Friday, December 7, 2007

Travel Weekly Magazines Taps Kate Hanni for Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kate Hanni
03 December 2007 (707) 337-0328

www.flyersrights.comhttp://Strandedpassengers.blogspot.com


AIR PASSENGER ADVOCATE NAMED MOST INFLUENTIAL
Travel Weekly Magazine Taps Kate Hanni
Most Visible Force for Passenger Bill of Rights

(Los Angeles, CA) 03 December 2007 – Travel Weekly Magazine… considered by many to be the most influential voice for the nation’s travel industry… has named Kate Hanni as one of this year’s most influential people for positive changes in the travel industry. “I was honored and surprised to be included with such an illustrious group of people,” said Hanni in a phone conversation from her home in the California Wine Country. “This is so gratifying to me personally and to everyone who has worked so hard to make a real Airline Passenger Bill of Rights a national priority.” Hanni’s coalition of airline passenger advocates is the largest in the nation, with almost 22,000 members. She shares the Travel Weekly honors with former VP and Nobel Laureate Al Gore and Virgin Atlantic Chairman Sir Richard Branson, among others.

Hanni gained national prominence after a horrifying and well-publicized nine hour stranding ordeal on an American Airlines jet in Dallas in December of 2006. From testimony before Congress to numerous appearances on the national TV talk show circuit, Hanni became a strong and passionate advocate for the “little guy” in his and her struggle against the airline goliaths. “Basic human needs… like toilette paper, working toilettes, food and water go unmet in these airline stranding incidents. And no matter what the big airline PR departments want you to believe…the problem is not getting better. The problem is getting worse.” Hanni has a wide selection of airline stranding “horror stories” from here own personal experience on that famous American Airlines flight and from numerous coalition members. “People get desperate… they panic. We have reports of fist fights on board stranded aircraft, police arrests, people vomiting… toilettes overflowing into the aisles. Human beings should never be treated this way.” Hanni contends that airline greed is the real problem and she is adamant in her belief that it will take a Government mandated Airline Passengers Bill of Rights to rectify the situation. “Airline industry attempts at these band aid solutions are way too little… way too late. This is going to take the active involvement of our Federal representatives to finally take a stand for everyone who travels. The honor from Travel Weekly Magazine will definitely help with our efforts as we look for national passage of the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights this coming legislative session.”

The Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights has set up two toll free hotline numbers so that the traveling public and airline employees can report airline strandings and airline bad behavior. The number for the traveling public is 877- Flyers-6 and the anonymous airline employee tip line is (877) 887-2678. Requests for more information and media interviews with Kate Hanni should be directed to Ms. Hanni at (707) 337-0328. ###

Monday, November 26, 2007

Who's Been Naughty and Nice With the Airlines

CAPBOR ANNOUNCES ITS HOLIDAY AIRLINE PROGRAM
“WHO’S NAUGHTY AND NICE WITH THE AIRLINES”
Putting the Integrity, Dignity and Wellbeing back in Flying

New York, NY – Today Kate Hanni, founder of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, made the following statement; “We advocate putting the integrity, dignity and wellbeing back in air travel. And to do this we are introducing our four point plan:

· We will be manning a 24/7 toll-free hotline (1-877-FLYERS6) to provide a free service offering hotel, flight status and alternatives, car rental and weather information (among other things) for stranded travelers.
· Our website is being upgraded to allow consumers to post their airline service issues along with airline responses where applicable.
· Coalition members will positioned in major airports during the holidays to distribute Coalition brochures that contain useful information for passengers experiencing extended delays, bumpings, and other airline related problems.
· Tis the holiday season, and what would the holidays be without presents? The Coalition is offering a Christmas Prize Stocking Stuffer of Cold Hard Cash for the Best, most dramatic Stranding Video. Video’s must be turned in by January 5th, First Prize will be for the best, most dramatic video and will fetch $500.00 cash prize…not flight vouchers. Second prize will be $250.00 cash prize…third prize will be $100.00 and the contest ends January 5th 2008.
· Anonymous Tip Line for Employees of Airlines who are have any concerns for Passenger Safety, Security, Deceptive or unfair management practices, baggage issues, anything they’d like to report. Simply call our hotline with a blocked caller ID and tell us our story!




Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights has 21,000 members and has been in force since Feb. 10, 2007. www.flyersrights.org or 1-877-FLYERS6 for our full time manned hotline beginning the day before Thanksgiving. Kate Hanni is the Founder she may be reached by cell phone at (707) 337-0328. USPIRG, Public Citizen, ACAP, Public Interest Research Group all support the Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights.


Services Offered on our hotline:

Give information in real time internet sources (for example weather) and reasonably predict your flight options
We will e-mail your family or business associates and let them know where you are
Turn off your cell phone and conserve energy
3 hours is the time at which we call media, period. They decide if it’s news.
Rental car information
Hotel information
Get media to your airport if you are stuck on the tarmac
Give you straight answers on Chronically Delayed Flights
Advice on how to get a refund
Make sure if you go to get a refund that your incident is coded correctly
We will document with all issues: baggage – frequent flyer miles – ground stops- delays – strandings -
###

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

POSITIONS OF COALITION FOR AN AIRLINE PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS (CAPBOR) AND AVIATION CONSUMER ACTION PROJECT (ACAP) RE AIRLINE DELAYS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE AT NYC AREA AIRPORTS

I. REASONABLE REGULATIONS BY FAA/DOT UNDER EXISTING AUTHORITY CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE DELAYS IN THE SHORT TERM AT LITTLE OR NO COST.

A. FAA/DOT should hold public hearings and open meetings to discuss ideas and proposals for delay reduction immediately. Such meeting can allow all interested parties: airlines, airports and airline passengers and nearby residents of airports to have their views and proposals heard, considered and debated.

Closed meetings held on October 23-24th by a DOT appointed Aviation Rulemaking Committee consisting primarily of airlines with no genuine airline passenger organizations, no air traffic controller organizations, no pilot or flight crew organizations and even excluding the NYS Consumer Protection Board, charged under newly enacted legislation with advocating for the interests of airline passengers, makes this process unbalanced, unfair, and probably illegal as in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and Open Meetings laws.

President Bush has ordered DOT Secretary Mary Peters to come up with regulations to reduce delays at New York City area airports by December, calling the present situation unacceptable, but DOT efforts have so far only resulted in recriminations and knee jerk opposition to any regulation by the airlines and the Port Authority that controls the NYC area airports.

B. Truth in Scheduling Regulation and Delay Statistics. DOT must exercise its responsibility to eliminate deceptive and unfair airline over-scheduling practices by banning flights that are deceptively scheduled (i.e. those that are late more than 70% of the time or those that are cancelled more than 8% of the time) and requiring airlines to affirmatively notify passengers and prospective passengers of chronically delayed flights on time statistic (those flights late more than 40% of the time, or cancelled more than 5% of the time). This regulation could dramatically reduce demand for the most congested times through market forces as most passengers will not book travel on such flights.

Delayed passengers on deceptively scheduled flights should also receive compensation for their time and inconvenience based on bumping rule compensation rates (equal to the amount paid for the ticket or double the price of the ticket for delays over 4 hours). At present, airlines that schedule accurately are at a competitive disadvantage to those that use deceptive or even fraudulent scheduling practices. Since passengers have no recourse for delays caused by deceptive scheduling practices, airlines have little or no financial incentives to avoid deceptive scheduling practices.

Finally, CAPBOR and ACAP have proven and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has admitted that delay statistics fail to capture most tarmac confinements, flight diversions and inaccurately count cancellations as zero minutes delay thereby omitting the most serious delays affecting millions of airline passengers and failing to count billions of hours of passenger delays. The BTS must accurately capture the delay data and stop misleading the public with drastically understated statistics on airline delays and their consequent costs to the economy and burdens on air travelers. So far it has failed to do so.

C. Reasonable Limits on Scheduling at choke point airports, especially in NYC-Washington corridor.

Only so many aircraft can take off or land during a given hour. At JFK the capacity has been calculated by the FAA to be 80 flights per hour. However, during peak hours, flights are being scheduled at 125% of airport capacity. This has led to long delays of an hour or more on the tarmac or in landing even in ideal weather conditions.

The hard part is deciding how take off or landing slots at the most congested times are assigned to the airlines, as each airline wants unlimited freedom to schedule flights during the most popular times. If assignments are made by DOT/FAA edict, slots are likely to favor those with the most potent lobbies and would likely reduce competition and increase air fares. Bidding for slots favors airlines with the deepest pockets and is also likely to drive up air fares for the most popular times. A lottery system could be used that would not increase costs, but could arguably still reduce competition.

ACAP and CAPBOR favor an annual lottery system for slot assignments at heavily congested times that strongly favors flights with the most passengers, as this would increase the number of passengers that could travel during congested times without overloading the system or increasing costs, air fares and delays.

The only short term strategy for increasing capacity at major city airports is greater use of wide bodied aircraft to increase throughput and reduce congestion. However, airlines have frustrated this strategy by increasing the number of flights while reducing the size of airliners, virtually eliminating the use of wide bodied jets for domestic air travel, thereby aggravating congestion and delays at major airports. Congested airports during their rush hours need the equivalent of HOV lanes on major highways used by commuters in and around major urban areas.

D. Revenue Neutral Congestion Pricing. Some FAA and airports favor increasing landing and departure fees during congested times at major airports. However, without reducing fees at uncongested times this approach would simply increase airport and FAA revenues and airline costs, while likely increasing air fares overall. Moreover, since such fees are relatively low, their effect on congestion related delays is likely to be minimal unless the increases were dramatic.

ACAP and CAPBOR favors standby use of congestion pricing that is revenue neutral (ie increasing fees for congested times but reducing them for uncongested times) and reducing fees for larger aircraft that carry more passengers and increasing them for smaller aircraft (fees are generally set by weight of aircraft with smaller aircraft paying much lower fees but using the same amount of airport take off and landing capacity as larger aircraft). The much smaller take off and landing fees paid by smaller aircraft is another reason why airlines have increasingly favored use of smaller aircraft. However, congestion pricing may be unnecessary if Truth in Scheduling regulations and slot control regulations are effective in reducing congestion related delays.

E. Right to Deplane after three hours or less. New York JFK Airport and Jet Blue Airlines received national headlines when they stranded several thousand passengers in February by confining them against their will in aircraft on the tarmac for up to 11 hours without adequate food, water, or sanitary facilities. American and several other airlines have had over a dozen similar incidents of mass strandings. Without a right to exit the aircraft or deplane, passengers will increasingly be subject to wrongful imprisonment by airlines (who use this technique to avoid paying alternate transportation on other airlines, hotel and other expenses long associated with extended delays or cancellations). New York State has enacted legislation banning such practices, however, the airlines have threatened to go to court to overturn this law based on federal pre-emption of regulation of customer service. Even minimal Airline Passengers Rights legislation is stalled in Congress, and the pending bills contain no right to deplane no matter how extended the tarmac confinement.

CAPBOR and ACAP accordingly call on DOT/FAA is immediately enact as an emergency measure a regulation requiring passengers be given the right to exit the aircraft after a delay of 3 hours or more. This would both relieve unnecessary passenger hardship and provide another incentive for airlines to avoid over scheduling and resulting delays that are compounded into frequent grid lock at airports in the New York City area that also delays national and international air traffic.

The CEO of Jet Blue testified in April at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that he saw no reason why other airlines could not provide for deplaning in situations of extended tarmac delays and that Jet Blue had leased a special area at JFK airport for this purpose.

F. Contingency Planning when a major airport is unavailable. The unavailability of a major NYC airport for any length of time, whether from natural or man made causes, not only causes massive delays for New York City area but disrupts national and international air traffic for many hours to several days.

Contingency planning should provide for diversion of incoming flights to outlying airports at Newburgh (45 miles north of Manhattan), Westchester (20 miles north of Manhattan) and Islip (55 miles east of Manhattan), with ground transportation to bring passengers to their NYC destinations or to other airports as needed for alternate air transportation. These secondary airports have excess capacity. The cost of such emergency diversion and alternate transportation should be borne by the Port Authority that controls all major transportation access to and from New York City and generates enormous revenue from the airports, bridges, and tunnels that it owns and operates.

The need for contingency planning is well documented and widely recognized, but the DOT/FAA has neglected to require any such planning and therefore no effective alternative transportation plan exists for major disruption or unavailability of one or more of the three main NYC airports (JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark).

ACAP and CAPBOR call on DOT/FAA to mandate such planning with a deadline of no longer than six months to have a contingency plan in place. The lead agency should be the NYS Transportation Department with the airlines, FAA, Port Authority, MTA, FEMA in secondary roles as those actors have shown themselves to be dysfunctional and unable to cooperate in such contingency planning in the past and/or have conflicting financial interests. Airline passengers must also be represented in such planning.

G. Increased use of secondary airports and underutilized military air fields for commercial transportation.

These and several other promising proposals have not been seriously considered by FAA/DOT, much less adopted, due to industry opposition to any regulation or proposal that would impinge on the power of each interest group to do as it pleases. As a result of the disinclination of FAA/DOT leadership to implement any regulation or proposal opposed by industry, degradation of the air transportation system has accelerated under the Bush Administration.

H. Need for Presidential Commission. CAPBOR and ACAP propose that President Bush appoint a White House Commission or Task Force on National Air Transportation Delays and Passenger Rights & Services, with genuine airline passenger representation, to break up the bureaucratic and industry lobby paralysis that has infected the national air transportation system. The transportation committees of Congress are bastions of pork barrel politics with a leadership heavily influenced by industry campaign contributions and have so far proven incapable of effectively dealing with most air transportation problems or enacting needed reforms.

This commission should be charged with developing an action plan to relieve delays and provide for minimum mandatory standards for passenger service. Also, this commission should be able to end the regulatory default, bureaucratic inertia and turf battles that have effectively exempted airlines from all health, sanitary, consumer protection and occupational safety laws that apply to all other providers of public accommodations in the United States.

II. LONGER TERM IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED TO REDUCE DELAYS AND IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE

A. Use of high speed rail connecting airports in major cities with downtown business districts and each other. Presently not being done because airports depend on vehicle parking, taxi, car rental, and bus fees to provide over 70% of revenue.

B. Expansion of smaller airports around large metro areas, and addition of more runways at large airports to accommodate increased use of regional and corporate jets, and air taxi services.

C. Construction of new major airports for Chicago, New York City/Boston, Denver.

D. Implementation of fail safe GPS air traffic control, keeping in mind the multiple failures of the FAA to modernize air traffic control over many years not withstanding expenditure of billions of taxpayer/passenger dollars, and greater use of private companies to construct and design the system, with a commission to oversee it with consumer as well as industry representation.

III. GROUND DELAYS DUE TO BAGGAGE HANDLING, CAR RENTAL FACILITIES AND SECURITY NEED TO BE STREAMLINED.

A. Baggage Mishandling is the second most common passenger complaint after delayed flights. Airlines have by regulation enjoyed low liability limits for mishandled and lost or stolen baggage (now at under $3,000 per passenger), and as a result have under invested in or eliminated baggage security. Federal Express, UPS and the US Postal Service all track by computer their packages, but airlines do not, even though bar codes on baggage easily allows them to do so.

The reason is it is less expensive to pay for lost baggage at low liability limits than to pay for modern security tracking systems. Airlines also have a financial incentive to encourage passengers to use carry on luggage which they handle themselves, as this frees up space for profitable cargo shipments in airliner baggage compartments and reduces airline costs for baggage handling.

DOT needs to require checked baggage tracking systems to reduce mishandled and lost baggage and consequent delays, improve security, and increase liability limits for lost or mishandled baggage.

B. Off Sight Centralized Car Rental facilities have been built at most large airports. These facilities can increase delays for passengers since they require a shuttle bus that adds 10-30 minutes to a passenger’s trip each way. The reason these facilities are popular with airports is that they generate extra revenue for the airport and free up space at the airport that can be leased or used for high priced parking.

The FAA/DOT and Congress need to ensure that these facilities are not used as just another means to exact more revenue, taxes, and revenue from passengers and to increase delays. FAA/DOT currently fails to regulate these facilities and local airport authorities are exempt from anti-trust regulations. Ground transportation facilities at airports should lose their anti-trust exemptions as be treated as what they are: quasi-monopolies.

For example, since the BWI car rental facility was opened delays have increased due to shortages of vehicles apparently caused by MD Dept. of Aviation regulations and consolidation in the car rental industry, and car rental fees and expenses to consumers have more than doubled in the past 2 years.

C. Security procedures have increased delays with long lines at peak travel times. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reduced lines and wait times but this is still a major problem at some airports and needs to be addressed by opening more lines and increasing personnel at peak times (they can be reduced at non-peak times). TSA needs to increase staffing at peak periods with overtime, flex time, shift pay incentives, part time and/or overlapping shifts.

Dated: October 31, 2007

Washington, D.C.

Paul Hudson

Executive Director

Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP)

A nonprofit organization acting as a voice for airline passengers on national aviation issues since 1971 with no airline industry funding

Member, Executive Committee –FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee

Member, TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee

Board Member, Coalition for an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

410-940-8934

acapaviation@yahoo.com globetrotter1947@hotmail.com

Kate Hanni, Founder and Executive Director

The Coalition for an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (CAPBOR)

The largest nonprofit organization representing the interests of airline passengers with over 20,000 individual member/supporters (growing at 1,000-3,000 new members per month since January 2007) and with organizational members including the Consumer Federation of America, US PIRG, Public Citizen and ACAP, no airline industry funding

kate@flyersrights.com 707-337-0328

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Strand-IN-Invitation to Congress Template




August 16, 2007

To the Honorable Proper name here

U.S. House of Representatives

OR

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C.

Dear Representative or Senator name:

I am a member of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights and your loyal constituent. I am cordially inviting you to attend a simulation of the experiences that people like me and tens of thousands of American passengers have endured at the hands of commercial airlines.

If you have ever wanted to see first-hand what being trapped in an aircraft for 8 to 14 hours against your will is like – then please join our organization for this important event. The Coalition for an Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights is holding a Strand-In on the National Mall between 12th and 13th Streets on September 19th. Look for the Flyers Rights airplane on the mall. Coalition members from around the country, students, and members of Congress who support the need for Congressional action on behalf of airline passengers are gathering to make their voices heard in regard to the continuing inhuman treatment of airline passengers.

The purpose of the Strand-In is to convince Congress that the FAA Reauthorization Bills (H.R. 2881 and S. 1300) must require airlines to establish a maximum tarmac delay period and to have the U.S. Secretary of Transportation enforce them. According to the Department of Transportation, the contingency plans currently offered by the airlines are not enforceable.

I am only asking for you to attend for a few minutes to demonstrate your support. If you cannot make it, I would appreciate you sending a staff member.

Our organization expects a large national media presence for this event. Speeches will be from noon to 1:00 pm. If you wish to make any formal remarks, please let the Coalition know in advance (see contact information below). We anticipate a full flight - so reserve your seat soon!

I promise you won’t be bumped.

Sincerely,

Your name and your address

Member of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights

Getting there: Use the Smithsonian Metro Station – exit at 12th and Jefferson. Very limited parking is available on Jefferson and in general area. Use mass transit or taxi.

For more information about the Strand-In, up-to-date information (copies of Coalition materials, etc.), please visit www.flyersrights.org or contact:

Kate Hanni

kate@flyersrights.com

(707) 337-0328, or

Map:


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Coalition calls on Congress to Stop the Rhetoric and Protect Passengers' Rights

For Immediate Release: July 10, 2007
Kate Hanni: Spokeswoman CAPBOR (707)337-0328

Coalition for Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights Wants Action not Rhetoric from Members of Congress

Coalition Urges Key Members to Keep their Promise to the Flying Public - Give Airline Passengers Legal Rights

Napa Valley, CA (July 9. 2007) – The Coalition for Passengers Bill of Rights (CAPBOR), the fastest growing passengers’ coalition in the country, issues the following statement from its Founder and Executive Director, Kate Hanni.

“The flying public continues to fall victim to a vast rise in episodes of strandings and horrific experiences of being held against their will on major commercial airlines. From the strandings in late December of 2006, which led to the formation of our coalition to the continued and systematic entrapment of tens of thousands passengers for countless hours over the last 7 months, the complete and utter failure of commercial airlines to provide even the most basic levels of customer service to passengers continue to ignite shock and anger. As we have stated too many times in the past, enough is enough - the flying public deserves better from the airlines.

Congress has also joined our efforts. The House and Senate have included language in recent bills that are aimed at protecting the flying public from the traumatic situations that we are all too familiar with.
We commend the efforts of Senator Boxer, Senator Snowe & Senator Lautenberg. In the house of Representatives Mike Thompson has shown tremendous leadership and a great sense of commitment to passengers’ rights.
Although these actions are an important step in the right direction, Congressional rhetoric alone will not suffice. We need more members of Congress to weigh in on this important legislation and make sure the flying public remains on the forefront of the Congressional agenda. We cannot and should not be forgotten.

Given the importance of our mission to ensure that no other passengers are ever stranded, trapped or abandoned, we call on every member of the Senate and House Transportation Committee and their Honorable Chairs to keep their word and honor their commitments. Furthermore, we urge all Members of Congress to join our efforts and protect the flying public.”

We also need to call to action consumers to call on their members of Congress and say “enough is enough”. “We are tired of the long hot travel season from hell and we want passengers rights legislation that is meaningful, not empty promises”. Call 202-224-3121 for your member of Congress today and go to http://www.flyersrights.com/ and sign our petition to get involved and fight for your rights.

The Coalition for an Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights’ efforts have well paid off since the beginning of its mission. The number of voices that have joined the coalition’s efforts in support of an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights continues to grow at a feverish pace. We now proudly count on the support of 16,000 members, which believes as we do that the commercial airlines have an obligation to provide passengers with basic rights and legal recourse with strong protections.

###
Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights is the largest grassroots airline passengers’ rights organization in the country with 16,068 members to date. We also include ACAP, USPIRG, Consumer Federation of America and Public Citizen as Consumer Organizations. In addition we have been joined by the United Flight Attendants and United Airline Pilots Association in support of our Legislation as we proposed it. Our Coalition discovered that the DOT wasn’t counting Diverted or Cancelled Flights for Time on the Tarmac and we have initiated a 6 month report card for the airlines with the worst Strandings record and worst customer service issues.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hotline Number: 1-877-Flyers-6

You will get an answering machine and instructions for what to do when stranded. We will answer your questions to the best of our ability about other issues. If your baggage is lost, unfortunately the airlines end up selling your bags at http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/ . You can go there to view your precious items. It this bothers you CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND ASK THEM TO INCLUDE OUR BAGGAGE CLAUSE IN THE BILL. At this point our baggage clause has been ignored by Congress.

We are here for you. We will do our best. We are a non-profit and need your donations in order to keep afloat. Airline miles, cash (every dollar helps), hotel points etc.

Your Fearless Leader,

Kate Hanni, Founder
CAPBOR

Friday, June 22, 2007

ACAP and CAPBOR Decry False Statistics on Flight Delays

PRESS RELEASE
For more information contact
Paul Hudson 410-940-8934
For Release June 22, 2007

Aviation Consumer Groups Decry False Statistics on Flight Delays: Call for Congressional Investigation and Passage of Passenger Rights Legislation

Washington, DC- An unusual public meeting was held on June 20th called by the DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) attended by over 150 airline representatives on how to fix inaccurate and incomplete data reporting of flight delays and strandings. At the meeting, aviation consumer groups charged the agency was misleading the flying public with flight delay statistics that omit the most serious delays caused by flight cancellations and diversions, called for the agency to correct misleading testimony submitted to Congress by high DOT officials at April hearings on strandings, and suggested ways to fix reporting deficiencies.

Paul Hudson, executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP), noted that “DOT delay statistics are inaccurate to the point of being deceptive. For example, the agency now admits that there were over 16,000 flight diversions last year but it collected no data on the delays this caused passengers. The DOT also admits that it does not count cancellations, which are now one in 20 flights, as causing any delay. It also has now admitted it fails to record time on tarmac confinements of up to 12 hours, including the mass stranding by Jet Blue at JFK Airport in February that received national headlines.”

“If the agency that is charged with preventing deceptive practices by airlines does not correct its own inaccurate testimony and public statements, it is itself guilty of misleading the public and Congress. Current DOT reports on airline flight delays are like a doctor telling a patient all about his hang nails, but omitting to mention he also has cancer.”

Last week the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (CAPBOR) issued a study that detailed the inaccurate statistics and provided estimates based on media reports and verified eye witness accounts of strandings, showing that serious delays are grossly understated in DOT statistics based on airline self reporting. http://www.flyersrights.com/http://strandedpassengers.blogspot.com/

On April 11th consumer groups testified at a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee regarding the inaccurate DOT statistics, their testimonies and those of the DOT and the airlines are available on the Committee web site.

Detailed comments by ACAP were filed today with DOT under Docket No. RITA 2007 28522.

-30-

Friday, June 15, 2007

CAPBOR Releases First Strandings Report Card

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 13th, 9:30 AM
Contact: Kate Hanni—707-337-0328
Paul Hudson – 410-940-8934
Passenger Rights Coalition Issues Airline Strandings Report Card
Three Airlines Get Failing Grades (American, United, US Air)
-- Group Announces New Toll Free Number For Passenger Complaints –
Washington, DC-- Advocates for an airline passenger bill of rights today announced that American, United and US Air had all failed the group’s first Strandings Report Card, based on the total number of flights subject to excessive delays and strandings and other factors -- including the lack of food and "putridness" factor on the delayed planes -- in their first report card ranking airline treatment of stranded passengers. The group also announced a new toll-free (1-877-flyers6 or 1-877-359-3776) hotline for passenger complaints.
"Passengers have no rights once they enter an aircraft, incredibly, prisoners of war have more rights than passengers on a commercial airliner," said Kate Hanni, a stranded American Airlines passenger and founder of the Coalition for An Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (CAPBOR). "Our report card gives three major airlines an F for their treatment of passengers, and that’s why we’re urging Congress to enact a real Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights."
On May 16, the Senate Commerce Committee approved a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, S. 1300, that included passenger rights language sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Action now shifts to the House Transportation Committee where an FAA reauthorization could be considered as early as next week, noted Hanni. The group supports passenger rights legislation, HR 1303, introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).
Key elements of the coalition’s passenger bill of rights platform include the following: a procedure for deplaning people stranded on the tarmac for 3 hours or more; providing essential needs for passengers during any onboard delay, truthful reporting of flight delays and cancellations and that bags be returned within 24 hours.
"The government wouldn’t let a cruise ship go to sea without lifeboats," fellow stranded passenger Cathy Ray pointed out. "Flight attendants have a union, pilots have a union, but passengers have no union to represent them. The coalition is our union and we intend to force the government to stop the madness."
Among the highlights of the group’s first Strandings Report Card:
􀂃 The Department of Transportation’s report that only 36 delays of more than 5 hours occurred in 2006 fails to include extended delays on diverted or cancelled flights.
􀂃 No cancellations included: Those DOT data calculations do not include events such as the Valentine’s Day 2007 Jet Blue events at JFK, where 10 planes were held more than 5 hours, then cancelled.
MORE MORE MORE
COALITION FOR AN AIRLINE PASSENGERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
REPORT CARD PAGE 2 of 2
􀂃 No Diversions included: Those DOT data do not include the 101 American Airlines and American Eagle planes from California that were diverted to Austin and other points, then sat on the tarmac for at least 5 hours on December 29th, 2007.

􀂃 For a combination of their total of number of extended delays, cancellations, and diversions, along with their failure to treat passengers humanely – subjecting them to putrid conditions, no potable water and little food, the report card gave three airlines (American, United, and US Air) a failing grade.
The group also announced several awards for worst practices, including the following
􀂃 Its "When You’re On The Ground They Treat You Like Dirt" Award to American Airlines, for providing no food, having the most known strandings, most known crisis mismanagement, high "Time-on-the-Tarmac statistics and the most negative report card score – 4.7.
􀂃 Its "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award" to United after a crew reportedly left passengers sitting in Syndey, Australia on a plane,
􀂃 Its "Take The Money And Run Awards," to United Express – Operated by SkyWest, for abandoning diverted passengers in Cheyenne, Wyoming and to both United Express – Operated by Trans States Airlines and American Connection – Operated by Trans States Airlines, for similarly abandoning diverted passengers in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
"The performance of the airlines coupled with illusory or false promises and customer service plans shows why passenger rights legislation is essential" said Paul Hudson, longtime executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project. "The fact that there is a wide divergence in airline performance regarding strandings also proves that mandating higher quality service will not raise ticket prices or put airlines out of business."
The group was joined at its event by Cindy Bouchard, a former US Airways airline customer service supervisor, who said that "The Coalition is absolutely correct in its assertion that a legislated passengers’ bill of rights is necessary, and now!"
"We’re pleased that the Senate has taken the first steps toward enacting a Passenger Bill of Rights," concluded Hanni," Now it is up to the House to do its part to make sure that airline passengers are treated like people, not hostages."
-30-
The non-profit Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights was formed by hundreds of passengers who were stranded on several American Airlines planes for up to 9 hours at Austin International Airport, December 2006. It now has over 15,000 supporters on its petition for a passenger bill of rights. Its website is www.flyersrights.org
The non-profit Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP) has represented airline consumers since 1971.


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 13th, 9:30 AM
Contact: Kate Hanni—707-337-0328
Paul Hudson – 410-940-8934
Passenger Rights Coalition Issues Airline Strandings Report Card
Three Airlines Get Failing Grades (American, United, US Air)
-- Group Announces New Toll Free Number For Passenger Complaints –
Washington, DC-- Advocates for an airline passenger bill of rights today announced that American, United and US Air had all failed the group’s first Strandings Report Card, based on the total number of flights subject to excessive delays and strandings and other factors -- including the lack of food and "putridness" factor on the delayed planes -- in their first report card ranking airline treatment of stranded passengers. The group also announced a new toll-free (1-877-flyers6 or 1-877-359-3776) hotline for passenger complaints.
"Passengers have no rights once they enter an aircraft, incredibly, prisoners of war have more rights than passengers on a commercial airliner," said Kate Hanni, a stranded American Airlines passenger and founder of the Coalition for An Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (CAPBOR). "Our report card gives three major airlines an F for their treatment of passengers, and that’s why we’re urging Congress to enact a real Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights."
On May 16, the Senate Commerce Committee approved a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, S. 1300, that included passenger rights language sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Action now shifts to the House Transportation Committee where an FAA reauthorization could be considered as early as next week, noted Hanni. The group supports passenger rights legislation, HR 1303, introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).
Key elements of the coalition’s passenger bill of rights platform include the following: a procedure for deplaning people stranded on the tarmac for 3 hours or more; providing essential needs for passengers during any onboard delay, truthful reporting of flight delays and cancellations and that bags be returned within 24 hours.
"The government wouldn’t let a cruise ship go to sea without lifeboats," fellow stranded passenger Cathy Ray pointed out. "Flight attendants have a union, pilots have a union, but passengers have no union to represent them. The coalition is our union and we intend to force the government to stop the madness."
Among the highlights of the group’s first Strandings Report Card:
􀂃 The Department of Transportation’s report that only 36 delays of more than 5 hours occurred in 2006 fails to include extended delays on diverted or cancelled flights.
􀂃 No cancellations included: Those DOT data calculations do not include events such as the Valentine’s Day 2007 Jet Blue events at JFK, where 10 planes were held more than 5 hours, then cancelled.
MORE MORE MORE
COALITION FOR AN AIRLINE PASSENGERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
REPORT CARD PAGE 2 of 2
􀂃 No Diversions included: Those DOT data do not include the 101 American Airlines and American Eagle planes from California that were diverted to Austin and other points, then sat on the tarmac for at least 5 hours on December 29th, 2007.

􀂃 For a combination of their total of number of extended delays, cancellations, and diversions, along with their failure to treat passengers humanely – subjecting them to putrid conditions, no potable water and little food, the report card gave three airlines (American, United, and US Air) a failing grade.
The group also announced several awards for worst practices, including the following
􀂃 Its "When You’re On The Ground They Treat You Like Dirt" Award to American Airlines, for providing no food, having the most known strandings, most known crisis mismanagement, high "Time-on-the-Tarmac statistics and the most negative report card score – 4.7.
􀂃 Its "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award" to United after a crew reportedly left passengers sitting in Syndey, Australia on a plane,
􀂃 Its "Take The Money And Run Awards," to United Express – Operated by SkyWest, for abandoning diverted passengers in Cheyenne, Wyoming and to both United Express – Operated by Trans States Airlines and American Connection – Operated by Trans States Airlines, for similarly abandoning diverted passengers in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
"The performance of the airlines coupled with illusory or false promises and customer service plans shows why passenger rights legislation is essential" said Paul Hudson, longtime executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project. "The fact that there is a wide divergence in airline performance regarding strandings also proves that mandating higher quality service will not raise ticket prices or put airlines out of business."
The group was joined at its event by Cindy Bouchard, a former US Airways airline customer service supervisor, who said that "The Coalition is absolutely correct in its assertion that a legislated passengers’ bill of rights is necessary, and now!"
"We’re pleased that the Senate has taken the first steps toward enacting a Passenger Bill of Rights," concluded Hanni," Now it is up to the House to do its part to make sure that airline passengers are treated like people, not hostages."
-30-
The non-profit Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights was formed by hundreds of passengers who were stranded on several American Airlines planes for up to 9 hours at Austin International Airport, December 2006. It now has over 15,000 supporters on its petition for a passenger bill of rights. Its website is www.flyersrights.org
The non-profit Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP) has represented airline consumers since 1971.


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 13th, 9:30 AM
Contact: Kate Hanni—707-337-0328
Paul Hudson – 410-940-8934
Passenger Rights Coalition Issues Airline Strandings Report Card
Three Airlines Get Failing Grades (American, United, US Air)
-- Group Announces New Toll Free Number For Passenger Complaints –
Washington, DC-- Advocates for an airline passenger bill of rights today announced that American, United and US Air had all failed the group’s first Strandings Report Card, based on the total number of flights subject to excessive delays and strandings and other factors -- including the lack of food and "putridness" factor on the delayed planes -- in their first report card ranking airline treatment of stranded passengers. The group also announced a new toll-free (1-877-flyers6 or 1-877-359-3776) hotline for passenger complaints.
"Passengers have no rights once they enter an aircraft, incredibly, prisoners of war have more rights than passengers on a commercial airliner," said Kate Hanni, a stranded American Airlines passenger and founder of the Coalition for An Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (CAPBOR). "Our report card gives three major airlines an F for their treatment of passengers, and that’s why we’re urging Congress to enact a real Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights."
On May 16, the Senate Commerce Committee approved a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, S. 1300, that included passenger rights language sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Action now shifts to the House Transportation Committee where an FAA reauthorization could be considered as early as next week, noted Hanni. The group supports passenger rights legislation, HR 1303, introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).
Key elements of the coalition’s passenger bill of rights platform include the following: a procedure for deplaning people stranded on the tarmac for 3 hours or more; providing essential needs for passengers during any onboard delay, truthful reporting of flight delays and cancellations and that bags be returned within 24 hours.
"The government wouldn’t let a cruise ship go to sea without lifeboats," fellow stranded passenger Cathy Ray pointed out. "Flight attendants have a union, pilots have a union, but passengers have no union to represent them. The coalition is our union and we intend to force the government to stop the madness."
Among the highlights of the group’s first Strandings Report Card:
􀂃 The Department of Transportation’s report that only 36 delays of more than 5 hours occurred in 2006 fails to include extended delays on diverted or cancelled flights.
􀂃 No cancellations included: Those DOT data calculations do not include events such as the Valentine’s Day 2007 Jet Blue events at JFK, where 10 planes were held more than 5 hours, then cancelled.
MORE MORE MORE
COALITION FOR AN AIRLINE PASSENGERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
REPORT CARD PAGE 2 of 2
􀂃 No Diversions included: Those DOT data do not include the 101 American Airlines and American Eagle planes from California that were diverted to Austin and other points, then sat on the tarmac for at least 5 hours on December 29th, 2007.

􀂃 For a combination of their total of number of extended delays, cancellations, and diversions, along with their failure to treat passengers humanely – subjecting them to putrid conditions, no potable water and little food, the report card gave three airlines (American, United, and US Air) a failing grade.
The group also announced several awards for worst practices, including the following
􀂃 Its "When You’re On The Ground They Treat You Like Dirt" Award to American Airlines, for providing no food, having the most known strandings, most known crisis mismanagement, high "Time-on-the-Tarmac statistics and the most negative report card score – 4.7.
􀂃 Its "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award" to United after a crew reportedly left passengers sitting in Syndey, Australia on a plane,
􀂃 Its "Take The Money And Run Awards," to United Express – Operated by SkyWest, for abandoning diverted passengers in Cheyenne, Wyoming and to both United Express – Operated by Trans States Airlines and American Connection – Operated by Trans States Airlines, for similarly abandoning diverted passengers in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
"The performance of the airlines coupled with illusory or false promises and customer service plans shows why passenger rights legislation is essential" said Paul Hudson, longtime executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project. "The fact that there is a wide divergence in airline performance regarding strandings also proves that mandating higher quality service will not raise ticket prices or put airlines out of business."
The group was joined at its event by Cindy Bouchard, a former US Airways airline customer service supervisor, who said that "The Coalition is absolutely correct in its assertion that a legislated passengers’ bill of rights is necessary, and now!"
"We’re pleased that the Senate has taken the first steps toward enacting a Passenger Bill of Rights," concluded Hanni," Now it is up to the House to do its part to make sure that airline passengers are treated like people, not hostages."
-30-
The non-profit Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights was formed by hundreds of passengers who were stranded on several American Airlines planes for up to 9 hours at Austin International Airport, December 2006. It now has over 15,000 supporters on its petition for a passenger bill of rights. Its website is www.flyersrights.org
The non-profit Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP) has represented airline consumers since 1971.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Letter to Mary E. Peters DOT and Marion Blakey FAA

May 9, 2007

Hon. Mary E. Peters
Secretary BY FAX & OVERNIGHT MAIL
US Dept. of Transportation 202-366-7202 202-267-5047
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20590

Hon. Marion Blakey
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20591

RE: Airline Passenger Stranding, Extended Involuntary Confinement in Aircraft on the Tarmac, Flight Diversions

Dear Secretary Peters and Administrator Blakey:

We are writing to ask that you take immediate action to stem the epidemic of airline passenger stranding and involuntary detention of passengers in aircraft on the tarmac for extended periods of time.

Since December 29th, 2006, there have been at least seven incidents involving over 150,000 passengers who have been involuntarily confined on airliners for periods of 4 to 9 hours or more, without proper water and food supplies, often in unsanitary to disgusting conditions, and without adequate air conditioning and ventilation. See enclosed accounts and news articles.

There are reports of passengers being deprived of needed medications, incidents of deep vein thrombosis as passengers are forced to remain in their seats for hours on end, toilets overflowing and inoperable, pets defecating, babies in need of changing and feeding screaming and crying nonstop, and of growing danger of tarmac rage as passengers desperate to escape this incredible captivity on the tarmac plot rebellion, after many hours of involuntary confinement, enforced by flight crews at the behest of airline management.

Delays and cancellations are now at record levels. According to DOT statistics 16,000 flights with approximately 1.6 million passengers were potentially victimized by diversions, cancellations and excessive tarmac delays in 2006.

As you know, these incidents have caused both the Senate Transportation Committee and House Aviation Subcommittee to hold hearings and for legislation to be introduced.

Secretary Peters, your representatives testified at these hearings that you were “concerned” but had decided to wait until yet another report is issued by the DOT in late June or July before deciding what if any action to take. Chairmen Oberstar, Inouye and Costello, Senators Boxer and Snowe, DOT IG Calvin Scovel and others have publicly faulted and chastised your agency for failing to take appropriate action under your statutory mandate or to properly follow up on the airline passenger customer rights programs as promised eight years ago.

Administrator Blakey, no one has heard from the FAA on this situation which clearly represents a health and safety hazard for passengers especially those in need of medication, the handicapped, infirm, elderly, young children as well as for pets aboard aircraft, and it is certainly causing stress and hardship for nearly all passengers affected.

We believe that legislation is necessary in part because you have failed to act under your existing authority to regulate the airlines so as to prevent, deter and punish unfair, deceptive, or unsafe practices as well as those practices causing unnecessary inconvenience to the traveling public. The response that the “market” will cure all ills has obviously failed to deter airlines from these practices, since as recently as three days ago new incidents have occurred affecting thousands of airline passengers.

On April 24th about 81 airliners were diverted by American Airlines from Dallas Fort Worth and passengers were detained on many of these aircraft involuntarily for well over 4 hours (in violation of that airline’s own advertised customer policies). Another incident took place in Detroit two weeks ago involving confining passengers on Spirit Airlines overnight.

We have credible reports that American Airlines falsely claimed that there were no hotel rooms available (when there was over a 50% vacancy rate in San Antonio at the time) so passengers were forced to sleep in school gyms on cots supplied by the Red Cross, and falsely claimed that there were no rental cars available (so passengers could not in some cases could continue their trips by auto).

There is a common thread that runs through all these intolerable incidents: Money. Airlines want to keep passengers’ money and not have to pay out for their stranding. By holding passengers on airliners when long delays or cancellations are unavoidable they avoid or reduce ticket refunds, having to pay for alternate transportation on other carriers, having to pay for lodging, local transportation, meals and other expenses long associated with strandings and mass cancellations. There is also a money incentive for flight crews to hold passengers on the tarmac, since most airline work rules do not pay the flight crews their full or sometimes any wages until the cabin door closes (ALPA and AFA have been silent on the issue).

Without agency action or new legislation, the only lawful recourse passengers have is to call 911, their physicians, and local police to beg for rescue, to notify the news media, and eventually sue for wrongful imprisonment (long after the fact).

David Neeleman, CEO of jetBlue, testified on April 20th that he saw no reason why passengers could not be permitted to deplane in cases of extended tarmac delays, and stated that jetBlue after its recent stranding debacles in February had reserved areas for this purpose at JFK where it has its major hub.

Current stranding practices are intolerable to the traveling public and will continue to tarnish the reputation of your agencies and your leadership unless and until appropriate action is taken. Accordingly, we must ask a simple question- What if anything are you doing to stop the intolerable confinement of passengers on the tarmac and related practices?

We would further ask that you meet with the undersigned in the next 10 days on this important and now urgent matter.

Sincerely,

Paul Hudson
Executive Director
Aviation Consumer Action Project ( ACAP)
Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (EX COM, Occupant Safety
PO Box 19029
Washington, DC 20036
410-940-8934 410-451-7051
Globetrotter1947@hotmail.com

Kate Hanni(707)337-0328Spokesperson and FounderCoalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rightshttp://strandedpassengers.blogspot.com/
http://www.flyersrights.com/

Edmund Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Federation of State PIRGs 218 D St SE Washington, DC 20003 v-202-546-9707x314 fax 202-546-2461 Note New Email edm/at/pirg.org BLOG: www.uspirg.org/consumer

Travis Plunkett
Legislative Director
Consumer Federation of America
1620 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-387-6121

Laura MacCleeryDirector, Congress WatchPublic Citizen215 Pennsylvania Avenue, SEWashington, DC 20003Ph: 202-454-5130Fax: 202-546-5562

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New York Won't Leave Passenger's Glued to the Tarmac

Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (CAPBOR)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 21st May 2007
CONTACT: Kate Hanni, Coalition, 707-337-0328

Coalition Pleased that New York Won’t Leave Passengers’ Rights Glued to the Tarmac!
** Kate Hanni, Founder of Coalition, to testify before New York Senate Committee on Consumer Protection about Passengers Rights Legislation **


At the airport with the worst record last year, New York's JFK, where 169 planes sat for more than three hours, The Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights will testify before the New York Senate Committee on Consumer Protection Thursday May 24th at 10:30 a.m., and will encourage the committee to work hard for an airline passengers’ bill of rights. The groups also pledged to work with committee chairman Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. to expand and improve the basic provisions of his bill, S5050, which has already passed the State Senate, as the bill moves toward final passage.

“Along with hundreds of thousands of other passengers left stranded for 8-10 hours or more in non-hygienic planes, I am very pleased that the committee has moved an airline passengers’ bill of rights closer to takeoff,” said Kate Hanni, spokeswoman for the Coalition for An Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights. “Now we need to help Senator Charles Fuschillo to make sure The New York Legislature finishes the job in a way that will guarantee those rights.” Hanni noted that the coalition would work to help Fuschillo get the bill through the Assembly and on toward final passage.

The legislation requires airlines to provide passengers with necessary services such as food, potable water and adequate restroom facilities while a plane is delayed on the ground. They will also be discussion about staffing levels, de-icing methods, amenities for passengers, and deplaning procedures in the event of delay, cancellation or emergency.

“It’s important that states step in to take action, even if Congress may also act to guarantee that airlines provide food, water, medicines and other basic human needs to passengers and allow folks to deplane after a period of time being trapped inside an aircraft.” said Kate Hanni, spokeswoman for the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights.

“We are pleased that Senator Fuschillo has pledged to continue working to expand these basic rights as the legislation moves forward,” concluded Hanni. “We are also pleased that New York appears poised to lead the federal government into meaningful legislation that will protect the flying public.”

-30-

The Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (http://www.flyersrights.org/) has 15,120 supporters. It was founded by Hanni and hundreds of other passengers who were stranded on several American Airlines planes for up to 9 hours at Austin International Airport, December 2006.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Passengers' Rights Legislation Press Release

Coalition for An Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 May 2007
CONTACT: Kate Hanni, Coalition, 707-337-0328
Ed Mierzwinski, PIRG, 202-546-9707 x314

Passengers' Rights Legislation One Step Closer to Take-Off
** Groups Commend Commerce Committee For Including Version of
Boxer-Snowe Bill In FAA Reauthorization Package **

The Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights and U.S. PIRG commended the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee for including a bi-partisan airline passengers’ bill of rights in the comprehensive FAA Reauthorization bill approved today. At the same time, the groups pledged to work with their champions, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), to expand and improve the basic provision as the bill moves toward final passage.

“Along with thousands of other passengers left stranded for 8-10 hours or more in non-hygienic planes, I am very pleased that the committee has moved an airline passengers’ bill of rights closer to takeoff,” said Kate Hanni, spokeswoman for the Coalition for An Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights. “Now we need to help our champions Senators Boxer and Snowe to make sure Congress finishes the job in a way that will guarantee those rights.”

The FAA Reauthorization bill includes a provision providing that passengers trapped on a runway have the basic right to deplane within three hours unless the airline has filed with the FAA its own alternate plan for treatment of passengers in such situations. The legislation also requires airlines to provide passengers with necessary services such as food, potable water and adequate restroom facilities while a plane is delayed on the ground.

“Although we have serious concerns about the potential consequences of the current language of the bill’s alternate plan provision, we have been assured by Senator Boxer that she and Senator Snowe will continue to work to ensure that the final bill protects the current common law rights of the flying public and sets meaningful minimum standards for these airline plans that will protect the flying public,” added Hanni.

“A full Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights must ensure that airlines are subject to minimum standards in these trapped-on-the-runway situations, and that passengers have full and enforceable legal rights not only in these situations but also when their baggage is lost or damaged or when they are bumped,” said Edmund Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). “Along with other
leading consumer groups, we intend to work with the coalition and other groups, Senators Boxer and Snowe and other Congressional champions to make sure that a strong Airline
Passenger Bill of Rights is incorporated into the final FAA bill that goes to the president.”

The groups also praised an amendment by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), accepted by the committee in principle, which will ensure that the Department of Transportation’s FAA is held accountable and holds airlines accountable.

“We are pleased that Senator Boxer has pledged to continue working to expand these basic rights as the legislation moves forward,” concluded Hanni. “We are also pleased that for what is apparently the first time after several failed attempts in the last ten years, a Congressional Committee has approved an airline passenger bill of rights.”

-30-

The Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (www.flyersrights.org) has 15,000 supporters. It was founded by Hanni and hundreds of other passengers who were stranded on several American Airlines planes for up to 9 hours at Austin International Airport, December 2006.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (www.uspirg.org) is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. The PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Coalition for “Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” Outraged by Latest Series of Passengers Stranded Aboard Several American Airlines Jets in Austin

Press Statement

For Immediate Release: Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445-1570

Coalition for “Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” Outraged by Latest Series of Passengers Stranded Aboard Several American Airlines Jets in Austin – Held Against Their Will for Up to Six Hours
“Airlines Continue to Defy the Will of the Flying Public, the Federal Government and Members of Congress Who are Fed up with Continuous Lies and Deceptive Tactics. The time for Congress to Pass an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights is Now,” – Kate Hanni, Founder and Executive Director, PBOR.

Napa Valley, CA. (April 25, 2007) – The Coalition for “Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” (PBOR) issued the following statement from its founder and executive director, Kate Hanni, on reports that passengers aboard several American Airlines flights were trapped for up to six hours at Austin and San Antonio airports on Tuesday. Passenger accounts indicate similar instances of food and water quickly running out, as well as intolerable conditions as a result of unusable toilets.

“On behalf of our 15,000 members worldwide, words cannot begin to describe the outrage and indignation felt after hearing reports of the latest passenger strandings aboard American Airlines jets in Austin. For the flying public it’s deja-vu – no food, no running water, unusable toilets that make six hours trapped on a plane an intolerable and unbearable experience. For the airlines, this is just more of the same utter disregard for the flying public and the will of the federal government and Members of Congress who are demanding that the airlines stop lying to passengers and end their deceptive tactics.

We are encouraged by the Department of Transportation’s plan to investigate the airlines’ unrealistic scheduling and hiding of delay information. These efforts are necessary to prevent additional passengers from becoming trapped victims aboard airplanes as a result of this chronic problem. The airlines must realize that the federal government and Congress are demanding accountability and taking the necessary steps to protect the flying public.

We also applaud the DOT Inspector General’s efforts to enforce laws requiring airlines to publish information on flights that are ‘chronically late’. Airlines must be made to comply with the federal requirements to provide a flight’s on-time performance when requested by a customer.”
###

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Kate Hanni to Testify Tommorow Before The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Aviaton

For Immediate Release: Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445-1570

Washington, DC (April 19, 2007) – Spokeswoman and Founder, Kate Hanni, of The Coalition for an “Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” (PBOR) will testify tomorrow before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation in a hearing concerning Aviation Consumer Issues. Hanni will discuss her experience and that of hundreds of other passengers stranded 9 hours aboard several American Airlines flights in December 2006.

WHO: Kate Hanni, Spokeswoman and Founder, PBOR

WHAT: Testimony before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation; Hearing – Airline Consumer Issues.

WHEN: Friday, April 20th
Time: 10:00 am EDT

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building RHOB - 2167

Any questions, call Gil Meneses at 202-445-1570.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

House Aviation Subcommittee Hearing April 20th, 10:00 a.m.

We need you to show your support in DC on April 20th at 10:00 a.m. At this point the deck is stacked against us with a lineup of testimony that includes Kevin Mitchell of the defunded Business Travel Coalition, ATA James May, ASTA who has already stated they think we should remain inside the plane on the tarmac for 8 hours and only move the plane if the flow of traffice isn't disrupted, and Jet Blue who clearly is against legislation. I'm the only True Airline Passengers' Consumer Advocate on the panel. By your attending and wearing our newly created Passengers' Bill of Rights Button you will be letting them know we aren't going to take it any more. The location is in room 2167 of the Rayburn Building (HOB). Be there and BE COUNTED!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

We need you to attend the Senate Aviation Subcommittee Hearings April 11th, 2:30 pm, Russell Bldg.Washing DC

Kate will be testifying and representing the hundreds of thousands of people who've been stranded on tarmacs, had missing or damaged luggage, flight delays that weren't reported, frequent flyer miles swallowed up by the airlines, abandoned by airlines completely in the wrong airport, and all of the proposed items on our Airline Bill of Rights April 11th, 2007; but Kate needs your help. The Senators show up if people show up and Cameras show up if people show up, so PEOPLE>>>>>SHOW UP IF YOU CAN POSSIBLY DO SO. This is our moment in the sun. Our time to speak out. Let your voice be heard by sheer numbers and volumes of you showing up and showing your support in DC. 100 People is what we need for a Home RUN. LETS make it a Grand Slam and go for 200...that way we will have people flowing into the halls and that brings the media out in droves. With 15000 people in our Coalition now, surely we can get 200 to the Hearings!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights Reacts to Annual Airline Quality Rating Report

For Immediate Release: Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445-1570

Congress Must Step in to Safeguard the Well-Being of Passengers
and Make them a Priority


Napa Valley, CA. (April 2, 2007) – The Coalition for “Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” (PBOR), the fastest growing coalition of airline passengers in the country, issued the following statement from its spokesperson Kate Hanni on today’s release of the Annual Airline Quality Rating Report (AQR), which points to more delays and an overall decline in airline customer service.

“These latest AQR findings once again highlight the need for a comprehensive Passengers’ Bill of Rights that will guarantee basic rights and standards to passengers. As the AQR points out, bumped passengers, flight delays and lost bags have become the order of the day for anyone who takes to the sky for personal or business reasons. An airline spokesperson even admitted today that these problems will not improve, stating that ‘we’re going to see more delays, and those delays translate to cancellations, mishandled bags and unhappy passengers.’ These admissions by the very own airlines are simply astonishing following the hundreds of thousands of passengers left stranded at major airports over the last three months

As a result, after years of broken promises and declining customer service, Congress must now step up and use FAA reauthorization to ensure that airlines make passengers’ rights a top priority once and for all. The last thing that we should do is provide more giveaways to the airlines and less accountability to consumers and Congress. In addition the airlines’ plan for reauthorization would wrongly slash funds by $600 million, jeopardizing efforts to modernize our air traffic control system.

The flying public needs a voice and legal recourse. For the last eight years and longer, the airlines have had the opportunity to make good on their promises to improve customer service and ensure basic rights for passengers. It’s time for Congress to ensure that airlines make passengers their top priority.”

###

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Coalition Commends House Transportation Committee Chair Oberstar

For Immediate Release: Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445-1570

Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights Commends House Transportation Committee Chair James Oberstar for Demanding Stricter Oversight into Passenger Mistreatment and Lack of Customer Service by Airlines Industry

Fastest Growing Airline Passenger Coalition Calls on Congress to Make Passengers Bill of Rights a Necessary Component of FAA Reauthorization

Napa Valley, CA. (March 26, 2007) – The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” (PBOR), the fastest growing coalition of airline passengers in the country, issued the following statement from its spokesperson Kate Hanni on reports that House Transportation Committee Chair James Oberstar is demanding greater accountability and stricter oversight of passenger mistreatment and lack of customer service by the airline industry.

“We applaud Chair Committee Oberstar for his continued efforts to improve customer service by the airline industry and protect the well-being and welfare of the flying public. Stricter oversight and greater accountability are just what the airlines need in order to meet the very basic level of customer service, yet they continue to fail at this miserably.

The airlines have had seven years to improve the way in which in which they treat passengers and improve their customer service. It’s seven years later and they have demonstrated their unwillingness and inability to police themselves and make passengers their top priority.

As Congress looks to reauthorize FAA funding this year, they should be using this opportunity to ensure that airlines make passengers’ rights a necessary part of FAA reauthorization.

The airlines are currently trying to push through a proposal for FAA reauthorization that will award them big giveaway and reduce Congressional oversight over our air traffic control system. The last thing that they need is to be rewarded with another million-dollar tax break and less accountability to consumers and Congress.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Contact Kate to get more info on the Coalition

Kate Hanni, Spokesperson and Founder
(707)337-0328 cellular
http://strandedpassengers.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 19, 2007

Coalition Outraged by Weekend Reports of Thousands of Passengers Stranded in Airplanes, – Some for More than Ten Hours at Several Airports

Airlines Point the Finger on Others to Cover Up for their Own Mistakes While Lobbying Congress for a One Billion Dollar Tax Break - - Enough is Enough ! It’s Time for Congress to Step in and Safeguard the Flying Public by Passing an ‘Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights – Kate Hanni, PBOR Spokesperson

Napa Valley, CA. (March 19, 2007) – The Coalition for “Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” (PBOR) issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on reports that thousands of passengers were stranded aboard airplanes at several airports this weekend. Passengers reported being trapped in airplanes against their will for more than 10 hours, some exceeding 14 to 15 hours in certain airports. Reports also point to inadequate staffing by the airlines for some of the problems that contributed to the massive delays.

“We are outraged by weekend reports that the lives of hundreds of thousands of passengers were turned upside down because of the airlines’ outright failure to provide a very basic level of customer service to the flying public.

Meanwhile, the airlines continue to point fingers -- airports blame the airlines for the failure to have enough deicing fluid -- the airlines blame the airports for no gates available. The finger keeps getting passed around, while passengers out on the tarmac remain in the freezing conditions for 14 hours. The question is: Who’s looking out for the flying public ?

We have had enough excuses; no more ‘mea-culpas’ by airline CEOs on national television. Airlines point the finger at others to cover up their own mistakes, while lobbying Congress for a huge tax break. Legislation is the only way to solve these strandings and the time to do so is now.”

Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445.1570

Coalition Calls on Congress to Make Passengers’ Rights a Necessary Part of FAA Reauthorization

Napa Valley, CA. (March 19, 2007) – The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights” (PBOR) issued the following statement from its spokesperson Kate Hanni, urging Congress to make passengers’ rights a necessary part of FAA Reauthorization.
“As Congress looks to reauthorize FAA funding this year, they should be using this opportunity to ensure that airlines make passengers’ rights a necessary part of FAA reauthorization.

The airlines are currently trying to push through a proposal for FAA reauthorization that will award them big giveaway and reduce Congressional oversight over our air traffic control system.

Yet the incidents this weekend in which thousands of passengers were stranded once again prove that the airlines are unwilling and unable to police themselves and that the last thing that they need is to be rewarded by another tax break and less accountability to consumers and Congress.

To make matters worse, the proposal that the airlines are trying to push through Congress would slash funds by $600 million, jeopardizing efforts to modernize our air traffic control system so that we can keep passengers flying safely and efficiently.

As Congress moves forward with FAA reauthorization, we need to ensure that our air traffic control system is modernized with full and adequate funding, and that passengers are guaranteed basic rights so we prevent horrific stories like this one from happening once and for all.”

Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445-1570

Airline Passenger Urinates In Air-Sickness Bag

Flight Crew Wouldn't Let Passengers Use Restroom

POSTED: 8:34 am EDT March 18, 2007WPBF-TV (Palm Beach, FL)

SALT LAKE CITY -- SkyWest Airlines apologized to a passenger who said he wasn't allowed to use the restroom during a one-hour flight and ended up urinating in an air-sickness bag.
James Whipple said he had two "really big beers" at the Boise, Idaho airport. While on a flight to Salt Lake City on March 7, he drank a soft drink. He then wanted to use the cabin restroom. The captain had declared it off-limits during the short flight because a light wasn't working.
Whipple said he had used the cabin restroom before the plane departed but had to go again and finally reached for the air-sickness bag.

No other passengers noticed Whipple using the bag, but a flight attendant asked him about it and told the captain, who called airport police.

"It was like I had no choice," Whipple told The Salt Lake Tribune, which posted the story on its Web site Friday. "I started to urinate on myself. So, thinking the way I thought, I grabbed one of those vomit bags."

"I didn't think I did anything wrong. I could have relieved myself all over my pants. It was almost like that was what she preferred me to do," he said.

Whipple was questioned and took a taxi home to Sandy, a Salt Lake City suburb.
The airline sent him a letter of apology and a flight voucher, SkyWest spokeswoman Sabrena Suite-Mangum said Friday.

She said SkyWest decided to go ahead with the flight and get the light fixed in Salt Lake City, rather than delaying it or canceling it for repairs.

"For such a short flight, we really felt we were trying to inconvenience the least number of passengers possible by operating that flight," Suite-Mangum said.
Whipple was not happy with the airline's apology.

"I think it's very wrong for them to put a commercial airliner in the air if it's not in complete working order, regardless of whether [the problem] is a lavatory, or a tire, or anything. We are paying customers, and we put our lives in their hands to fly," he told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

This week's proof of the need for a plan

Untold numbers of planes and passengers stuck on the tarmacs of airports in the U.S. Northeast overnight on Friday.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Coalition Applauds Congressman Mike Thompson for Introducing Bill that Would Give Airline Passengers Legal Rights

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445.1570

Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights Applauds Congressman Mike Thompson for Introducing Bill that Would Give Airline Passengers Legal Rights

"We Applaud Congressman Thompson for Taking a Leadership Role in Protecting the Well-being of the Flying Public" – Kate Hanni.

Napa Valley, CA. (March 1, 2007) – The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on news that Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) today introduced the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives. The bill will give airline passengers legal rights by preventing them from being held indefinitely on planes, ensuring passengers' needs are met, and helping airlines coordinate with government agencies.

"We applaud Congressman Thompson for introducing the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights in Congress to give passengers legal rights and ensure their well-being.

For far too long, the airlines have put profits ahead of customer service and the basic comfort of the flying public. It is our hope that this bill will give passengers a legal voice when confronted with the horrific ordeal we endured at the hands of American Airlines in Austin, TX and most recently passengers aboard jetBlue in New York City.

Our coalition continues to gather energy and momentum across the halls of Congress and throughout the country. We thank the tens of thousands of supporters that have joined our coalition, have written to their Members of Congress and continue to provide us the vigor and encouragement to move forward.

We encourage Members of Congress to join the efforts of Congressman Thompson, Congressman Oberstar, Senator Boxer and Senator Snowe to ensure the passage of a comprehensive, enforceable Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights that would modernize and improve airline industry standards for customer service."

###

Thompson Introduces Bill to Give Airline Passengers Legal Rights

Bill will keep passengers from being held indefinitely on planes, ensure passengers’ needs are met, and help airlines coordinate with government agencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Thursday, March 01, 2007

WASHINGTON — Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, legislation that would require all airlines to provide a minimum level of customer service.

“We must find a way for airlines to conduct business without holding passengers on planes for hours on end,” said Thompson. “Passengers should always be treated fairly and decently when traveling, even when unforeseen complications arise. I believe this bill will help both passengers and the airlines know what to expect when problems occur.”

Thompson’s bill clearly outlines the standards of service airlines must incorporate in their contracts of carriage, which are legally binding agreements between passengers and airlines.

These standards include allowing passengers to deplane after three hours on the tarmac, while providing pilots with flexibility if takeoff is imminent, and providing passengers with adequate food, safe drinking water, clean and sanitary facilities, air ventilation and a reasonable temperature while waiting on an aircraft. Airlines must also keep passengers fully informed about the timing and cause of flight delays and cancellations.

The bill also calls on the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration to review airport policies and infrastructure to help ensure airlines can meet these new standards.

“Whether it’s for business or pleasure, Americans rely on the airlines, and I do not want to create a law that puts them out of business,” said Thompson. “I recognize that there is a lot of work that Congress needs to do to improve airport infrastructure and upgrade the air traffic control system. But we need assurance that passengers will not be unnecessarily put in uncomfortable and unsafe conditions. I think this Passenger Bill of Rights is the best way to account for the needs of the passengers and the airlines.”
###

Summary of the AIRLINE PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS

Gives passengers the right to deplane after any ground delay of three hours or more, with two exceptions.
  • Allow two 30-minute exceptions if the pilot reasonably determines that a flight will depart not later than 30 minutes after the delay, or
  • If the pilot reasonably determines that permitting a passenger to deplane would jeopardize passenger safety or security.

Requires airlines to provide passengers with adequate food, safe drinking water, sanitary facilities, air ventilation, and a reasonable temperature while waiting on an aircraft.

Requires airlines to frequently update passengers at the airport and aboard aircraft on the cause and timing of delays.

Requires airlines to disclose information on chronically delayed or cancelled flights at the time of ticket purchase.

Requires airlines to make every effort to return checked bags to passengers within 24 hours.

Requires airlines to draft and prominently display a Passenger Bill of Rights.

Requires airlines to make information on the lowest fares readily available to the traveling public.

Calls on the FAA to work with airlines to allow long-delayed flights to offload passengers who choose to disembark – without losing that flight’s position in the departure sequence.

Calls on DOT to:

  • Review airline and airport emergency contingency plans to make sure that the plans will effectively address weather emergencies in a coordinated manner.
  • Convene a meeting of air carriers, airport representatives and the FAA to discuss procedures to better respond to weather emergencies resulting in lengthy flight delays.
  • Study the ability of air carriers to provide essential needs of passengers, including food and water in cases where the flight is diverted to an unscheduled airport due to an emergency or weather situation.
  • Requires airlines to include this bill in their contract of carriage.
ONLINE VERSION OF THIS DOCUMENT AVAILABLE:http://mikethompson.house.gov/newsroom/index.asp?ID=136

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights Encouraged by Department of Transportation’s Call for Investigation into Stranded Passengers

For Immediate Release: Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445.1570

Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights Encouraged by Department of Transportation’s Call for Investigation into Stranded Passengers Aboard jetBlue and American Airlines Flights

Transportation Secretary Peters’ Concerns are the Flying Public’s Concerns. We must Ensure that the U.S. Congress and the Federal Government Join Forces to Protect the Welfare and Well-being of Airline Passengers - Kate Hanni, Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights

Napa Valley, CA. (February 28, 2007) – The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on news that Transportation Secretary Mary Peters will launch an investigation into recent episodes of stranded passengers on jetBlue and American Airlines flights.

“We are pleased that the federal government is launching an investigation into stranded passengers aboard jetBlue and American Airlines flights. Transportation Secretary Peters’ Concerns are the flying public’s concerns and we fully support her efforts to get to the bottom of this horrific ordeal that kept passengers trapped inside jetBlue and American Airlines planes for more than eight hours.

We must ensure that the U.S. Congress and the federal government work together to protect the welfare and well-being of airline passengers. For the last eight years and longer, the airlines have had the opportunity to make good on their promises to improve customer service and ensure basic rights for passengers, and over and over again, they have failed. Enough is enough. It is clear that the only thing that will ensure change is government action.

We applaud Senator Boxer, Senator Snowe and Congressman Thompson's efforts and look forward to working with them and Congressman Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation Committee and other members of Congress to ensure the introduction and passage of a comprehensive, enforceable Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights that would modernize and improve airline industry standards for customer service."

The coalition continues to gather momentum and support from members of Congress, national organizations and the flying public. Through several recent visits to Capitol Hill, members of the coalition have met with a number of Members of Congress and will continue to visit Washington, D.C. until an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights is enacted.

###

Friday, February 23, 2007

Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights Reacts to Air Transport Association Comments on Extreme Weather

Press Statement
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Gil Meneses
(202) 445-1570

Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights Reacts to Air Transport Association Comments on Extreme Weather

"Blaming the System is the Easiest Excuse to Avoid Government Intervention on Behalf of the Flying Public," - Kate Hanni, Coalition Spokesperson

Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2007) – The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on the Air Transport Association (ATA) Board statement on extreme weather procedures.

"Blaming the system is the easiest excuse to avoid government intervention on behalf of the flying public. The bottom line is that no matter what the FAA or traffic controllers say, the pilot is always the final decision-maker in any situation. This latest attempt by the Air Transport Association (ATA) to hide behind FAA regulations is a sad excuse and a cowardly attempt to evade blame and point the finger in the wrong direction.

Any internal guidelines are simply a band aid that airlines can remove at their whim. This is merely a pre-emptive move to stop the bleeding and stop legislation.

It is evident from our December 29th experience on American Airlines and last week's stranded passengers in New York aboard jetBlue that the airlines are not willing to protect the interests and well-being of their passengers. Nor are they willing to police themselves to ensure that similar incidents are not repeated.

We applaud Senator Boxer and Congressman Thompson's efforts to protect the flying public and look forward to working with them and Congressman Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and members of Congress to ensure the introduction and passage of a comprehensive, enforceable Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights."

The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights now counts 13,000 members nationwide. The coalition continues to gather momentum and support from public officials, national organizations and the flying public. Through several recent visits to Capitol Hill, members of the coalition have met with a number of Members of Congress and will continue to visit Washington, D.C. until an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights is enacted.

###