homenewsAboutLegislationHelp I'm StrandedMediaContactJoin UsSpacer
Sign the Petition

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

FlyersRights.org


Before the Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration


Michael Huerta
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20591
___________________________


Petition for Rulemaking:
Limitation of Seat Size Reductions
___________________________


Submitted by:
FlyersRights.org


August 26, 2015

Pursuant to § 553(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act and 49 U.S.C. § 106, FlyersRights.org and the undersigned hereby petition the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to create a regulation mandating minimum seat width and seat pitch for commercial airlines.  A corollary of the right to petition in § 553(e) is the right to receive reasons if the petition is denied. The Supreme Court recently reaffirmed limited judicial review for the denial of a rulemaking petition and for the adequacy of the reasons given.  Until these standards are established, we request a moratorium on seat size reductions in commercial aircraft.  Additionally, under 14 C.F.R. 11.91, the FAA must provide notice concerning its decision on this petition, regardless of the outcome.  


  1. Background & Petition Summary
FlyersRights.org is the largest nonprofit airline passenger organization with over 50,000 members and supporters nationwide. It was the principal advocate of the 2009 Three Hour Rule ending tarmac confinements, for truth in scheduling regulations by the Department of Transportation, and for the 2012 inclusion of airline passenger rights provisions in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. It publishes a weekly online newsletter, operates a toll free hotline for airline passengers, and advocates for their rights and interests. FlyersRights was founded by Kate Hanni in 2007 after she, along with thousands of others, was stranded on the tarmac for over 9 hours.  
Paul Hudson has been president of Flyersrights.org since 2013, a member of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee representing the Aviation Consumer Action Project and the Public Citizen since 1993, and a national advocate for air safety and security for over 25 years.
In 1958, Congress enacted the Federal Aviation Act creating the Federal Aviation Administration and continuing the Civil Aeronautics Board while redefining their responsibilities. Congress fully deregulated the domestic airline industry through the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA).  The ADA impacted the airline industry by deregulating ticket fares, flight schedules, and routes.  Additionally, the ADA preempted state laws that would economically impact airlines.  The FAA’s role also shifted with the deregulation of airlines from regulating airlines to regulating safety, including Air Traffic Control.  As air travel has expanded, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created to carry the role of controlling security.  These two agencies, along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) ensure safe, secure, and efficient air travel.
Since the enactment of the ADA, the FAA has passed regulations regarding various aspects of commercial flight in order to maintain safety and efficiency.  Included in these regulations are a variety of regulations for seats in aircraft, including regulations on safety belts, headrests, fire retardation, and the maximum number of seats abreast in an airliner.  Additionally, seats are also required to support a weight of at least 175 pounds.  So far, the only limitation placed on airlines by the FAA regarding seat space is limiting the number of seats in an aircraft based on the number and size of emergency exists.  Though airlines would not enjoy this regulation, in 2013, Airbus called for an industry standard minimum seat width of 18 inches, which Boeing vehemently argued against.
Because of limited regulations on seats, airlines have decreased seat pitch and seat width in order to fit more passengers on each plane.  In some instances, galleys have been removed as well.  This decrease in seat size, coupled with the safety, health, and comfort of passengers, is the reason for this rulemaking petition.  FlyersRights.org petitions FAA to
1) Exercise its discretionary rulemaking authority under 49 U.S.C. § 106, to impose within 180 days  reasonable regulations setting maintenance standards and limiting the extent of seat size changes in order to ensure consumer safety, health, and comfort.  
2) Issue an order within the next 45 days placing a moratorium or freeze on any further reductions in seat size, width,  pitch, padding, and aisle width until a final rule is issued.  
3) Appoint an advisory committee or task force to assist and advise the FAA in proposing seat and passenger space rules and standards, with such committee having broad representation of the various interests involved and expertise needed, to include this petitioner and representatives from other airline passenger advocacy organizations, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and including at least one physician, ergonomic engineer, senior citizen, disabled air traveler, overweight person, disabled person, and at least six American air travelers representing a cross section of air travelers by age, height, weight, and gender.    


II. Seat Space in Commercial Airlines
As the number of commercial air passengers has increased, airlines have been putting more seats on their aircraft, reducing the average seat pitch from 35 inches to 31 inches.  Some airlines have seat pitch as low as 28 inches.  This reduction in seat pitch has decreased the amount of leg room in the economy cabins of most, if not all, airlines.  However, another factor to consider is the width of the seats.  The average width of an airline seat ranges from 17 to 18 inches.  This is problematic for the consumer because the average shoulder width of men is the same width.  This means about half of men passengers are larger than the width of a coach seat.
Airline seats have been designed for people who are between 5’9” and 5’10”, and of average build.  Unfortunately, many Americans do not fit into this category.  Though the average height of men and women is 5’10” and 5’4”, respectively, many Americans are not average.  Additionally, height is not the only factor that results in too little leg room and an uncomfortable flight.  Many people have disproportionately long legs, which can cause uncomfortable seating positions.  Likewise, passengers may have knee or hip problems, limiting their mobility and ability to change positions frequently in order to stay comfortable and healthy.  The CDC has provided data showing Americans have been getting taller and heavier since the 1960’s. The average weight of women today is what the average weight of men was in 1960.  
Airlines have routinely responded to this dilemma by saying the passenger can just pay for an upgraded seat.  While airlines regard this as a viable option, the reality of the situation is very different.  Petitioners believe 90% of passengers should be able to fit safely and comfortably in an economy seat, without any special accommodations.  Similarly, for the very tall, forcing them to purchase an upgraded seat with more legroom can be seen as a form of discrimination.  Though it has been stated that passengers are willing to sacrifice seat pitch for a lower price, this does nothing to mitigate the health, safety, and comfort concerns of passengers.  
The other 10% of passengers representing over 70 million passengers annually, also need to be accommodated.  These include passengers over 74 inches in height (about 5% of men), over 250 pounds (about 10%) according to US Census data for 2007-2008.  This could take the form of special rows with larger seats and more pitch.  It is ironic that while airlines and other providers of public accommodations are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations for passengers with physical, medical or even emotional disabilities or conditions, an increasingly larger percentage of healthy, nondisabled passengers are not.  
III.   Health Implications of Reduced Seat Space
Being in a cramped space for any period of time can cause stiffness and soreness in joints and muscles.  Sitting in economy class of an airplane while on a commercial flight is no exception.  Apart from jet lag, altitude sickness, and an increased risk to catching contagious illnesses, flying can cause potentially life threatening blood clots from lack of movement and cramped spaces.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as “economy-class syndrome,” occurs when leg clots develop in deep veins.  This happens when one’s legs are not moving and the muscles are not contracting.  Medical professionals suggest moving about the cabin or performing different leg exercises while seated.  The issue with this suggestion is many people do not have the room to move in their seat or get up to move about the cabin.  Reducing the seat space even more would only expand the issue and cause greater health, safety, and comfort concerns.
Additionally, the tightness of the seats prevents the passengers from easily getting out of their seats in order to go to the restroom or move enough in order to keep blood flow circulating and muscles contracting in order to prevent DVT, soreness, stiffness, or other joint and muscles problems associated with remaining seated for hours.  
IV. Safety Implications of Seat Space Reduction
Airlines are required by the FAA to test their emergency evacuation plans.  These tests have realistic scenarios; from baggage thrown throughout the cabin and infant dummies that need to be carried, to exits being randomly blocked and reduced lighting.  If the test is failed, it can be retaken without any record of why the test was initially failed.  These tests have not been run in aircraft with seat pitches under 31 inches, even though aircraft are operating with seat pitches as low as 28 inches.  Cynthia Corbertt, a human factors researcher with the FAA, has stated that the FAA has not considered testing the emergency evacuation plans with other seat pitches.  These tests also have volunteers to fill the aircraft with the maximum envisioned number of passengers, but aircraft can legally carry more passengers than the maximum envisioned number.  For example a Boeing 777-300 generally seats 458 passengers, but can legally carry up to 550 passengers.  Therefore, these emergency evacuation tests do not fully test for the true practicality of an in-flight emergency because seat pitch under 31 inches is not tested and airplanes carrying the maximum legal amount of passengers are not tested.   
Additionally, these FAA required emergency evacuation tests to not factor in human panic, such as older passengers, passengers with children, or passengers with disabilities who may need more time to evacuate.  A decreased amount of space between seats would likely increase this panic, and cause delays in evacuations during an emergency, when time is of the essence.  Charlie Leocha, from Travelers United, put it best when he said, “[i]n a world where animals have more rights to space and food than humans, it is time that the DOT and FAA take a stand for humane treatment of passengers.”
Though there are requirements on how many seats can be on an airplane based on the number of emergency exists, this does not necessarily mean every emergency evacuation will be successful.  This is shown by the necessity of allowing emergency procedure tests to be retaken.  Increasing the seat pitch and seat width will allow easier access to the aisles, more room for passengers who may be injured, and more room to move towards emergency exits.  In order to maintain profitability, airlines have added emergency exists so they can still be within FAA regulations and squeeze more seats into the cabin of the aircraft.  
V. Passenger Comfort
Passenger comfort is generally not a concern for airlines because airlines believe passengers can either upgrade or would rather sacrifice comfort for a lower price.  However, the consumer should not have to choose between paying less for a flight and having sufficient legroom or enough room to move about the cabin in order to prevent potential health risks.  
Because of how little space there is, many taller passengers are forced to purchase expensive, upgraded seats in order to be comfortable, or else simply sit in extreme discomfort for the duration of the flight.  Additionally, many older passengers do not have ease of mobility, and being crammed into the economy class of an airplane can cause them severe health problems.
Another comfort issue that arises is the proximity of neighboring passengers.  For example, even if someone has enough legroom, the seat pitch has been reduced to the point that if the passenger sitting directly in front of him or her reclines his or her chair, there is little to no space to move.  This issue is uncomfortable not only for the passenger behind the reclined seat, but also for the other passengers who need to move from the seats to the aisles.  The tight space leads to people falling, grabbing the headrest of the closest seat, and disrupting other passengers.  
A lack of space has led to the invention of the knee defender device, designed to prevent seats from reclining in order to protect the passenger’s limited knee and leg room in airlines.  There has been backlash from both airlines and passengers concerning this device, created to provide comfort for one passenger but can cause discomfort for another.  Because of passenger complaints regarding the knee defender, most major airlines banned its use shortly after its invention.
Additionally, there are many Americans who are of a weight that they either must use seatbelt extensions in order to safely fly, or are forced to purchase a second seat.  The FAA does not regulate when an additional seat needs to be purchased, so airlines have created their own policies.  Travelers often have difficulty finding these policies, so websites have compiled lists of major airline policies regarding purchasing a second seat.  Even if a passenger is not required to purchase a second ticket due to their size, they can still cause discomfort to their neighbors.  If seat width was increased, there would fewer issues concerning overweight passengers and whether a second ticket needs to be purchased.  Canada ruled forcing overweight passengers to purchase a second ticket was discriminatory, and thus illegal on domestic flights.
Planes are also very overcrowded, which has led to ever higher load factors as planes today fly at over 86 percent capacity. Flights were 69 percent full on average in 2003 and 56 percent full in 1991. Between 2007 and 2013, U.S. airlines eliminated about 1.2 million flights. This significant level of overcrowding leads to fights between passengers and often flight attendants.  Overcrowded planes cause more than just fights and headaches; overweight passengers need to use seat belt extensions or purchase a second ticket, parents are unable to use car seats for their young children, and the tall are being charged extra just so their knees do not touch the seat in front of them.  
Kathleen Robinette, researcher for the Air Force, said, “[o]ne of the most important things about a comfortable seat is the ability to move in it.”  Her research found that airline seats are on average five inches too narrow.  However, that was using data from the 1960s; with the increase in the size of passengers since then, the width of airlines seats is far too narrow for true comfort to be achieved.  Airlines argue they listen to consumers because airlines provide low fares, but passengers still need to be provided with some base level of comfort.
VI. Moratorium Request
Because of the safety, health, and comfort implications of allowing airlines to continue to reduce the amount of space in airline seats, FlyersRights.org requests that FAA place a moratorium on the reduction of seat size. This moratorium would go into effect immediately upon the granting of this petition and would last until the FAA establishes appropriate seat standards.  FlyersRights.org also requests that the FAA Advisory Rulemaking Committee establish a working group on seat standards under the Occupant Safety Subcommittee.  The working group’s findings and work will then be used to establish and refine appropriate seat standards.  
VII. Conclusion
FAA has the statutory authority to regulate safety onboard aircraft, including the number of seats. While FAA has regulated extensively in analogous areas it has yet to promulgate rules concerning seat pitch and seat width. The shrinkage of seats and passenger space by airlines to generate higher profits while the size of passengers has substantially increased has created an intolerable crisis situation. It is threatening the health, safety and comfort of all passengers.  The FAA needs to rectify this situation of unreasonably small seats by imposing a moratorium on the reduction of seat sizes and promulgating minimum seat and passenger space standards. Accordingly, for the reasons stated herein, the FAA should grant this petition forthwith.


Due to the continuing actions and threats by airlines to reduce passenger seat space even further in the next few months this petition is time sensitive.  Accordingly it must be presumed that the FAA has effectively denied the petition if it is not acted upon in the next 45 days.


Respectfully submitted by:
FlyersRights.org
218 D St SE
Washington, DC 20003
Fax: (240) 391-1923



Paul Hudson
President
(800) 662-1859
paul@flyersrights.org


Richard Baxley
Staff Attorney
Richard@flyersrights.org


Andriana VanderGriend
Legislative Analyst
andriana@flyersrights.org




Appendix 1

















Appendix 2








Appendix 3

Tuesday, August 11, 2015



Website    News    Legislation    Help! I'm Stranded    Media    Contact
Shame On You

 August 11, 2015

 There was a time when good customer service was taken for granted.

And while the "customer experience" has been elevated to a religion in many service industries these days, modern air travel in the US takes the opposite approach.

At FlyersRights we regularly get horror stories of airline staff scolding passengers like schoolchildren. These unwitting customers, shocked to learn they've been bumped from their flights or arrived a few minutes too late to check in, are treated with utter contempt. The same is true when a flyer has the audacity to ask about delays that condem them to missing connecting flights, dooming vacations or business trips.

The formula for the airline industry seems to be: If it's your fault: prepare to pay; if it's the airline's fault: don't expect regret or reimbursement.

Last week the travel website, Skift coined a new term: "Hate-selling." Or, shaming customers into purchasing extra services during the buying process.

For example:
Rafat Ali CEO/Founder of Skift on how travel companies hate their customers. Above is Delta, "hate-selling" you a seat, seemingly by listing 8 convincing reasons why not to fly with them.
Skift points out that all the US airlines have redesigned their sites to maximize upselling, and 'unbundle' everything, in order to inflate fees or upgrades. They do this by hate-sell, implying: "Here's what you don't get, cheapskate!" Yes, it's passive-aggressive, used-car selling at its best, or worst.

Proof That It Pays to Be America's Most-Hated Companies

As passengers' animosity is intensified by more fees, the airlines are enjoying lower fuel costs and surging profits. Last month, American Airlines reported their most profitable quarter in its history, earning $1.7 billion.

Analysts say that fees for checked baggage and ticket changes are the two biggest contributors to the sector's total profit. Now it can cost you up to $200 dollars to alter your itinerary. The airlines like to defend these change fees by pointing out that they also sell "fully refundable" tickets without such fees, effectively blaming consumers for failing to read the fine print.

This argument comes close to a sham, as it ignores the fact that the fares without fees are much more expensive than their non-refundable counterparts.

In reality, this pricing actually serves to protect the change-fee scam, because no rational person would buy a ticket at three times the normal price instead of one at the regular lower price, plus a potential change fee. It just creates a false appearance of choice that the airlines exploit.

Also, beware that a "refundable" ticket does not necessarily mean "fully refundable".  United bills its Flexible Fare as refundable, but a recent $1,200 flex fare to Shanghai carried a $300 fee for 'CANCEL/NO-SHOW/REFUND'. The only way to know what the fees may be is to read the opaque Rules & Restrictions page.

Last month the New Yorker asked if high change fees were a problem that competition could solve.  In an ideal world, yes. But the airlines find it more profitable to collude instead of compete when it comes to fees, despite this being a country where price-fixing is allegedly a felony.

The DOT is supposed to prohibit "unfair" and "unreasonable" practices in air transportation. For that reason FlyersRights.org has filed a petition requesting the DOT and Congress rethink what's fair and reasonable and impose a change fee cap of $100.

The airlines' lobbying group, Airlines For America, is fighting hard against this, but it is worth remembering that they, like the banks, have been subsidized by taxpayers against financial failure. 

In exchange for this a safety net, the public deserves more in return.


Video of the Week:
Ever wonder what happens to your bags when you leave them at the aircraft door? Or why your shampoo bottle exploded all over your clothes?
Now you know.
Our Acclaim:



Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:
1 (877) Flyers6
  1 (877) 359-3776
The FlyersRights HOTLINE!
We publish weekly newsletters. There's no charge to receive any of them:
 
FlyersRights is a nonprofit organization that depends on contributions from people like you!



Help us make air travel a better experience, or simply show your gratitude for whatever value you find in our work by making a tax-deductible donation:


 
Comments? Complaints? Send to the newsletter editor: kendallc@FlyersRights.org
Twitter: @KendallFlyers
Forward this email


This email was sent to kendallc@flyersrights.org by kendallc@flyersrights.org  

Rapid removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | About our service provider.

FlyersRights.org | 4411 Bee Ridge Road | 274 | Sarasota | FL | 34233

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Website    News    Legislation    Help! I'm Stranded    Media    Contact
Space Invaders



August 4, 2015



 FlyersRights has written about the emerging revolution brewing at 30,000 feet above America.

Over the last few years the airlines have been moving seats closer together and reducing the number flights per route to keep flights as full as possible, leading to stressed passengers and "Air Rage".

Last August, we saw multiple stories in the news about planes diverting due to violence onboard the aircraft or passengers becoming unruly and angry - one involving a Knee Defender.
 With most airline injustices - the overbooking of flights, sardining and bumping of passengers, endless fees, limited space for carry-ons and the ever-diminishing value of frequent flyer programs - passengers feel powerless.

Which drove up sales of a product that finally gave some power to the passenger - in the form of vigilante justice.

FlyersRights recently spoke with Ira Goldman, the inventor of the Knee Defender, on the state of civility in air travel today:

FlyersRights: How did you deal with last summer's massive media focus on your product after the air rage incidents? Late last August/early September, three flights were diverted.  One was a flight from Newark to Denver - the one on which a so-called "kerfuffle" occurred about how one passenger was using his Knee Defender.

Then, within the next 10 days, there were two more diversions after some real in-flight altercations.  Those two started when a passenger reclined her seat and hit someone - one was hit in his knees, the other was hit in her head.  And to be clear: On those two flights, neither of the rearward passengers had a Knee Defender.

And so, a year ago, from all that, three big things happened to my company: A surge in orders, lots of press calls from around the world, and a huge hit to the server hosting our website, GadgetDuck.com.

Fortunately, our inventory on hand (and a rush shipment from Asia) covered the orders.  And, while I have a face for radio, I have done a good amount of print and broadcast press over the years. Ultimately, the toughest nut was keeping the website up and running, which did take some hours to resolve. But otherwise, there was just a lot of lost sleep for a few weeks.

FR: How much do you fly nowadays, do you always bring the Knee Defender?

I used to do a lot of international trade work, which had me flying 50-100,000 miles/year.  I fly a lot less now.  And yes, I do bring along my Knee Defender - and then I use it or not, depending on the equipment and circumstances on my flight.

FR: What do you say when airlines tell customers - pay for extra space if the seats are too close together? Alternatively, if a person is too tall for a coach seat, should they pay for First or Business class for the extra legroom - just as obese people sometimes have to buy two seats?

If you simply want more "room" on a flight, the airlines have a right to charge you for it.  But as a passenger, you also have an absolute, legal right to be transported safely - no matter how much or how little you've paid for your ticket.

And so, even if you're traveling on a super-low fare, the airline has a duty to protect you from injuries during the flight - which means they have a duty to protect you from being whacked in your knees, or in your head, by a reclining seatback.

Then, if an airline fails in its legal duty to protect you, you have a right to protect yourself.  And that's why I invented Knee Defender - for times when an airline doesn't protect its passengers, to help those passengers protect themselves.

FR: How much right does one passenger have to impinge on the free movement of another? What's your reply to someone who says when they recline they're using space that they paid for? In short, who OWNS that disputed space?

No matter what "rights" any passenger may have, there is absolutely no "right" to do anything that causes injury to another passenger.

Let's say your seatback is upright and there's a passenger seated directly behind you.  And, her kneecaps are flush up against your seatback.

In other words, the space your seatback would occupy if you reclined it...?  That space is already occupied by the legs of that other passenger.

And so, even if you have a "right to recline", in that situation your "right" has to take second place to the health and safety of that passenger behind you.

By "health and safety", I mean the passenger behind you has a clear right not to be hit by your seatback.  And she has a clear right not to be physically restrained in her seat - such as having your seatback resting on her knees. That is, she has a right to at least enough room to move around in her seat in order to help prevent blood clots, aka DVT.

FR: Is reclining your seat into another passenger's knees, or arbitrarily locking the seat in front of you a breakdown in courtesy?

It seems clear that courtesy on planes has dropped over the years - especially in the past 10 years.  Part of that may be load factors.  But it's also a factor of passengers-packed-in-per-cubic-foot.

Even federal courts have found: The more constricted the space is on a plane, the more likely there will be bad interactions between passengers.  In other words, even on a plane with seats that can't recline, if an airline increases the number of people it packs in, it's likely to engender more disputes - passenger-to-passenger, as well as passenger-to-flight crew. Environmental factors created by each airline do count.

FR: You invented the Knee Defender way back in 2003, weren't economy seats much roomier back then?

Knee Defender was launched as a product in 2003, but I invented the basics a few years before that on a long flight to Europe.  Yes, back then coach seating was much roomier. Yet, even with that greater seat-pitch, I was hit by reclining seats too many times - hit right in my kneecaps by the seatback's hard metal frame.

Two things about the design of Knee Defender are worth noting.  First, the product is adjustable - that is, it can be placed so that the seat in front of you can recline, and yet so the seat will stop before it can hit you.

Then second: In some ways Knee Defender is like a latch on a bathroom door.  In other words, in case someone starts to recline without looking, Knee Defender can let the person know you're there.  "Occupied", so to speak.

Many Knee Defender users have e-mailed us and said that's how they use it - as a "warning device".  So when someone in front of them tries to recline, many Knee Defender users see that, say "Just a minute", then they take a moment to move out of the way, or move their laptop out of the way - so nothing will get banged up.  Then they tell the person in front of them, "Thanks, now come on back."

FR: The FAA has said the clips are not against federal aviation rules as long as they aren't used during taxiing, takeoffs or landings. Do the airlines have the right to prohibit them?

Federal regulations allow airlines certain discretion, but only as long as the airlines meet their duties as common carriers - especially their duty to provide safe transportation.

If only the airlines, themselves, would find a way to protect passengers from being hurt while in their seats on an otherwise safe flight.  First, that means protecting passengers from traumatic injuries, such as being injured when hit by a suddenly-reclined seatback.

Second, the airlines need to find a way to protect passengers from delayed-effect seating injuries, such as DVT.  Passengers are much more likely to suffer life-threatening DVT if they are immobilized for an extended period - such as by too-narrow seats arranged with too-tight seat-pitch.

Unfortunately, it seems the airlines will not start protecting passengers this way unless DOT and FAA require them to by regulation.   That is why I testified at a hearing at DOT this past spring - to urge that safe seating be made a part of an airplane's formal safety certification process.

Yes, of course the first concern when flying is a safe take-off and landing.

However, if your plane lands safely... but then three hours later you suffer a stroke due to a blood clot you developed during the flight - a blood clot that might not have formed if you hadn't been physically immobilized in your seat - then you really didn't have a safe flight.  Everyone deserves a safe flight.

United Airlines Hacked
While we were distracted with Cecil-The-Lion last week, investigators disclosed that Chinese hackers had broken into United Airlines' database and collected information on millions of the airline's customers, including personal and financial data, manifests which contain the flights, origins and destinations of their passengers. 

The hackers went undetected inside United Airlines' system for over a year and may have caused United's system-wide computer failure on July 8 that grounded its planes for two hours,

Why Isn't United Is Not Notifying Its Customers?

It's unclear whether United will notify its customers that their data may have been compromised.
This should really outrage their customers. Why the crickets? 

 
Luke Punzenberger, a spokesman for United, said they "would abide by notification requirements if a situation warranted" it. 

The hackers probably have the movements of millions of passengers, including their origins and destinations. 

United Airlines often contracts with the U.S. government, so this would include the travel habits of American officials, as well as military personnel and contractors, potentially allowing China to chart specific government or military officials' travel patterns.

This comes just two weeks after United paid two hired-hackers one million frequent-flier miles each for finding security breaches in the airline's computer systems.

The bo
ttom line is, there's enough of your personal information already out there. Protect what's left. 

Some airlines are collecting biometric data of passengers, such as Alaska Airlines using  fingerprint boarding passes. 

TSA is also taking retinal scans and presenting it as a convenience that will increase efficiency.  But what if that data was stolen?

Besides the hacking risk, how do you feel about the government having this data - from your biometrics to where you come and go?

It's no longer a conspiracy.

Photo of the Week:
(People don't even dress this nice for a wedding anymore)


Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:
1 (877) Flyers6
  1 (877) 359-3776
The FlyersRights HOTLINE!
We publish weekly newsletters. There's no charge to receive any of them:
 


FlyersRights is a nonprofit organization that depends on contributions from people like you!

Help us make air travel a better experience, or simply show your gratitude for whatever value you find in our work by making a tax-deductible donation:



 
Comments? Complaints? Send to the newsletter editor: kendallc@FlyersRights.org
Twitter: @KendallFlyers
Forward this email



This email was sent to kendallc@flyersrights.org by kendallc@flyersrights.org  
Rapid removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | About our service provider.

FlyersRights.org | 4411 Bee Ridge Road | 274 | Sarasota | FL | 34233