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Help An Old Friend

October 13, 2015


Dear Friends,

How much discomfort can travelers stand?
Every now and again we ask for your financial help in keeping us afloat. 
The fact is,  that time is now! Help us keep the lights on. We need your donations for office expenses – the Hotline, bookkeeping, resources needed to cover the news and legislative efforts.

Please donate at flyersrights.org/donate.php.

Now, take a pre-FlyersRights-era stroll down memory lane to winters gone by, when bad weather repeatedly caused passengers on hundreds of flights to be stranded on airplanes that had pulled away from the gate but then sat idle on tarmacs, neither taking off nor returning to the terminal, for three, five, even 12 hours and more.
From these attrocicities, FlyersRights was born. Despite a hard-fought battle with the airline industry, we achieved a federal rule setting fines of up to $27,000 per passenger for airlines that keep passengers stuck for over three hours on the tarmac.
The impact of the rule change has been dramatic, with the number of flights suffering tarmac waits of more than three hours falling 97% (1,299 to 44) from 2008 through last year!
Still, it’s a very important time for FlyersRights. The civil liberties of airline passengers has seen a steady and relentless erosion since 9/11.
In August, FlyersRights filed a petition with the Transportation Department (DOT) to have the Federal Aviation Administration set minimum seat and passenger space standards. Airlines are fighting aggressively against us and want no restrictions on reducing seat size and legroom, leading to increased health and safety risks.
Back in February, we petitioned the DOT to cap charges for changing flights to $100.
We also filed legal papers that got DOT to correct its misinformation in its Fly Rights publication saying there was no delay compensation – when, in fact, the Montreal Convention and EU provide for up to $2600 for flight delays on international trips.  
Currently, we are about to file a rulemaking petition with DOT to require airlines to advise consumers of these rights rather than hiding them, or simply lying to passengers -saying they have no delay compensation rights.
You need FlyersRights because the airlines and many members of Congress are battling passenger protections – and individuals have zero negotiating power. Either you accept the airlines’ rules or don’t fly.

High quality consumer advocacy requires investment!

Over the years we’ve achieved many goals:

Transparancy – Airlines must disclosure all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares, instead of simply putting asterisks with all the taxes and fees in the mouse print. Airlines must also disclose baggage fees.
24 Hour Hold – If you need to change or cancel a ticket within 24 hours of buying it, you can do so without penalty (assuming you’re booking at least 1 week before departure). You can also hold a reservation for 24 hours before paying for it.
Route Changes – DOT now requires airlines to give you prompt notification of delays, cancellations and route changes. And if you don’t agree, you get a full refund of the fare (without any penalties, even for a nonrefundable fare) so  you can rebook (at your own expense) a more suitable flight. 
Bumping – If airline bumps and rebooks you on flight that arrives at your destination within two hours (or between one and four hours for international destinations) of your originally scheduled arrival, then you are entitled to 200% of the one-way fare you paid to get to your final destination, up to $650.

If your delay is more than two hours or if the airline doesn’t make alternate travel arrangements for you, your compensation doubles to 400% of your one-way fare, up to $1,300.

Refreshments, Communication and Accommodation -The airline is required to provide to delayed passengers, free of charge:
  • Meals and refreshments in proportion to waiting time
  • Two phone calls or emails
  • Hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and hotel, if a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary
Lost Luggage – If the airline loses your checked bags, and it was domestic travel, the airline is required to reimburse you for up to $3300. 

Still, much more needs to be done for the rights of passengers who are being squeezed physically and financially as never before.

Friends, FlyersRights is here for you, now we’re asking that you be there for us. Your generous contributions will lift us and our financial burden.

THANK YOU

Does your company offer a matching gifts for nonprofits program?

Approved bythe IRS in June, 2011, the Flyers Rights Education Fund is the education and service arm of our organization. The Fund gives you a way to contribute to our airline passenger rights efforts through a tax-deductible 501(c)3 vehicle :


For individuals, you’ll receive a write-off for your next tax return! The more you donate, the more you can write off. 
You can also send checks to either FlyersRights.org or Flyers Rights Education Fund at:

4411 Bee Ridge Rd. #274

Sarasota, FL 34233

Let’s Review:

  • Flyersrights Hotline: 877-FLYERS6 (877-359-3776)
  • Flyersrights Website: www.flyersrights.org
  • Government Numbers:
  • DOT Aviation Consumer Complaints Phone: 202-366-2220
  • DOT Aviation Consumer Complaints Email Address: airconsumer@dot.gov
  • Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121
  • Media Outlets to contact in case of Stranding:
  • Jad Mouawad @ New York Times:  @jadmouawad 
  • Ben Mutzabaugh @  USA Today Aviation Reporter:   @TodayInTheSky
  • Sheryl Jean @ Dallas Morning News:  214-977-8750 sjean@dallasnews.com  @SJeanDallas
  • John Hughes @ Bloomberg: 202-624-1819, @BloombergHughes
  • To file a complaint in NY, airline passengers may contact the newly established:


    Office of the Airline Consumer Advocate
    New York State Consumer Protection Board
    5 Empire State Plaza, Suite 2101, Albany, NY 12223
    Phone Toll Free: 1-800-697-1220
    https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/complaintform.asp

    To file a complaint with the US Department of Transportation:

    Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75
    U.S. Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20590 

    202-366-2220
    http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint
    Most Frequently Requested Airline Toll-Free Numbers:

    AIRTRAN AIRWAYS 800.247.8726
    AIR CANADA 888.247.2262
    ALASKA AIRLINES 800.426.0333
    AMERICAN AIRLINES/ AMERICAN EAGLE 800.433.7300
    AMERICAN TRANS AIR (ATA) 800.435.9282
    CONTINENTAL AIRLINES 800.525.0280
    DELTA AIRLINES 800.221.1212
    FRONTIER AIRLINES 800.432.1359
    NORTHWEST AIRLINES/ KLM/ MESABA AIRLINES 800.225.2525
    UNITED AIRLINES/ UNITED EXPRESS 800.241.6522
    US AIRWAYS 800.428.4322
    WESTJET 800.538.5696

    All Airline Toll-Free Numbers List:

    AER LINGUS 800.474.7424
    AERO CALIFORNIA 800.237.6225
    AEROFLOT 888.686.4949
    AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS 800.333.0276
    AEROMEXICO 800.237.6639
    AIR CANADA 888.247.2262
    CHINA AIRLINES 800.227.5118
    AIR EUROPA 888.238.7672
    AIR FRANCE 800.237.2747
    AIR INDIA 800.223.7776
    AIR JAMAICA 800.523.5585
    AIR MAURITIUS 800.537.1182
    AIR NEW ZEALAND 800.262.1234
    AIR PACIFIC 800.227.4446
    AIR PORTUGAL (TAP) 800.221.7370
    AIR TAHITI NUE 877.824.4846
    AIRTRAN 800.247.8726
    AIR TRANSAT 877.872.6728
    AIR ZIMBABWE 800.742.3006
    ALASKA AIRLINES 800.426.0333
    ALITALIA AIRLINES 800.223.5730
    ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS 800.235.9262
    ALOHA AIRLINES 800.367.5250
    AMERICAN AIRLINES 800.433.7300
    AMERICAN EAGLE 800.433.7300
    AMERICAN TRANS AIR (ATA) 800.435.9282
    ASIANA AIRLINES 800.227.4262
    AUSTRIAN AIRLINES 800.843.0002
    AVIANCA 800.284.2622
    BAHAMAS AIR 800.222.4262
    BRITISH AIRWAYS 800.247.9297
    BRITISH MIDLAND 800.788.0555
    BWIA 800.538.2942
    CANJET 888.201.2289
    CATHAY PACIFIC 800.233.2742
    CAYMAN AIRLINES 800.422.9626
    CHINA AIRLINES 800.227.5118
    CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES 800.200.5118
    CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES 888.338.8988
    COLUMBIA PACIFIC AIRLINES 800.868.2904
    CONTINENTAL AIRLINES 800.525.0280
    DELTA AIRLINES 800.221.1212
    EGYPT AIR 800.334.6787
    EL AL ISRAEL 800.223.6700
    EMIRATES AIR 800.777.3999
    EVA AIRLINES 800.695.1188
    FINNAIR 800.950.5000
    FRONTIER AIRLINES 800.432.1359
    GARUDA 800.342.7832
    GULF AIR 888.359.4853
    HAWAIIAN AIRLINES 800.367.5320
    HARMONY AIRWAYS 866.868.6789
    HORIZON AIR 800.547.9308
    IBERIA AIRLINES 800.772.4642
    ICELANDAIR 800.223.5500
    JAPAN AIRLINES 800.525.3663
    KLM ROYAL DUTCH 800.374.7747
    KOREAN AIR 800.438.5000
    KUWAIT AIRLINES 800.621.2175
    LAN CHILE 866.435.9526
    LACSA COSTA RICA 800.225.2272
    LUFTHANSA 800.645.3880
    MALAYSIAN AIRLINES 800.552.9264
    MALEV HUNGARIAN AIRLINES 800.223.6884
    MESA AIRLINES 800.637.2247
    MESABA AIRLINES 800.225.2525
    MEXICANA AIRLINES 800.531.7921
    MIDWEST AIRLINES 800.452.2022
    NORTHWEST AIRLINES 800.225.2525
    OLYMPIC AIRWAYS 800.223.1226
    PACIFIC COASTAL AIRLINES 800.663.2872
    PAN AM CLIPPER CONNECTION 866.557.4242
    PHILIPPINE AIRLINES 800.435.9725
    QANTAS AIRLINES 800.227.4500
    ROYAL AIR MAROC 800.344.6726
    ROYAL JORDANIAN AIRLINES 800.223.0470
    ROYAL NEPAL 800.266.3725
    RYAN INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS 800.727.0457
    SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES 800.221.2350
    SINGAPORE AIRLINES 800.742.3333
    SKYSERVICE 800.701.9448
    SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINES 800.722.9675
    SUN COUNTRY 800.359.6786
    SPIRIT AIRLINES 800.772.7117
    SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES 877.359.7947
    TACA AIRLINES 800.535.8780
    THAI AIRWAYS 800.426.5204
    UNITED AIRLINES 800.241.6522
    UNITED EXPRESS 800.241.6522
    US AIRWAYS 800.428.4322
    VIRGIN ATLANTIC 800.862.8621
    WESTJET 800.538.5696
    Our Acclaim:

       

    Getting on a Plane? 
    Put This Number in Your Phone:
    1 (877) Flyers6
      1 (877) 359-3776
    The FlyersRights HOTLINE!
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    FlyersRights is a nonprofit organization that depends on contributions from people like you!


    Comments? Complaints? Criticisms? Send to the newsletter editor: 
    kendallc@FlyersRights.org

    Twitter: @KendallFlyers

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