Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Post has been hacked. WE are working to fix the problem

Our post was hacked last night with strange postings that were not generated by us.

Clearly there are forces at hand that would like to destroy our credibility. We will figure out who did this and protect ourselves from future attacks.

Kate Hanni
Executive Director

Monday, September 22, 2008

Airlines Get 500 Million in your Tax Dollars and Passengers Get Nothing

Unless emergency bill is amended, airlines will get $500M – and passengers get bumped

WASHINGTON (September 22) – The head of the nation’s leading passenger rights organization today urged Congressman James Oberstar (DFL-MN) to give relief to stranded airline passengers as part of emergency legislation re-authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill, under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure which Oberstar chairs, gives the airlines $500 million in taxpayer-funded “war insurance,” but fails to contain an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights that would give relief to flyers who are now stuck inside the aircraft indefinitely while planes’ departures are delayed.

“I urge Chairman Oberstar not to give the airlines’ lobbyists and campaign donations a seat in First Class at the expense of passengers who are stuck back in coach – for eight or nine hours at a time,” said Kate Hanni, President of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (http://www.flyersrights.org).

“Today, the airlines can keep you stranded indefinitely on the tarmac in a sealed metal tube, and there’s nothing you can do about it. We’re only asking that after three hours, they take you back to the terminal and let you get some fresh air, food, fresh water and a toilet that works. We urge Congressman Oberstar, as chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to use his influence to give relief to these stranded passengers as part of emergency legislation now before his Committee to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration.”

Hanni explained that Congress must enact an emergency extension of legislation reauthorizing the FAA by September 30, or the Agency must legally shut its doors. The airlines, which spent $16 million this year alone on lobbying, according to http://www.opensecrets.org, have obtained an amendment to the measure granting them $500 million in insurance guarantees against future acts of terrorism. Congress has so far refused, however, to include provisions creating a legally-enforceable “Passengers’ Bill of Rights,” including a requirement that passengers be returned to the terminal and let off their aircraft after three hours of delay.

“Maybe if more Members of Congress rode in coach with the rest of us instead of flying in First Class or on corporate jets, they’d be more compassionate. In the meantime, we’ll make sure their constituents know it if they give airline donors big bucks while passengers get bumped.”

Hanni, a private citizen who took on the airlines after she was forced to sit for 9 hours waiting for a flight to take off, says that the Coalition will do “everything in our power” to apply citizen pressure to the legislators in the days remaining before both Houses take up legislation extending the FAA’s re-authorization. The FAA’s authorization expires on September 30 and Congressional leaders have not said when the re-authorization legislation will be voted upon.

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TEL.: (202) 494-6105
EMAIL: mikecollinspr@cox.netber

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Canada Got their Airline Passengers Bill of Rights WHY CAN't WE HAVE OURS!

Kate Hanni, Executive Director For Immediate Release

Canada Passes Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights: “If airline passengers rights is good enough for Canada, why not good enough for America”?

Napa Valley California 8/11/08: (Flyersrights.org) Kate Hanni today confirmed Canada’s efforts to pass an airline passengers’ bill of rights has come to fruition, and yes even in a Canadian Election year. Canada’s Bill of rights is more comprehensive than even the EU Regulations and specifically addresses “Strandings” allowing passengers off in 90 minutes with the option to re-board the plane.

“If it’s good enough for Canada, why isn’t it good enough for America?” asked Hanni. I’ve been working with Mayor Woodrow French on this Canadian Airline Passengers Bill of Rights and am envious of Canada’s ability to protect their flying citizen’s so quickly. It’s time for Congress to ACT and give America these important protections.

Canadian Airlines will be obligated to provide stranded travellers meal and hotel vouchers, though they won't be held responsible for inclement weather, under a federal consumer protection program announced Thursday.

Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon announced the program, billed Flight Rights Canada, at an Ottawa news conference. In June, a private member's bill calling for an airline passenger bill of rights received unanimous support in the House of Commons.
Under the program called “Flight Rights”, airlines must ensure passengers are aware of delays and schedule changes, find passengers seats or refund tickets for over-booked or cancelled flights, provide meal vouchers for delays exceeding four hours and hotel accommodations for delays of more than eight hours.

Following is the exact language for deplanement. This language is additive to the other current laws in Canada regarding airline passengers rights:

‘Passengers have a right to punctuality.a) If a flight is delayed and the delay between the scheduled departure of the flight and the actual departure of the flight exceeds 4 hours, the airline will provide the passenger with a meal voucher.b) If a flight is delayed by more than 8 hours and the delay involves an overnight stay, the airline will pay for overnight hotel stay and airport transfers for passengers who did not start their travel at that airport.c) If the passenger is already on the aircraft when a delay occurs, the airline will offer drinks and snacks if it is safe, practical and timely to do so. If the delay exceeds 90 minutes and circumstances permit, the airline will offer passengers the option of disembarking from the aircraft until it is time to depart.’

The Coalition has 24,000 members and is the largest non-profit airline passengers rights Coalition in the world . We are joined by Consumer’s Union, Public Citizen, Consumer Federation of America, USPirg, NSL, ACAP, IAM AND NATCA. Kate Hanni 707-337-0328 or www.flyersrights.org. Kate@flyersrights.com directly. Coalition Hotline: 1-877-359-3776

Friday, September 12, 2008

In Memoriam

IN MEMORIAM Lest we not forget on the 7th anniversary of our fallen airline passengers, pilots, and crew and their respective families, all undeserved victims of the 9/11 tragedy, we suggest that all Coalition members today take a moment of prayer or silence to remember and respect their valued heroism and lives. Thank you.