages sitting on the tarmac for 10hrs.

    This cry for help from frustrated passengers is the sole result of the airline industry ignoring the obvious and refusing to address serious concerns and take scare of the flying public.

  • I love the blog that you have. I was wondering if you would link my blog to yours and in return I would do the same for your blog. If you want to, my site name is American Legends and the URL is:

    http://www.americanlegends.blogspot.com

    If you want to do this just go to my blog and in one of the comments just write your blog name and the URL and I will add it to my site.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  • I believe this is a wonderful idea. And if people work hard enough, it can be successful. I was on flight 1268 from El, Paso to DFW. We were diverted to Abilene around 11 am and were sitting on the plane until 8 pm. They need to have better ways to handle diverted flights so that people are not sitting on planes for over 7 hours. With hardly any food, or drinks, it is horrible. I hope this petition makes a difference, or allows AA to see that they need to change their policies regarding weather!!

  • ANOTHER HORROR STORY!!! FROM ARKANSAS COUPLE, Mark & Michelle Mann & family / Article from newspaper….
    Weather-stranded fliers look to organize, push for more traveler rights
    BY NOEL E. OMAN
    ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

    Melissa Mann and five members of her family were traveling on an American
    Airlines flight from New York to Little Rock via Dallas last month when
    severe weather hit a wide area of Texas, setting in motion a traveler’s
    nightmare.

    Scores of aircraft, including the one on which Mann and her family were
    flying, diverted to other airports. Mann’s American Airlines flight diverted
    to Little Rock National Airport, Adams Field, a seemingly providential
    choice for the Mann clan.

    “Our cars were at the airport, our homes 20 minutes away, and we didn’t
    mind getting our bags later,” Mann recalled.

    But Mann and her relatives, while given hope from the airline crew, were
    never allowed to exit the aircraft.

    So close and yet so far.

    “Passengers were held hostage,” Mann said.

    After five hours of sitting on the tarmac at Little Rock National, the
    flight resumed its journey to Dallas, with Mann and her family members still
    aboard and knowing their connecting flight to Little Rock had been canceled.
    The Manns eventually rented a vehicle to return to Little Rock.

    The experience of the Manns wasn’t an isolated one. Passengers on
    another American Airlines flight diverted to Little Rock National on the
    afternoon of Dec. 29 were stranded for more than four hours on the tarmac.
    The pilot finally pulled into a gate after the aircraft’s toilets no longer
    could be used.

    Passengers on a similarly frustrating flight that garnered wide
    attention have organized an effort to have Congress enact a National
    Passengers Bill of Rights to protect airline travelers. The proposal is the
    brainchild of a group of passengers on another American Airlines flight that
    was stuck on the tarmac in Austin, Texas, for nearly 10 hours.

    “We still think our situation was worse, because we were at our final
    destination city and were not allowed off of the airplane,” said Mann, a
    Little Rock accountant.

    The group wants to prevent a repeat of the experience of Mann and
    hundreds of other travelers that day.

    “We are committed to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies
    that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not
    imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline
    profitability or create exorbitant ticket price increases,” the organizers
    say on their Web site, http://www.strandedpassengers. blogspot.com.

    The proposal would require airlines to return passengers to terminal
    gates after three hours of waiting on a tarmac, among other things. It also
    would create penalties for airlines that lose baggage and bump passengers
    from flights.

    One of the passengers on the Austin flight who is one of the main
    organizers, Kate Hanni of Napa Valley, Calif., couldn’t be reached for
    comment.

    An American Airlines spokesman also didn’t immediately return a
    telephone call seeking comment.

    But in an e-mail to Mann, an American Airlines executive apologized and
    said airline officials were working to ensure her experience wouldn’t be
    repeated.

    “We are so sorry you and your family were some of the many airline
    customers caught up in our struggle with Mother Nature,” wrote Leslie R.
    Morrow, a customer relations executive for American. “It was a real
    operational challenge at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and
    surrounding airports that day due to the storm – we had to divert more
    flights than any of us can remember doing.” Morrow did touch on Mann’s
    unique situation.

    “We know it was frustrating to be kept waiting – especially when you
    lived so close to the Little Rock airport! As hard as we are trying to
    deliver on respecting your time by operating our flights as scheduled, it
    just wasn’t possible this time,” he wrote.

    “Again, we apologize for the disruption of your travel plans. Please fly
    with us again soon – we’ll do our best to get you to your destination as
    planned.” Morrow said the airline will try to keep passengers better
    informed in the future.

    Mann said the experience was particularly vexing because no one wanted
    to accept responsibility for the plane’s remaining on the tarmac. The crew
    blamed it on air traffic control or the airport; airport officials blamed it
    on the airline.

    “It didn’t seem like anyone was in control of the situation,” she said.

    A delay of more than four hours “is a long time to sit on an airplane,”
    Philip Launius, spokesman for Little Rock National, said last month. He
    added that airport officials were investigating and expected to send a
    letter of complaint to the airlines involved. As of Friday, it wasn’t clear
    whether that letter had been prepared and sent.

    Michael Miller, a partner with The Velocity Group, an aviation
    consulting company based in Washington, D.C., said in an interview : “This
    entire situation could not have been prevented, but it could’ve been handled
    much better. It goes far beyond bad weather even though we’re less patient
    with bad weather. It goes to a lack of coordination and to the heart of what
    airlines are supposed to do – provide service to passengers.” He also said
    airports should bear part of the blame, too.

    “When problems with the weather occur, all those people at the airport
    who have the responsibility for the safety of the passengers need to
    coordinate better,” Miller said. “Airports should not accept a plane unless
    the airport can accommodate them, except in emergencies.” Crashes are part
    of every airport’s crisis plan, he noted. Weather-related diversions should
    be a part of the plan as well, Miller added.

    But Miller questioned the worthiness of pursuing a bill of rights for
    airline passengers, noting a similar initiative a decade ago pushed airlines
    to promise better service.

    “This incident should not have happened to the severity that it did
    because of what happened 10 years ago,” he said. “But Congress has its
    limitations. Congress can’t force people to be nice.” Miller said another
    point can’t be overlooked in the aftermath of what happened Dec. 29,
    considering that there are 30,000 airline flights every day in the United
    States. Airlines can and do respond well in most circumstances, he said.

    “Those good responses happen all the time,” Miller said. “They never
    make the news.”

    This story was published Sunday, January 28, 2007

  • Your flight wasn’t the only one that American Airlines stranded passengers during December, 2006. Please check out my letter that described my experience:
    23-Dec-06
    23-Dec-06

    TO: Federal Aviation Administration
    Denver International Airport
    American Airlines

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I demand a full investigation of the events concerning Flight 1860 from
    Denver to Miami scheduled to leave at 7:30am on December 20, 2006.

    As you will see below, I believe all parties involved in this flight
    recklessly endangered the safety of the passengers. Specifically, the
    pilot of this flight needlessly attempted to takeoff in the middle of one
    of Denver’s largest blizzards in history. Only after the de-icing trucks
    got stuck in the snow around our airplane did the pilot finally abort his
    attempts to takeoff in the blizzard. His decisions during this flight
    resulted in the passengers being kept on the plane for eight hours with
    no food (other than a few muffins) on board. Worse, his decisions left
    all passengers stuck in the Denver airport since Pena Boulevard had been
    closed by the time the aircraft returned to the gate.

    I believe an investigation is needed to review the decisions of the
    following:
    –Mr. Steve Jones, pilot of American Airlines Flight #1860
    –American Airlines corporate operations managers in Denver and Dallas
    –Denver Intl. Airport operations
    –Federal Aviation Administration operations.

    I firmly believe that an attempted takeoff in the blizzard conditions
    could have resulted in a catastrophic accident. Consider also that if an
    accident had occurred on takeoff how long it would have taken emergency
    vehicles to arrive at the accident scene?

    The results of an investigation could be used to assess blame to specific
    individuals, as well as lead to improvements in operational procedures
    during hazardous weather conditions.

    From my perspective as a passenger, this is what I observed:

    –The flight scheduled for departure at 7:30am did not board until
    7:30am. By this time, the blizzard had already been howling for at
    least two hours. My subsequent discussion with a flight attendant (a
    woman with blond/white hair) revealed that she did not believe we
    should have even boarded this flight. A fellow passenger told me that
    the originally scheduled pilot for this flight refused to fly in these
    conditions.

    Questions: Why was this flight delayed in boarding? Is it true that the
    original pilot had refused to fly in these conditions?

    –I understand that United Airlines and Frontier Airlines had cancelled
    all of their flights. American Airlines had also cancelled almost all
    of their flights, with the rare exception of this flight.
    |::
    December 23, 2006
    Page two

    Question: Why was this flight not cancelled when nearly all other flights
    had been cancelled?

    –The pilot left the plane to board a vehicle to observe conditions on
    the runway. He returned to inform us that he was unable to reach the
    runway due to the snow. Shockingly, he still decided to continue with
    this flight.

    Question: What are the facts concerning this inspection road trip?

    –The pilot requested 25 passenger volunteers to deplane to reduce the
    plane’s weight. After first offering $500 travel vouchers, the amount
    was increased to $700 before enough volunteers were found. This
    process took an extraordinary amount of time. I believe the baggage
    trucks used to remove these passengers’ bags got stuck in the snow.
    Bear in mind that the blizzard continued to intensify as these actions
    took place.

    Question: Given the unprecendented amount of vouchers offered (between
    $12,500 and $17,500) what financial motivations did American Airlines
    have in forcing this flight to takeoff in these conditions?

    –The pilot finally pushed back from the gate.

    Questions: What permission did he receive from the DIA tower? What
    other flights had taken off at the time of our push-back?

    –The pilot reported that a valve had frozen shut and required the ground
    maintenance crew to manually unfreeze the valve before the engines
    would start. This took even more time to resolve.

    Questions: How often do these valves malfunction? Was this another
    indication that flight conditions were unsafe?

    –The pilot started the engines and moved to the de-icing station
    approximately 100 yards from the gate.

    Questions: Given the delay since push-back from the gate, what
    permission did the pilot receive to go to de-icing? How long had it been
    since the last flight left Denver? What were the conditions of the
    runway and taxiways at this time?

    –The de-icing trucks sprayed fluid on the plane. I noticed that on the
    side where the blizzard was blowing that the fluid initially removed the
    snow from the windows, but that the snow and ice soon reappeared.

    Questions: Were conditions too severe for the de-icing fluid to properly
    work? Given that snow had drifted too deep for the de-icing trucks, why
    was permission granted for the plane to move to the de-icing area?
    |::
    December 23, 2006
    Page three

    –After de-icing, the de-icing trucks got stuck in the snow near our
    plane. It was only at this point that the pilot reluctantly decided to
    terminate the flight.

    Questions: If the de-icing trucks had not become stuck around the plane,
    would the pilot have still attempted takeoff? If so, considering the
    conditions, how long would rescue trucks have taken to reach our plane if
    an accident had occurred on takeoff? Given that snow had drifted too deep
    for the de-icing trucks, why was permission granted for the plane to move
    to the de-icing area?

    –Now the pilot attempted to return the plane to the gate. However,
    because snow had drifted onto the tarmac snowplows were needed to make
    a path for the plane. This took another long time because the snowplows
    themselves got stuck in the snow.

    –We finally returned to the gate and deplaned at 3:30pm — eight hours
    after boarding. By this time, Pena Boulevard, the only road out of DIA
    was officially closed. The airport was also officially closed, not to
    reopen until noon on Friday, December 22, 2006.

    Question: Why wasn’t consideration given to the fate of passengers who
    were left with the choice of staying in the airport for several days or,
    attempting to leave in increasingly dangerous road conditions?

    In conclusion, it appears to me that a combination of an over-zealous
    pilot, an airline bureaucracy, and a complicit airport operations
    conspired to risk the lives of at least 120 souls on board. I demand an
    investigation of how this happened.

    Sincerely,

    Robert C. Kihm and Carol A. Roman
    8858 East Nichols Place
    Centennial, CO 80112
    303-893-6552
    caroman@aol.com

    cc: US Senator Wayne Allard
    US Senator Ken Salazar
    US Representive Tom Tancredo
    US Representative Diana Degette
    Governors Bill Owens and Bill Ritter
    Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
    Denver Post
    Rocky Mountain News
    Television channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 31
    KOA radio
    |::

  • Amazing stories recounted here. Why would anyone buy an airline ticket?
    I hope I never have need to do so.
    Last time I flew, (and I do hope LAST) I recognized with clarity that when we pass through the airport security system we are no longer free . I suppose this is the result of the new security, in which case, we have to admit what has happened as a result of 9-11.
    But aside from security issues, I think air travel resembles ocean travel in that the ship arrives according to the whims of wind and weather. Can’t legislate against that.

  • Kate Hanni here.

    I’ve read, with respect to different points of view, your comments on this blog.

    There appears to be some contempt prior to investigation of what we are trying to accomplish.

    Every single item in our “Proposed” Bill of Rights are items pertaining to things that either happened while stuck on the tarmac in three + different airports (by the way Little Rock Airport had 11 planes stranded there, all American Airlines and has definitively stated they are not responsible for this disaster, that the Airline made the decision). This was clearly a decision made on the part of American Airlines to not allow us off of the plane and also just as clearly there was no plan at any point to allow us off of the planes! The Captains were put in an akward position as were the poor flight attendants. I’ve heard from hundreds of flight attendants who are tired of having to bear the brunt of managements decisions to lie to passengers regarding why we are really being held on the Tarmac.

    Whatever the reason, without legislation, we are powerless to have our needs met once we enter an aircraft. It’s written in the Carriage Receipt. Unless the Airlines are willing to change their carriage receipt to reflect what we are asking for without legislation, then we must push for this.

    The European Airlines now have specific consequences now that require compensation if there is a flight delay. But what I find more fascinating is that they use the words “care for” in relationship to the passenger all over their legislation. They make the passenger a priority.

    Is there really any argument about that? At what point did any of you who seem to want to argue this point, decide that you weren’t a priority? One in 8 people in the United States has Diabetes. So therefore we can conclude that one in 8 people on those airplanes had diabetes. We are aware that several folks went into diabetic shock due to lack of food. Also, when you have Diabetes, you are at higher risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, the risk of which increases exponentially when in a sitting position for too long. If you read the Airlines manuals on how to care for “well” passengers they are unambiguous about the risks involved in having “well” passengers stuck in a sitting position for too long without the ability to stretch, get fresh air (due to being exposed to others germs) etc.

    This is but one aspect of why we are pushing this legislation. Basic human needs were denied for a protracted period of time and we couldn’t even take care of ourselves. When we are being asked questions like, why didn’t you pop the emergency door? Or, why didn’t you call 911? We have bordered on the totally absurd.

    I’m sure any rational person, without another special interest, would agree.

    The Department of Transportation has issued a “Follow-up Review: Performance of U.S. Airlines in Implementing selected Provisions of the airline customer service commitment that clearly states that the complaints of disabled people are on the rise, the handling of Disabled people has worsened and that their oversight has been failing. They address frequent flyer issues, baggage issues, that compensation to bumped passengers has not been increased since 1978. They made a series of recommendations, but the truth is without legislation there is still nothing to hold the airlines accountable.

    We need legislation.

    We need Consequences with teeth so that they don’t break the laws passed.

    We need to be heard!

    Kate Hanni
    Fearless Leader
    Coalition Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

  • Kate Hanni here.

    I’ve read, with respect to different points of view, your comments on this blog.

    There appears to be some contempt prior to investigation of what we are trying to accomplish.

    Every single item in our “Proposed” Bill of Rights are items pertaining to things that either happened while stuck on the tarmac in three + different airports (by the way Little Rock Airport had 11 planes stranded there, all American Airlines and has definitively stated they are not responsible for this disaster, that the Airline made the decision). This was clearly a decision made on the part of American Airlines to not allow us off of the plane and also just as clearly there was no plan at any point to allow us off of the planes! The Captains were put in an akward position as were the poor flight attendants. I’ve heard from hundreds of flight attendants who are tired of having to bear the brunt of managements decisions to lie to passengers regarding why we are really being held on the Tarmac.

    Whatever the reason, without legislation, we are powerless to have our needs met once we enter an aircraft. It’s written in the Carriage Receipt. Unless the Airlines are willing to change their carriage receipt to reflect what we are asking for without legislation, then we must push for this.

    The European Airlines now have specific consequences now that require compensation if there is a flight delay. But what I find more fascinating is that they use the words “care for” in relationship to the passenger all over their legislation. They make the passenger a priority.

    Is there really any argument about that? At what point did any of you who seem to want to argue this point, decide that you weren’t a priority? One in 8 people in the United States has Diabetes. So therefore we can conclude that one in 8 people on those airplanes had diabetes. We are aware that several folks went into diabetic shock due to lack of food. Also, when you have Diabetes, you are at higher risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, the risk of which increases exponentially when in a sitting position for too long. If you read the Airlines manuals on how to care for “well” passengers they are unambiguous about the risks involved in having “well” passengers stuck in a sitting position for too long without the ability to stretch, get fresh air (due to being exposed to others germs) etc.

    This is but one aspect of why we are pushing this legislation. Basic human needs were denied for a protracted period of time and we couldn’t even take care of ourselves. When we are being asked questions like, why didn’t you pop the emergency door? Or, why didn’t you call 911? We have bordered on the totally absurd.

    I’m sure any rational person, without another special interest, would agree.

    The Department of Transportation has issued a “Follow-up Review: Performance of U.S. Airlines in Implementing selected Provisions of the airline customer service commitment that clearly states that the complaints of disabled people are on the rise, the handling of Disabled people has worsened and that their oversight has been failing. They address frequent flyer issues, baggage issues, that compensation to bumped passengers has not been increased since 1978. They made a series of recommendations, but the truth is without legislation there is still nothing to hold the airlines accountable.

    We need legislation.

    We need Consequences with teeth so that they don’t break the laws passed.

    We need to be heard!

    Kate Hanni
    Fearless Leader
    Coalition Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

  • To the woman who said this is a joke! No joking around here. This legislation was nearly passed twice before and the airlines convinced Congress they would “honor” their word and follow the potential legislation on their own.

    For anyone who thinks the Airlines can manage themselves in this area read the Department of Transportation Review we have posted to our site. It’s a revealing look at the status of airline protocols and the decline of Customer Service.

    If you are going to criticize, how about putting your name in the blog. Strikes me as odd that folks will complain and criticize what we are doing without stating who they are.

    Kate Hanni
    Spokeswoman
    Coalition APBOR
    “Enough is Enough”

  • I applaud you for your efforts. Most U.S. air carriers have a bill of rights incorporated into their contract of carriage. Its known as rule 240. Its not always published.

    Rule 240 is not widely known or understood and varies from air carrier to air carrier. The rule does not compensate for weather delays which are beyond the airlines control. There are occurrences which don’t always fit neatly, where airline passengers by law may be entitled to compensation. Its been documented, the airlines do not want the flying public to know about the rule.

    Contact your favorite carrier(s) and ask them for a written copy of their rule 240. A synopsis of the rule can be found by doing a Google search citing rule 240 in the search parameters.

  • I would be more likely to support this petition if the use of punctuation was correct.

    The “Coalition for Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights” is apparently meant for one airline passenger.

    It should read “Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights.”

  • I’m the one who called it a joke.

    Now that I’ve actually heard from you, Kate, I can honestly say you officially have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Want me to put a name to my opinions? Hi, I’m Bret, nice to meet you.

    I’ll be happy to set any of you straight.
    mco747@yahoo.com

  • Kate — “B” is right!! And it doesn’t matter if he works for the airline industry or not?! The point is he knows the industry, which most passengers do not. As I said in response to other posts on here, these “Bill of Rights” are sophomoric in nature and say to those that know or work in the industry, or have familiarity with its operations, that YOU DID NOT DO YOUR HOMEWORK. It doesn’t matter what Europe does as they are mostly socialistic countries, like comparing apples to oranges when it comes to government legislation & business. They also pay a whole lot more in taxes and the government regulates more of their day-to-day life. Not the same thing here government/business/consumer relationship here.

    The diabetes assumption and allegations that some of the passengers went into diabetic shock that day on the stranded AA flights are both ridiculous. Unless you saw someone go into shock, I’d say leave it out of your reasoning. If someone had gone into a real diabetic shock (vs. now an exaggerated on-the-bandwagon-claim), then the “captains” (ha — there’s only one captain per flight, even on international flights) would have called for a medical emergency and they would have been evacuated off the flight. I would make the presumption that a diabetic would carry necessary medicine (& food) with them at all times and not check-in the supplies they might need. The diabetes statistic is worthless without real examples of neglect or mistreatment. The world is overweight too, forcing airline seats to have to be bigger, forcing the planes to carry less seats, make less money, etc. but so what?! I’m just saying it’s all an irrelevant argument. More people, more problems. Companies must and do adapt. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be practically “at capacity” for every flight these days.

    Airline ticket prices are cheaper today than they were decades ago. Can you say that about anything else, what about your health care? Think about that one? Doctors make substantially more than they did decades ago, pilots do not. If you want better service, it will come with a price. The costs will go up (substantially) if you want the airlines to be held accountable for all those organizations (FAA, traffic control towers, airport & local municipalities) and factors (weather, delays elsewhere, etc.) that they do not have control over.

    Just like you asked why are people posting anonymously on here — why aren’t the AA stranded passengers from your flight pursuing bigger Austin & Little Rock airports with more gates? Are you talking to their cities or their airport boards or are you just pursuing the business with the big pockets?

  • I told everybody I know about your petition – and told them not to sign it.

    This is absurd. When you buy a plane ticket you are entitled to a flight from where you originated to where you planned to go with a reasonable expectation of an arrival time. You are NOT entitled to not be inconvenienced. You are not entitled to not have your feelings hurt and you are certainly not entitled to hold up the flight because your little brat is out of control and you suck as a parent.

    I am so suick of this “I am owed something because I am breathing” mentallity this country has adopted in recent years. It makes me sick.

    Further – the examples give here as proof that some bullshit “bill of rights” needs to be adopted are few and far between cases that don’t occur regularly.

    3 years ago I was driving from North Carolina to Maryland after Christmas. I spent 16 hours traveling on I95 between Benson NC and Rocky Mount NC (Less than 90 miles). 16 hours because NC didn’t have adequate road clearing equipment and the 4″ of snow that fell wasn’t cleared and turned into a 3″ sheet of ice.

    So should I now start some bullshit petition for an “I95 Travelers Bill of Rights”?

    You all need to get a life and get over yourselves.

  • I only fly 4-5 times a year, but have noticed a dramatic increase in the surliness of airline employees. I believe recent changes in federal protection for airline employees have had the side-effect of often empowering those inclined to be impatient and rude to become overtly belligerent. With increased delays and lost/damaged luggage, more of us are confronted rather than comforted when problems arise. We finally invested in expensive luggage (over $1500) thinking it would hold up well for many years, only to to have most of the zipper pulls cut off by TSA for no reason – there no locks on it or anything that might warrant this. Rather than face yet another line, aggressive agent or any other unpleasantness, we left the airport saddened and beaten.

  • Did you ever think that American diverted those flights to San Antonio, Austin, Little Rock, etc. because Dallas is their hub and they had determined it too dangerous to land flights at that particular airport? And as far as I understand it, an airline can’t just decide to land randomly at an airport. The airport has to give permission. And furthermore, once a plane has arrived at an airport, is it not up to the aiport to decide where said airplane goes?

  • To all the Jokers that want a Airline Passenger Bill of Rights.
    You want food, pillows. Frequent fliers points and so on……Oh and don’t forget the lowest air fare, maybe you should take the bus. The following was copied from Yahoo, what tha Airlines are up against:
    More than 250 of JetBlue’s roughly 500 flights nationwide were canceled Wednesday, but “fairly normal” service resumed Thursday, he said.

    Calling Wednesday’s delays “unacceptable,” the airline planned to offer the affected passengers refunds and free flights.

    To Cheryl Chesner, 26, “unacceptable” was hardly the word for the 11 hours she said she and her husband, Seth, 27, spent trying to take a JetBlue flight to Aruba for their honeymoon.

    “It was the worst. It was horrific,” she said. Baldwin said the Aruba flight, scheduled to leave at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, ultimately left late Wednesday night. But the Chesners went home to the Bronx.

    While they waited to take off, John Farrell waited to arrive. His JetBlue flight from Fort Myers, Fla., landed at 10 a.m., but passengers didn’t get off until nearly 7 p.m., he said.

    “You gotta realize the frustration — you can look out the window and you can see, there’s the gate, and if you let us off the plane, we can walk there,” said Farrell, 48, of Brooklyn.

    Onboard the planes, snack foods wore out their welcome, bathrooms became unpleasant and cabins sweltered, passengers said.

    “They had to open the door every 20 minutes just so we could get air,” said Sean Corrinet, 29, who was on a flight bound for Cancun, Mexico. It was delayed for at least eight hours, Baldwin said.

    Baldwin said the jam arose as the airline sent outbound flights to the runway — so they could leave immediately if the weather let up — while incoming flights filled up the gates. The problem grew as some equipment used to tow planes away from gates froze to the ground, he said.

    “We ended up with a gridlock situation where we couldn’t move any of the aircraft at the gates,” he said.

    The airline stopped incoming flights by midafternoon, Baldwin said. By about 3 p.m., the airline gave up hope that the weather would allow the planes on the runway to take off and started arranging for buses to bring passengers back, he said. But the icy weather made that a slow process, he said.

    “We need to make sure that it’s always safe for the customers,” he said.

  • “One in 8 people in the United States has Diabetes. So therefore we can conclude that one in 8 people on those airplanes had diabetes.”

    I do hope you realize the serious logic flaw that exists in this statement. Do you think that every 8th person you see has diabetes?

  • I just got back from a horrific 3 day, 2 night stint in Philadelphia during this blizzard. I have NO idea what it would be like to be trapped on a plane for 10 hours and I’m thankful to have been stuck in the airport instead. I understand that circumstances can cause chaos to the system, but I do think the airlines and airports can deal with making the stranded passengers a bit more comfortable.

    The least they could do is provide cots, blankets or pillows to the stranded passengers. They do provide vouchers for discounts at the hotels, but the hotels raised prices to $200.00 per room, and who can afford that? We had to beg for food vouchers, and when they did give us anything it was a mere 10 bucks for the entire 3 days we were stranded. And rather than giving us false hope by having the ticket agents at US Air bump everyone who was stranded up to the next flight available, when everyone knew there would be no more flights, Just be honest! tell us the storm is too bad and there will be no more flights today, and book us for tomorrow. I think I must have stood in line 7 times, 2 hours each time, to rebook my trip, along with hundreds of other weary, hungry, angry tired people. And then, I had to do it all over again 4 hours later. The emotional rollercoaster that this caused, the anticipation and hopefulness, followed by bitter disappointment and stress caused me and several others to become sick to our stomachs. Bathrooms were in horrible condition, there was puke at the gates, babies were crying, ADULTS were crying, and yelling at the poor people who work for the airlines.

    They were just doing their job the way they were told to. They did their jobs as best they could, and if they got snippy, don’t blame them, they had to look at a thousand angry, sad, confused faces all day long without a break. The airlines and airports have to change this system.

    Of course, we would all feel better if they gave us a first class ticket to anywhere in compensation, or more frequent flyer miles, but let’s be resonable and think about the bottom line. If they go under, we lose more choices with who to fly with, and then ticket prices will go up. Anyway, I was told that the airline would not do anything for me, from one of the managers at the airport.

  • The airline industry is quite simple, being a flight attendant in the past, I know why people are held at bay for hours. Airline employees are only paid from the time the cabin door is closed until the cabin door is re-opened. Most cockpit crews make around $150.oo per hour, they are not going to sit in a airport, not getting paid. They would rather the passengers and flight attendants sit with them as they get paid. That nonsense about being in line, first in, first out. “BULL”

  • >>”I do hope you realize the serious logic flaw that exists in this statement. Do you think that every 8th person you see has diabetes?”

    I did not make the original post on this, but I’ll jump in. Maybe it’s not one out of eight passengers, but it’s a heck of a lot more than zero.

    To be honest, in these cases…..the eleven-hour delays with landed aircraft stuck on the tarmac…..I’m surprised there haven’t been more emergencies called.

    No I don’t want people faking medical illness or pushing buttons at random to get a door to open or a slide to deploy.

    We’ve got a serious business with the airline industry, security, etc.

    When the airlines do this sort of thing, passengers come to the conclusion that neither the industry or the government takes any of this seriously.

    Then we’ll get another Sept. 11

  • While i strongly support a bill of rights, I also think passengers in this situation should demand to be let off, get the name of those refusing to allow them off. Then sue for illegal detention.

  • I am currently filming CNN and it’s for Anderson Cooper. We are standing that the current Bill of Rights proposed by Jet Blue is a Red Herring. An attempt by the airline to avoid legislation which they deeply want not to have.

    Please call your Congressman and Congresswomen and Senators and be as vocal as you can about supporting this legislation. We are going to prevail if we keep up the calls and letters.

    Power to the Coalition! 12,800 strong and counting!!!

  • Iread this morning that an airline executive stated that the airlines knew how to fix their problems better than the government. That is akin to letting the fox secure the hen house. Flying with the air lines today is like playing russian roulette. With maintenance sub contracted to organizations where the workers have no interest in wheather the plane arrives at its destination or not. to drunken pilots,pilots not trained properly for the planes that they are flying,to never knowing if you will even be allowed on the plane even if you have a ticket,because the airline over booked the flight.Does this sound like they have the interest of the passengers in mind i think not. With out regulation these things will only get worse and the passengers will suffer.

  • The fact is that most, if not all, large airlines in the US are losing money. Millions of dollars a year. Revenues are down, but the costs are not coming down equally.

    If this bill is passed, and airlines have to provide conmpensation, move blocked planes, provide meals, clear snow etc (or pay airports to do it)the costs will go up again.

    Are we all happy to accept fare increases across the board, on all fares, all flights, to pay for this? Or shall we force the costs up, keep demanding fares to come down, put a few more airlines out of business, and tens of thousands out of jobs, and not actually solve anything?

  • Lets hope this passes. Everything about the US airline industry is outdated and among the bottom in the world. They’ve become so focused on safety that they’ve neglected everything else. I fly throughout the East Asian countries regularly and I must say they’re FAR superior to American air travel in every way. Even safety is not too much of an issue on Air China because all their male attendants must be former military personal, and they usually have 1-2 per flight (since the establishment of Air China, not just 9/11).

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