Consumer advocates cite abuse of travelers by airlines
WASHINGTON — Some consumer advocates complain that a new advisory panel for the Transportation Department ignored important proposals to protect airline passengers from abuse in its first year of work.
“The recommendations that our group and others made weren't even rejected; they were just ignored,” said Paul Hudson, executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project.
Hudson argued that the panel — the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection, which was set up to recommend new consumer rules to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — failed to consider issues such as:
• Requiring airlines to compensate passengers if their flights are canceled or drastically delayed, as the European Union requires. Airlines departing from an EU country must pay passengers up to about $780 to cover meals and hotels if their flights are canceled or delayed at least three hours, unless “extraordinary circumstances” such as extreme weather prompt the delays.
The EU regulation applies to all airlines, including U.S. carriers, that take off from one of its nation's airports and to European carriers that fly across the Atlantic from the nation. U.S. airlines are not required to pay for flights that originate on this side of the ocean.
• Providing passengers with greater compensation for about 40,000 bags that Hudson says the airlines lose that are not reclaimed each year. Those bags are sold at auction, and Hudson says money from the sales should be used to help compensate passengers.
Passengers now can get up to $3,300 if their bags are lost on a domestic flight under new regulations adopted last year. The airlines may require passengers to provide proof for claimed losses, however.
• Establishing a system of arbitration between passengers and airlines about grievances and claims. Right now, the hurdles are high for passengers to sue the airlines.
One consumer member of the transportation advisory committee, Charlie Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance, dismissed the complaints, saying, “Everybody huffs and puffs.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clintons hauled in $139M in past 8 years
- Despite U.S. dollars and bombs, effort failing to squash ISIS
- Dusty Atlantic Ocean thwarts tropical storms
- Amid 4-year drought, fears rise of trees dying, falling in California
- Suspect in South Carolina church shooting wants to plead guilty to hate crimes, attorney says
- Planned Parenthood recordings release halted by judge
- Global lion population falling primarily because of loss of habitat, experts say
- Analysts expect French laboratory will be able to provide details from examination of jet part
- Fires’ fury unabated in California
- Baltimore slayings climb to level unseen in decades
- Blankenship’s attorneys want mine blast evidence out of trial