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Thursday, November 27, 2014



Once again the holidays are upon us. 

This Thanksgiving, FlyersRights would like to give thanks to each of our members, their families and our volunteers.

Your generosity has brought us such a great distance since 2006. We are strong because of your support. We are looking to the future with BIG dreams - your help plays a BIG part.

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FlyersRights.org

Holiday Crush

Nov. 25, 2014

If you're traveling this week - good luck!


By the numbers
Busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving season, ranked by projected passengers on U.S. airlines:

Nov. 24: 1.88 million.
Nov. 25: 2.18 million.
Nov. 26: 2.27 million.
Nov. 27: 1.36 million.
Nov. 28: 1.63 million.
Nov. 29: 2.23 million.
Nov. 30: 2.61 million.
Dec. 1: 2.41 million.
Dec. 2: 2.01 million.
Source: Airlines for America.

It goes without saying; get to the airport early, don't plan on parking being available, have a back up plan.

Expect 100% full flights. Watch the weather if you connect.
Full flights mean cancellations could cause problems, as there's nowhere to put cancelled passengers.

Delays, cancellations and baggage problems should be covered by your airline. All airlines must post their Contract of Carriage on their website.

Rising Airport Congestion Creating Thanksgiving-Like Conditions Year-Round at Airports, Study Finds
By Airport Revenue News

Twenty-six airports will reach Thanksgiving-like levels of congestion on a daily basis much sooner than expected unless the U.S. Congress acts to support infrastructure investment, the U.S. Travel Association claimed in a study released last Tuesday.

Of the nation's top 30 airports, all will have at least one day a week where "it feels like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving" by 2020. Two airports, Midway (MDW) and McCarran International (LAS), will feel that way every day by 2015.

"The point of doing this is to demonstrate to our political leaders the urgent need for action," Dow says. "Our infrastructure has been losing ground as the rest of the world has been improving in past decades."

The latest data builds on last year's Thanksgiving in the Skies study, which measured how soon the average day at U.S. airports would resemble the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, notoriously one of the most strenuous air travel days of the year.

This year's data shows that 13 of 30 airports surveyed are already experiencing Thanksgiving-like congestion levels at least one day a week. Twenty airports will reach such congestion levels two days a week within five years.

In the next 10 years, air travel is forecast to grow from 826 million to almost 950 million enplanements per year globally, Federal Aviation Administration data shows. In the U.S., travel growth has the potential to add billions of dollars in travel spending and support more than a million new jobs, the U.S. Travel Association says.

Separate research published by U.S. Travel found that Americans are actively avoiding taking trips because of flying hassles. Air travel problems because of poor infrastructure, caused U.S. consumers to skip 38 million trips in 2013, costing the economy $35.7 billion.

Thanks, FAs!


Pinterest
This Thanksgiving many airline crew members will be away from home. They're working while many of us will be with our family and friends.

Some airlines do not pay them holiday pay, especially the regional or commuter jet crews. United's legacy Continental flight attendants also get no holiday pay for any holiday.

So please be nice to your flight crews, without them you wouldn't be able to fly.

A simple thank you will brighten their day. 
More Delta Cuts In Memphis

What airlines say is very nonbinding, as we've seen in the Supreme Court's decision Ginsberg vs. Northwest Airlines

In past mergers, airlines have promised not to close hubs, yet go ahead and cut service anyway.

Memphis is no different. When Delta sought to win regulatory approval to merge with Northwest, it promised that Memphis airport - which it inherited in the merger - would not suffer service cutbacks.

Last week, Delta informed the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority that effective Jan. 5, 2015, the airline will cease nonstop flights to Pittsburgh International Airport, New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. In addition, Delta will cease its nonstop flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in April.

Delta reports that 84 of its Memphis employees will be affected by the reductions.


In addition, Frontier Airlines, which only began serving Memphis in October, is cutting all non-stop flights to Dallas/Fort Worth starting January 7th because the flights are not meeting company expectations.

 
Dan P., FlyersRights member, commented, "Flights to Memphis cut? Just ship yourself FedEx. They probably have more flights there than all airlines combined."
Busy Week For FlyersRights!


Last week FlyersRights president, Paul Hudson, along with our new staff attorney, Richard Baxley met with DOT officials in the Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings department.

Top of the agenda was our Airline Passenger Bill of Rights 2.0 , collusion and cartel behavior from airlines, the changed definition of force majeure being used in some carriage contracts, shrinking seat sizes, ancillary fees,   Tarmac delay rule enforcement, the need for a DOT complaint hotline and much more.
 
Mr. Hudson also met with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet's DC staff re. possible sponsorship of the bill.

FlyersRights has met with hundreds of Congressmembers and Senators over the past several months, to press for the need for the passenger rights 2.0 bill.

Your Letters

Dear FlyersRights:
So what exactly is the point of Flyers Rights these days?  Every week is the same with the "newsletter" -- more mindless bitching, seeming to imply that planes should fly only 50% full (as this was apparently the historical average, never mind that it drove the airlines to bankruptcy), and the airlines should basically not care about their shareholders.  

Hate to tell you, but they are public companies, and they have an obligation to their shareholders.  And no, I do not own any airline stocks.  But I do recognize that they are a business, and as such, they are going to maximize their profits -- that is how capitalism works.  Back to my original point -- what is the point of this organization?  

-GJ

Dear GJ,

Our objective is to pass the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights 2.0. We think government can do better. We think airlines can do better.
Call it criticism or call it FlyersRights embracing our duty to the flying public. Yes, we rail on about corporate responsibility. But don't air passengers deserve consumer protection and fair treatment in the marketplace? 

No other Passenger group publishes a weekly newsletter, provides a free hotline and has a staffed office in DC. 
Airlines spend millions to influence government the way founder Kate Hanni did at great personal sacrifice with other volunteers for Flyersrights.org. 

We were able to accomplish much through massive public pressure on government due to the airlines' outrageous abuses holding passengers up to 10 hours in tarmac confinements.
airlines have every opportunity to be profitable -and clearly are today- but when they use government to gain monopoly like power, intimidate regulators, get the courts to exempt them from all state and most federal consumer protection laws, deceive consumers, and buy off Congress with political contributions that come from airfares, something is rotten and has to change.

Just look at the steady unbundling of basic services in favor of a pay-as-you-go model that has exploited consumers. People are paying more for less, and getting poorer service as well.

Also, factor in that most fees are hidden until customers begin the booking process, and purchasing airfare ends up like the world's biggest bait-and-switch scheme. Through it all, the airlines' stance on has been: Too bad. 

Fee hikes are not well-publicized, and are often unceremoniously buried in benign press releases. When people complain, the response is unsympathetic. And the merged airline industry has been in lockstep agreement on this: Virtually all airlines now charge for checked bags, and fee hikes happen in unison. Aside from Southwest consumers have no alternative.

Are you satisfied with sardined seat space? Happy with the gutting of frequent flyer programs? Pleased with the dishonest use of force majeure ("act of God") alibi for cancelled flights - so it frees the airlines as contracting parties who've taken your money, from fulfilling their contractual obligation to deliver you to your stated destination, date and time?

If you were trying to escape in an emergency, do you think you could get out in economy-class in 90 seconds? The FAA requires that any plane be capable of evacuation in 90 seconds or less, yet has zero statutory language that mandates minimum pitch for legroom for egress. What about DVT or blood clots, aka 'economy-class syndrome' due to lack of legroom?

Are you content with the airlines' lack of backup emergency operations plans? Wouldn't you rather them account for delays, using reserve crews, positioning crews in anticipation of expected weather, having a backup aircraft that would speed up maintenance delays?

Are you fine with no DOT complaint hotline, even though FlyersRights got it passed years ago, but was never funded by DOT?

Call us complainers, but we're proud to be the watchdog for you - the Ralph Nader of the skies.

Kendall Creighton
FlyersRights

Video of the Week:
60 Minutes follows the final flight a jumbo jet to its CA desert graveyard.
Qantas 767 on 60 minutes
Qantas 767 on 60 minutes

Meal of the Week:

Turkish Airlines' coach-class lunch! Enjoyed with plenty of legroom! Here's what we're missing folks. Read the whole trip report here.



Getting on a Plane? Put This Number in Your Phone:



On behalf of FlyersRights' staff and Board, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  We are thankful for your ongoing support.
Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season.


Kate Hanni, founder 
with Paul Hudson, President
Please support FlyersRights!


Sign the FlyersRights Petition for a Passenger Bill of Rights 2.0!


Monday, November 17, 2014

FlyersRights.org
Declining Expectations
Nov. 18, 2014

November marks the one year anniversary of the American Airlines and US Airways merger.

Let's take a look back at all the assurances and promises about 'synergies', and see if the merger was indeed "fantastic for the traveling public," as gushed US Airways CEO, Doug Parker a year ago.

Promise No. 1: "Travelers will benefit from more competition once American and US Airways gates are given up at La Guardia, Logan and Reagan National airports."
False. Unless 'benefit' somhow refers to higher ticket prices and degraded service, there's been no passing of any savings along to the consumer. Quite the opposite according to historical airfare data.

And, currently, American Airlines is tracking just behind Spirit Airlines in terms of passenger complaints.

Promise No. 2: 'Pledge' to retain hubs. 

True and false. No hubs have been closed yet. But capacity and routes at many have been cut, most severely at Phoenix, a former US Airways hub. Ticket prices have sharply increased across the board at that airport.

Also, this month American quietly closed it's regional jet operations at its Miami hub.

US Airways' hub, Charlotte, may see flight cuts to Europe, executives at American Airlines are hinting.

Promise No. 3: Frequent Flyers 'Synergies'

True: American and US Airways are combining their frequent flyer programs, with three main tiers: 25,000, 50,000, and 100,000 miles.

False: Benefits passengers. Although the new American Airlines may have temporarily refrained from raising the requirements for their frequent flyer program, it is nearly impossible to get a free seat without booking months, even years in advance. And every other day day is either blacked out or there are only one or two free seats available.

Across the board, we've seen the airlines turn frequent flyer programs from something that used to be used for encouraging customer loyality, into a scam to persuade you to buy tickets, then find every possible way to deny you your reward.

Winners and losers:  

Ironclad Champions:

1. American Airlines Shareholders - With AAL stock on fire this year, up over 70%, and the most aggressive re-fleeting plan among U.S. airlines with almost 500 aircraft on order with crammed coach seating along with lower fuel prices, record profits are expected to soar.

2. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker - He took home about $20.9 million last year in executive compensation.

Down-And-Outs:

1. The Leisure Traveler: 

You might think that, given competition, there's no reason to worry about the effects of a mess like US Airways-American. Consumers can always switch to friendlier skies, right? But competition, while helpful, is an insufficient remedy for bad customer service. For one thing, on some routes, there is little alternative to the new American Airlines. More cunning is the fact that airlines' low standards have spread throughout the industry. 

When one airline increases change fees, they're quickly copied by many of its competitors. As airlines merge, competitors collude by taking turns raising fees or providing a lower level of service, making the bad treatment of consumers contagious. Yesterday's outrage soon becomes today's industry standard. Decent behavior is treated as a perk. 

2. Jobs, Price Competition, Convenience
To "merge" comes from the Latin mergere, meaning to "dip, plunge, immerse, drown, bury "sink below the waves and disappear".

What the US Airways-Amererican has merged are jobs, price competition, convenience, etc.

Stow Your Smile In The Overhead Bin

What have we lost? For those who can't remember, in 1978 any ticket was fully refundable. You could change flights without penalties. You were often compensated for canceled flights. 

Seats had more legroom. Travelers were treated to free meals and a much less harried flight crew.

If we take into account the remarkably degraded service, a reduction in price that is at best modest and more likely non-existent, and factor in the full costs to employees, customers and communities, any rational cost-benefit analysis must conclude that deregulation has been a failed experiment.

If fuel costs are lower, what's keeping air fares sky-high? 

Travel writer, Christopher Elliott, asks the question on everyone's mind in his Washington Post column: Why aren't airfares falling with the price of fuel?

The answer is similar to why Starbucks doesn't lower their prices when the price of coffee drops. Because these corporations will never pass along any savings to the customer, ever.

Also, little to no competition helps (the airlines) too.

"The industry has become more concentrated, more oligopolistic, less competitive, and with greater market pricing power," says James Brock, an economics professor at Miami University.

"In a more competitive market, lower fuel costs would flow through to lower fares," he adds. "In a less competitive market? Not so much."

Read More: The Washington Post

Cartoon Of The Week!

Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:

Kate Hanni, founder 
with Paul Hudson, President
Please support FlyersRights!

Sign the FlyersRights Petition for a Passenger Bill of Rights 2.0!




Send comments to the editor, KendallCreighton or @KendallFlyers
Forward this email!


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


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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

FlyersRights.org
Stand Up, Before You Sit Down
Your Rights A to Z

Nov. 11, 2014
Air travel is more stressful than ever. There are more cancellations, tarmac delays, and passenger horror stories than ever.
Photo: Juliette Borda

An airline passenger's worst nightmare is hearing the announcement, "Your flight has been canceled", or "Your luggage will not arrive until tomorrow".

Never before has the need been greater for an airline passenger rights association.

Because here's what passengers are up against, lobbyists from the air transport industry have spent $58,395,689 so far this year and an average of $82,427,395 each of the last five years to keep the profitable status quo and defeat pro-consumer and anti-trust legislation.  

There are over 130 aviation industry companies and political action committees that contribute to the reelection campaigns of members of Congress.

The top dollar recipient for 2013-2014 was Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. 

As one of the most powerful members of Congress on aviation matters, he received $254,200 in airline PAC contributions, mostly from industries in which his committee rules over.

Consumers, however, spent practically nothing on lobbying Congress, yet on the typical round-trip $300 domestic ticket, they pay about $60 in taxes.

So, airline passengers are significantly underrepresented in Congress, yet they've paid significantly into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund this year that finances the FAA.

So what can passengers do? 

 You can start by contacting your representative, (and send us a copy), saying "I want FlyersRights to advocate for the rights and interests of air travelers, to be funded with 1/1000 of the ticket taxes and facility charges paid by airline passengers."

You can add, "I want Congress to introduce the FlyersRights Passenger Rights Bill to stop the degrading of service on U.S. domestic flights. Air travel today takes longer and has more delays. In coach, seats are squeezed as never before, risking health and safety. Airline service to smaller and midsize cities has been cut, causing passengers to pay much higher fares to these airports."

FlyersRights has been successful previously by getting The Department of Transportation rules beefed up with the landmark Tarmac Delay rule in 2009, which limited delays on the ground to three hours.
 
Then, we had another victory with the passage of our enhanced passenger protections in 2011:
  • Lost Bag Refund: A refund for all lost, checked baggage. Many airlines now charge $25 per checked bag. Currently, passengers can claim items lost, but they still end up paying for the fee. The refund applies only to luggage lost, not delayed. If this happens, file an online complaint with the DOT. According to USA Today, airlines collect more than $3 billion in bag fees each year.
  • No Hidden Fees: It's mandatory for airlines to disclose all hidden fees at any point during a traveler's purchasing process, whether online or at the ticket counter. These include fees for taxes, cancelations, changes, meals, baggage and even upgrades. 
  • Bumping Compensation: Passengers are eligible for compensation from $650 to $1,300 if they are involuntarily bumped from their flight. For "short delays," passengers are entitled to up to twice the purchase amount of their ticket, or $650. For longer delays, they can receive up to four times their ticket price, or $1,300.
  • Grace Period: Passengers have a 24-hour grace period to make changes to their itinerary without accruing cancelation fees.
  • Notification of Flight Changes: Airlines are required to inform passengers of delays and bumps either at the gate, via cell phone, or online for domestic flights. This gives passengers the option not to board a delayed flight and arrange other means of arriving at their destination.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no U.S. law requiring the airlines to provide meal vouchers or hotels. However, some airlines will provide these accommodations because they agreed to do so in their Contracts of Carriage. 

So, when buying your ticket, don't just compare price. Go a step further and compare the protections under the carriers' Contracts of Carriage. Sometimes paying a few extra dollars for a ticket will get you a room and a meal in case of delay.

Under EU law however, passengers are entitled to reimbursement for meals and refreshments and two free telephone calls, e-mails, or faxes where there is a sufficient delay (i.e., delays of two hours in "short haul" trips up to 1,500 km, three hours in "medium haul" trips up to 3,500 km, and four hours in "long haul" trips greater than 3,500 km; Regulation No. 261/2004, Article 6). 

Where the delay is five hours or more, passengers traveling in Europe are entitled to reimbursement of the full cost of the flight ticket together with a return flight to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity. When a flight is canceled, the passenger is entitled to cash payment based on the length of the flight (short haul, €250; medium haul, €400; long haul, €600; Regulation No. 261/2004, Article 5). 

Read more at FlyersRights.org.

Overbooking and Denied Boarding

Yes, it is perfectly legal for airlines to sell more tickets than seats on a flight as long as they give passengers sufficient notice. Thus the signs at counters and on the back of paper tickets.

Bumping is bad news to a traveler. If you are involuntarily denied boarding, you are entitled to immediate payment of the following compensation (14 CFR 250.5):

Domestic Flights:
  • 0 to 1 hour arrival delay: No compensation
  • 1 to 2 hour arrival delay: 200% of your one-way fare (up to a maximum of $650)
  • Over 2 hours arrival delay: 400% of your one-way fare (up to a maximum of $1,300)
International Flights:
  • 0 to 1 hour arrival delay: No compensation
  • 1 to 4 hour arrival delay: 200% of your one-way fare (up to a maximum of $650)
  • Over 4 hours arrival delay: 400% of your one-way fare (up to a maximum of $1,300)
Passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding are entitled to payment in cash/check, but many carriers may try to get away with offering payment in tickets/vouchers. 

When a flight is oversold, carriers often request volunteers. Volunteers may be offered any amount of compensation by the carrier.  


Enforcing Your Rights

The bad news: Passengers cannot sue the airlines themselves and must rely on the DOT to enforce the rules. There is no private right of action for violation of the DOT's consumer protection regulations. 

Practically all state consumer protection statutes and tort claims are rendered useless against air carriers. This leaves consumers with just one remaining cause of action: breach of the Contract of Carriage. 

On average, legitimately harmed passengers are able to get their money back in small claims court for breach of contract. 

When Problems Arise

When problems arise at the airport, your best initial response is to go online to the carrier's Contract of Carriage - all airlines are required to publicize this online - to see what your rights are under the contract. Are you entitled to overnight hotel and meals? Will the carrier send you to another carrier that can get you there sooner? 

Read More: American Bar Assn.

Shut Up And 'Relax', Tweets AA



Election law professor Rick Hasen on Saturday tweeted a fairly sober assessment of a new 737 American Airlines jet as he flew from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Back on another @AmericanAir new plane. My review: beautiful seats, screen, plugs/usb: bad seat pitch and less room for writing on a laptop
- Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) November 8, 2014
The company then responded with the equivalent of "sit down and shut up."
@rickhasen We're happy to have you on board, Rick. Maybe that's a sign that you just have to #sitandrelax. - American Airlines (@AmericanAir) November 8, 2014
So, a customer complains there's not enough room to work on a new airplane, and the airliner responds that he should just relax.

When Hasen said this, American tried to sell him on buying a more expensive seat.
@rickhasen Have you tried our Main Cabin Extra seating? Up to 6 inches more legroom per seat.
- American Airlines (@AmericanAir) November 8, 2014
Hasen soon responded with a popular take on airline industry economics.
@AmericanAir I understand. There is great pressure to monetize everything on airplanes. And cartelization gives frequent flyers less choice - Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) November 8, 2014
And to this, amazingly, American responded, "You're welcome, Rick!"

In Hasen's case, American Airlines ultimately 'apologized' for the service he received.
@rickhasen We're very sorry if we misunderstood your tweet, Rick. We hope you're more comfortable on your next flight with us.
- American Airlines (@AmericanAir) November 8, 2014
See, the problem is we sardined passengers are just "misunderstanding" the airlines.

Video of the Week!
 Air New Zealand's Safety Video - wow!
The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made #airnzhobbit


Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:

                           
                            Kate Hanni, founder 
                         with Paul Hudson, President

                             

Sign the FlyersRights Petition for a Passenger Bill of Rights 2.0!




Send comments to the editor, KendallCreighton or @KendallFlyers

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


FlyersRights.org
Better Late Than Never 
Nov. 4, 2014

Jetting to Europe and worried about delays?

A screen displays delayed flights at Gatwick Airport

Unlike in the U.S., airlines in Europe are now required by law to pay passengers in cash for prolonged flight delays.

Last Friday's ruling by the European Court of Justice that flights arriving over three hours later than their scheduled time - defined by the time when at least one aircraft door is open, not when wheels touch the ground - means passengers can seek compensation anywhere in the range of $160 to $800 per person.  This latest ruling could cost the airlines billions. 

The delay must be the fault of the airline.

So strikes and bad weather won't qualify, but if your flight was disrupted because of equipment malfunctions or the airline not being prepared for bad weather while other flights
ran on time, then you have the right to pursue a claim.
  
Previously, passengers had their claims for compensation denied because the airline contended that the flight did arrive on time, based on when the aircraft landed or came to a standstill.
But as FlyersRights members know, a lot of waiting can happen between the time a plane lands, taxis, and a door finally opens.

U.S. and Canadian citizens benefit from new EU flight delay compensation laws

The law provides for US and Canadian citizens and entitles them to up to $800 in compensation from the carrier when they are delayed on routes between North America and Europe.


The flight must be operated by an EU-regulated airline. This means the passenger is either departing from any airport within the EU on any airline (including US airlines), or is flying into Europe on an EU-based airline.

In addition, both the distance of the flight and the duration of the delay affect the amount of compensation passengers may be able to claim. This can range from 125 - 600 Euros ($160 - $800) per person.

Since 2009, EU rules have stated that passengers who reach their destination more than three hours late can claim up to Euro 600 plus expenses, per person, if the delay is within the airline's control.

However, the airlines have stonewalled thousands of passengers from getting the cash they are entitled to, because airlines often refuse to pay out even when the regulator rules against them. While most customers give up at this point, some have gone to court. 

 Underscores How Badly The System Is Rigged Against US Consumers

Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights said, "The Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights would help, but the US is well behind the EU and Canada in providing compensation for excessive flight delays. Yet, somehow EU airlines offer cheaper fares within Europe."

"Transatlantic fares are at record levels due to DOT sanctioned alliances,exempt from price fixing antitrust laws and domestic fares are also soaring", he said.

The ramifications of this decision are significant. For example, about 2.6 million passengers fly from London to New York every year, of which approximately 21 thousand passengers would be directly affected by the regulation.

Collectively, they would be eligible for compensation of around $17 million.

In light of the court's decision, the website Flightright is recommending passengers take the following steps whenever it looks like their flight will be significantly delayed:
  1. If the delay occurs at the departing airport, ask a gate agent what is the cause of the delay. The weather? A technical issue? Crew staffing problems? Note the reason the airline provides, and when it was given. Document any other pertinent information provided by airport or airline staff.
  2. Record the time that you boarded the aircraft, when the aircraft pushed back from the gate, and when it took off.
  3. During the flight, ask a member of the flight or cabin crew if they know the cause of the delay. Document any information provided, who provided it, and the time.
  4. Upon arrival at the destination airport, note when the aircraft landed, when it came to a standstill, and when it docked at the gate or parking area.
  5. Document the exact time that the first door was opened.
According to Flightright, technical problems with an aircraft, bad weather, and delays associated with crew staffing problems are the most common reasons why passengers claim compensation.

They Fought The Law And The Law Won  


Last week's judgments follow a six-year battle between EU airlines and passengers.

It was Jet2 airline that brought the whole edifice crashing down, reported  MoneySavingExpert.com.
 
Up to that point, the airlines had been fighting a generally effective guerrilla war in small claims court.

This certainly deterred most passengers from cashing in on their legitimate legal entitlement for delayed flights, and accordingly worked in the favor of the airlines.

But rather than pay out one passenger, Ron Huzar's, small claim, Jet2 decided to bet the farm (and indeed all the other airlines' farms) by doubling down.  

If the airline had won in the Court of Appeal, the protection afforded byRegulation 261/04 would have been seriously eroded.

But if they lost, they would create a binding legal precedent that would ensure an unambiguous and definitive interpretation of the law in favor of the passenger.

So, well done, Jet2. You may be a fairly unremarkable airline, but you've done something truly special for EU passengers. This victory is your very own Halloween.  

Jet2.com did not wish to provide a comment.

Experts predict this victory will open the floodgates for claims from passengers who suffer delays in the future.
Your Letters 

(From last week's newsletter, Stocking Stuffers)

Dear FlyersRights:

I read your newsletter this morning and someone sent an email disagreeing with the mandatory quarantine for people coming from West Africa.  I totally agree with this type of move to stop this terrible outbreak.
I am flying twice before the end of the year; once through Dallas and once staying in Dallas.  I've already made plans to stay at my home for 3 weeks when I return to protect my family and friends in case there is someone joy riding through the skies that has been exposed to Ebola.
I don't  understand these medical personnel that have seen what this can do, understand how it has affected the US, and no one can guarantee it's not an air-borne illness (I don't care what the so-called experts say-they aren't sure). 

Specifically, the doctor that went on his merry way to bowling alleys, etc. and the nurse that caused an uproar because she has to stay home for 3 weeks.  Good going New Jersey!  I wish all states would do the same.
Thank you,
CC-MCP

Dear FlyersRights:

I generally support FR. But, this is the USA and companies are entitled to make a profit. If the prices get obscene, low cost carriers will arrive.

I do not like paying high prices any more than the next guy. if they are too high, I do not go.

Compare today's prices with those of 1972 and adjust for inflation. Today is cheaper.

On the other hand, if they keep me on a plane against my will, I'll hang 'em by their "toenails." The "we'll lose our place argument" is pure hogwash.
-CC
Dear FlyersRights:

I used to fly for a living. have not done so in years because of the awful way passengers are treated. We need to grow a pair and demand that the airlines remember who pays their salaries. A strike by only 10% of the flying public during this holiday season will get their attention! 

Forget what is stated above. We now have a few generations of AMERICANS that will stand for anything!
-AJ

Dear FlyersRights:

As you say, profits are way up in the airline industry and yet commercial flyers and employees are all getting squeezed.  The market economy is supposed to lead to a competition in which fares gets lower and service gets better.  In fact the reverse is happening.  Until ordinary people finally agree that capitalism without regulation is too brutal to be acceptable, we will continue to see this process, not only in the airlines but in other industries.

The government is supposed to intervene between the companies and us consumers, is supposed to tame and soften the worst aspects of this economic system, but because the corporate lobbyists outweigh us in power and influence, our government representatives and departments are failing to do that job.  We should not be eschewing government and making it the enemy; we should be demanding that it serve us as it should.

We need to organize to get the money out of our elections, make our representatives beholden to us, not the lobbyists, and we need to support our now very weak unions which are trying to keep the floor from getting ever lower and making the lives of working people and ordinary consumers more and more difficult.

Thank you for all you do to inform us about the aviation industry.
-CS

Dear FlyersRights:
The T-shirt arrived today! I think it will fit perfectly. Will wear it proudly on our next trip (on LUFTHANSA *:) happy) from Munich to USA. Here's hoping for no delays, no air-rage incidents, and no Ebola scares.
Thanks again for all you do!!!
-BR




Folks, there is still time to get your FlyersRights shirts!












We've got FlyersRights buttons for donations over $50, and t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts for gifts over $100 --or just send us a donation!

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Videos of the Week!
Rapping Flight Attendant from Southwest Airlines
Rapping Flight Attendant from Southwest Airlines

Hilarious 5.45 hour video of "BLAH Airlines". Well done Virgin America

Have you been flying BLAH Airlines?
Have you been flying BLAH Airlines?
Read FlyersRights' statement on cell phone use in airliners. (pdf)
 

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