Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11-22-11

Airlines Greet Fines with Scare Tactics

FAA Bill Controversy Heats Up

Aerotoxic Syndrome Update

EU Bans X-Ray Body Scanners

A Great New Travel Information Site

What Kate's Saying

Airlines Greet Fines with Scare Tactics

In the wake of the DOT's landmark decision to find American Eagle $900,000 forDOT Logothe May 29th stranding of nearly 600 passengers on Chicago O'Hare's tarmac, the airline industry immediately sought to spin the airline passenger rights victory through the use of scare tactics. Remarkably similar stories appeared in national media pieces and all over the internet, claiming that the fines would terrify the airlines and drive them to cancel huge numbers of flights.

The fact is that American Eagle was fined for loading 15 aircraft that they knew hadAmerican Eagle Logo no chance of making an on-time departure and for those flights' passengers spending hours on the tarmac as a direct result of their decisions. The $900,000 fine is far from fatal for American Eagle parent company AMR, and is a small fraction of the $1.7 million they could have been fined.

Moreover, AMR management earns bonuses that vary with their stock price. Even at the stock's recent price in the $1.75-$2.00 range the 'Performance' bonuses management will divide could amount to millions in 2011, well in excess of the DOT fine amount.

Some stories cited a recent GAO report that suggests a relationship between implementation of the DOT's Three-Hour Tarmac Rule and a slightly increased cancellation rate in the final months of 2010 when compared to 2009. FlyersRights.org views that study with skepticism. The GAO study has many flaws. It compares one year to one other year, but history shows that cancellation rates vary wildly from year to year. In fact, the 2009 and 2010 cancellation rates are lower than those of 11 of the last 16 years. What about the other 11, higher years? They can't be attributed to The Rule.

The GAO study concludes only that there "appears" to be a relationship between the rule and cancellations, and recommends that DOT "should collect and publicize more comprehensive on-time performance data to ensure that information on most flights, to airports of all sizes, is included in the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' database." That is, more data and analysis is needed to interpret the issue.

The DOT is completing a more comprehensive study, which we hope to see by the end of the year. We believe that study, based on much more comprehensive data and methodology, will yield far different results that that from the GAO's questionable approach.

Implementation of the Rule has made airlines more circumspect, and they are now proactively cancelling flights that they know are likely to be cancelled in any event during bad weather periods. They acknowledge that those actions provide them with better operations management and give their customers many more options for rescheduling to flights that are more likely to operate on time.

See the What Kate's Saying section below for her take on the fines and the airlines' reaction.

FAA Bill Controversy Heats Up

The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, popularlyknown as the FAA Reauthorization Bill, is in the news again. After years of debate and endless extensions, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, expressed his anger and frustration at the bill's lack of progress in the House. He said that there was blame enough to go around, with an aviation industry that apparently doesn't understand the need to press lawmakers for action and lawmakers no longer open to negotiated compromise.

"This is a serious matter," he said. "The repeated extensions and stopgaps don't work and they are sapping the life out of this industry." The senator pointed out that failure to modernize the air traffic control and aviation system would jeopardize safety and lead to a seriously inadequate, gridlocked air travel system. "It's pathetic, it's shameful, it's an embarrassment and it's unsafe," Rockefeller said.

At the same time, Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that the bill could be ready for the President by Christmas. "I was pleased to meet with Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member (Kay Bailey) Hutchison (R-Texas), and Ranking Member Rahall today to discuss completion of the FAA reauthorization, hopefully by the time Congress concludes its business for the year," Mica said in a statement.

Senator Rockefeller does not share Mr. Mica's optimism. Who's right? As with all things Washington, it's difficult to know. According to a Politico.com article, the "big four" have directed staffers to iron out the remaining issues, except for a labor disagreement that they say they will work out amongst themselves. However, Rep. Mica told attendees of a major transportation conference last week that he wants "no more FAA shutdowns."

One of our beltway insiders noted that the House dropping the labor issue would be a major concession, presumably requiring something of considerable value from the Senate in exchange. The labor issue is a provision in the bill that would make it easier for Delta Airlines employees to unionize.

So, in short, while agreement is possible, separation of the outstanding issues into two resolution mechanisms makes it less than likely. A longer continuation measure that falls short of full passage may

Aerotoxic Syndrome Update

Flyersrights has been at the forefront of safety in the airliner environment on a number of issues. One of those is the very air in the cabin. In October, Boeing settled a lawsuit brought by former American Airlines flight attendant Terry Williams over her claim that faulty aircraft design allowed toxic fumes into the cabin.

We reported this story in an October newsletter and told you of Dr. Susan Michaelis, a former Australian airline pilot grounded by aerotoxic syndrome, who, like Kate Hanni, both refused to capitulate and turned herself into one of the world's leading experts on the issue. She earned her PhD in Workplace Safety Science with her 2010 thesis, Health and Flight Safety Implications From Exposure to Contaminated Air in Aircraft. Now Head of Research with the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive and an independent health and safety, Dr. Michaelis is a fantastic source of information about this serious, poorly-understood problem.

We wrote to Dr. Michaelis seeking more information, and she provided two fact-filled documents. The first is her presentation to a meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association, a fascinating PDF-formatted PowerPoint presentation of her thesis findings. She also sent a guide for healthcare workers titled EXPOSURE TO AIRCRAFT BLEED AIR CONTAMINANTS AMONG AIRLINE WORKERS, a project funded by the FAA Office of Aviation Medicine.

Her message is clear:

Breathing heated synthetic jet engine oils is not in any way acceptable for either airline workers or passengers. The toxicity and hazards associated with breathing these oils has been known since at least 1954. It is a design problem and in no way rare as the industry likes to say. The airline industry could do something, if it wanted to, to address this problem now; however it has put profit before people, and the steps they are taking are far from adequate and effectively non-existent. Passengers need to wake up to the fact that in all larger commercial aircraft except the new Boeing 787, they are breathing unfiltered air taken directly from the engines. This is a total injustice given the knowledge known by the industry since the 50s. Passengers should demand clean air or demand to travel on the new bleed free 787 - a design that no longer takes breathing air from the engine--you could say 'back to the future'.

Dr. Michaels's story of unraveling the almost six-decade-old problem is told in two documentaries, both available on DVD. The first is the recently completed ' Angel without wings', tells the story of Susan's investigation into aerotoxic syndrome.

The other is the 2007 DVD, Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines, an in-depth exploration of the problem.

Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines Cover

NOTE: The two DVDs are recorded in different formats. Weocome Aboard Toxic Airlines is in NTSC, playable on almost any player sold in the US. Angel Without Wings, however, is recorded in PAL, which is the Euoropean standard. While it should play on PCs and Macs, US DVD players will likely have difficulty with it.

Dr. Michaelis extends FlyersRights members an offer of 30% off by applying this discount code at checkout: FNFF14101947. Just click on the pictures and we'll take you to the DVDs' web sites.

The Global Cabin Air Quality Executive representing workers exposed to turbine oils globally, (currently updating its website) is working to help aircrew, ground crew and offshore oil workers exposed to turbine oils, while the Aerotoxic Association provides additional great information for those affected including passengers.

EU Bans X-Ray Body Scanners

The European Union has long expressed concern about the safety of the X-ray-based body scanners. Last week, they banned use of the X-Ray scanners. In theirEU Logo report, the European Commission wrote, "In order not to risk jeopardizing citizens' health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at E.U. airports."

FlyersRights wonders why the EU's 27 nations regard the machines as unsafe when our TSA has been assuring us all along that they're not only safe but more effective than the alternative, millimeter wave variety. We also wonder why, then, the TSA's latest 300-machine buy consists solely of millimeter wave machines.

Are the millimeter wave machines suddenly acceptable, or are we just putting lipstick on the Airport Security Theater pig?

iFlybags-A Great New Travel Information Site

With the approaching holiday travel season, we want to inform FlyersRights.org members about theiFly Logolaunch of iflybags, a new, free website that makes it easy for travelers to find out just how much checked baggage they are allowed to take on a flight and what it's going to cost them.

While the majority of airlines today charge for checked bags, baggage allowances and fees differ by airline, creating confusion for travelers. With iflybags, travelers simply enter their airline, origin, destination, and cabin class to determine the airline's baggage allowances.

To calculate specific fees, travelers enter the same flight information, but also the number of travelers, number of bags, and each bag's weight. Even travelers carrying obscure items - such as javelins and scuba equipment - can figure out the cost. The site even takes into consideration frequent flier status and presents the best combination of checked bags for multiple travelers on a single itinerary.

What Kate's Saying

MarketWatch

Airline Scare Tactics Follow Tarmac Delay Fines

WWL (Great Radio Interview)

http://audio.wwl.com/m/audio/48672477/11-15-11-11-10am-kate-hanni.htm

Associated Press

At least 4 jets strand Conn. passengers for hours

CBS Chicago

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/11/14/flyers-rights/

WFAA

http://www.wfaa.com/news/national/American-Eagle-fine-could-lead-to-canceled-flights-133840923.html

Sacramento Bee

Airline Scare Tactics Follow Tarmac Delay Fines

New York Times

Pornography on Airplanes, Where You Can't Look Away

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Airline tells passengers to pay extra for fuel

Huffington Post

Kate Hanni Airlines Play the Victim After Hefty Delay Fine


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Hotline: (877) 359-3776

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11-16-11

DOT Imposes Tarmac Delay Fines

New TSA Committee Provides More Security Theater

Lavatory Oxygen Removal Update

Help Us Launch Flyers Rights Education Fund

What Kate's Saying

DOT Imposes Tarmac Delay Fines

Nearly 19 months after DOT implemented the Three-Hour Tarmac Rule, the Department has fined regional carrier American Eagle $900,000 Monday in the first enforcement of a regulation aimed at curbing airport ground delays that strand passengers on planes for hours, often without food, water or working toilets.

The penalty against American Eagle, a unit of American Airlines parent AMR Corp,American Eagle Logoimposed for extended tarmac delays affecting more than 600 people on 15 flights last May in Chicago, is also one of the largest consumer protection fines ever levied by the U.S. Transportation Department. As part of a settlement with regulators, American Eagle was mandated by DOT to refrain from future violations of the Three-Hour Rule, and was instructed to use more than a quarter of the fine to compensate passengers.

In a November 14th press release, Kate said, "We fought for the tarmac rule to protect passengers and we are grateful to Secretary Ray LaHood and the DOT for meaningful enforcement of the rule, and the DOT did the right thing mandating that the passengers receive 25% of the fines as compensation for their losses."

The Snowtober Strandings, which left hundreds sitting for hours on the tarmac at Bradley Field in Hartford, CT, brought congressional pressure on DOT to exercise the Tarmac Rule. Senators Boxer and Snowe, longtime supporters of airline passenger rights, urged DOT to move forward with penalties for violations of the rule. DOT says that this case has been under investigation for some time, and the senators' letter did not influence the timing of the fine imposition.

American Eagle's parent company claimed that the May delays were due to weather. FlyersRights maintains that American Eagle' should never have loaded aircraft when they knew, or should have known, that weather conditions virtually assured lengthy delays and cancellations. As Kate said, we applaud the DOT's forceful action.


New TSA Committee Provides More Security Theater

We reported last August on TSA's resurrection of their Aviation Security Advisory Committee. Created by the FAA in the wake of the Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy, the committee was to "develop recommendations for the improvement of methods, equipment, and procedures to improve civil aviation security." When TSA was formed after 9/11, responsibility for civil aviation security was transferred to that agency. The committee operated under the TSA until late 2006, when it was discontinued.

In July, the TSA decided to reestablish the committee. They promised to includeTSA Funny Logoaviation consumer advocates in that body's makeup. We wrote them at that time, proposing Kate as the ideal consumer advocate for the panel. Dean Walter of TSA responded that no vacancies were available, but would not tell us who was filling the position.

On November 7th TSA finally published the membership list. The press release assures us that "The Aviation Security Advisory Committee plays a vital role in helping TSA continuously enhance our ability to ensure the security of the traveling public." If that's so, then we would expect the committee to include strong voices to represent that traveling public. Does it? Here's the breakdown:

Aviation Security Advisory Committee

Rosemary Dillard, National Air Disaster Alliance

Eric Thacker, Air Transport Association

Glenn Johnson, Victims of Pan Am Flight 103

Kenneth J. Dunlap, North America International Air Transport Association

Duane McGray, Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network

Liam R. Connolly, Regional Airline Association

Michael McCormick, Global Business Travel Association

Timothy H. Shaw, National Air Carrier Association

·Richard Macomber, National Industrial Transportation League

Bill Cason, Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations

Michael A. Cintron, International Airline Passengers Association

Chris Witkowski, Association of Flight Attendants

Michael France, National Air Transportation Association

Paul Feldman, General Aviation Manufacturers Association

Thomas A. Zecha, Jr., Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Dan Johnson, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association

Douglas Carr, National Business Aviation Association

Leslie L. Riegle, Aerospace Industries Association

Paula Hochstetler, Airport Consultants Council

John Hazlet, Jr., Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association

James I. Briggs, Jr., Airports Council International - North America

· Brandon Fried, Airforwarders Association

Carter Morris, Jr., American Association of Airport Executives

National Safety Coordinator, Airline Pilots Association

Look at the composition. Of the 24 members, over one-half represent the air travel industry (airlines, airports, air cargo, aircrews, and airport law enforcement), four represent general aviation (owners and pilots, business aviation, and general aviation manufacturers), one speaks for aerospace manufacturers, and one for those who arrange travel for businesses.

Three appear to be passenger-related, but the International Airline Passengers Association is actually a fee-based organization that also sells various kinds of flight insurance. The other two, National Air Disaster Alliance and Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, have done fine work. In fact, FlyersRights board member Paul Hudson, a major force in the pursuit of justice for the Pan Am 103 victims, was co-founder of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 in addition to founding and serving as Executive Director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project. Both organizations focus on a small constituency-victims of air tragedies.

In short, there is no representative on the committee who can or will speak to your issues as an informed air traveler. FlyersRights' members demand air travel security that is effective, safe, constitutional, and consistently applied. We see current equipment and procedures for the Security Theater they are, and want an end to the meaningless procedures that make us uncomfortable and vulnerable and significantly increase our time at the airport.

With 7/8 of the committee focused on something other than passenger issues and the remaining 1/8 narrowly focused, FlyersRights doubts that this new committee effort will result not in resolution of the issues we raise with the TSA. We fear that it will instead be remembered as another episode of Security Theater.


Lavatory Oxygen Removal Update

In March of 2011, MSNBC, among others, reported that the FAA had quietly ordered the removal of oxygen generators from aircraft lavatory oxygen mask systems because of an unspecified security concern. At that time, we noted that by taking that action, the FAA was betting that there would be no decompressions with passengers in the lavatory.

Pax with O2 masksDo you think the absence of emergency oxygen in aircraft lavatories is an important piece of safety information for airline passengers? Is it at least as important as assuring that you can, in fact, operate a seat belt?

The FAA addressed notification in a spin-control press releasefollowing public disclosure of their covert removal of lavatory oxygen. They suggested the following:

The FAA is asking operators to reinforce crew emergency procedures to make it a priority to check whether the lavatory is occupied following any event where oxygen masks are deployed in the cabin. Operators may also choose to include additional instructions on the briefing cards, on placards in the lavatory or during the verbal passenger safety briefing.

We'd like to hear from you on the notification issue. Have you ever heard lavatory oxygen mentioned in the flight attendant's safety briefing? Have you seen mention of this critical issue in the briefing cards in the seat pockets or noticed a placard in the lavatory? If you have, please drop a note toopinion@flyersrights.org.

Help Us Launch the Flyers Rights Education Fund

The Flyers Rights Education Fund is the education and service arm of our organization. Approved by the IRS in June, 2011, the Fund gives you a way tocontribute to our airline passenger rights efforts through a tax-deductible vehicle. We now support many of our efforts through The Fund:

  • Our free, 24/7 Hotline
  • Mass mailings unrelated to political action requests
  • Press releases related to educational efforts on behalf of airline passenger rights

FREF LogoNow we have an exciting new way for you to leverage your tax-deductible contributions to the Fund. Paul Hudson, a member of our Board of Directors andExecutive Director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP), has pooled his personal resources with those of ACAP and friends of our longtime supporter, Ralph Nader, to pledge a matching-gift contribution of $15,000 to Flyers Rights Education Fund.

Paul's generous pledge gives you an opportunity to truly leverage your contributions to the Fund. His coalition will match, dollar for dollar, yourdonations to the Flyers Rights Education Fund, up to the $15,000 pledge!

But you must act now! We must achieve this goal by the end of the year. Please go to the Flyers Rights Education Fund donation page now and give what you can. The coalition's generous offer expires at midnight, December 31, 2011. We must answer the coalition's challenge and meet their contribution goal by the end of the year.

Remember, each and every dollar you contribute during this short window will have a double impact on advancing the cause of airline passenger rights.

Help us stay in the fight! Kate's remarkable responses to Snowtober, in so many national forums, would not have been possible without your generous support. You know that her family can no longer subsidize the effort-without your help, the premier voice of airline passenger rights in America will be stilled.

What Kate's Saying

The American Eagle fine story was just breaking at newsletter press time, and Kate was engulfed by the media storm that always erupts when an airline passenger rights issue makes the national news. We'll share links to many of those interviews next week.

Smartmoney.com

Did TSA Committee Keep Advocates From Boarding?

5 Ways To Avoid the Flightmare Before Thanksgiving

CNN

American Eagle fined for tarmac delays

KCBS (mp3 file)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11-11-11

FlyersRights Helps Spirit Traveler

Kate got a Hotline call last Friday from Flyersrights member Melissa, asking for assistance with a problem regarding a Spirit Airlines trip. Melissa and her two children were trying to get to San Jose, Costa Rica, on October 16th, and the trip had become a nightmare.


The problems began when Spirit “downsized” their flight from Ft. Lauderdale to San Jose, replacing the scheduled Airbus 320 with a smaller aircraft—the Airbus 319. The result was denial of boarding to 25 passengers. Since Melissa and her family were among the last to book, they were bumped. Spirit offered accommodation on the next available flight, two days later, or a complete refund.


As usual, the refund option was unacceptable, as rebooking on another carrier at that late date would be exponentially more expensive. Melissa elected to take the next flight. Spirit covered their hotel and some meal expenses for the stay.


When the family checked in for the new flight, however, they learned that the disaster was not over. Costa Rica’s Entry and Exit Requirements demand that travelers provide proof of onward travel at their port of entry. An airline or bus ticket would satisfy that requirement. Unfortunately, Melissa could not provide that proof, so Spirit could not board the family for the flight. Had they done so, they would have been fined by the Costa Rican government and Melissa and her children would have been denied entry into the country.


For the rest of the week, Melissa shuttled between hotel and airport, trying to arrange a Spirit flight to San Jose. With expenses and frustration mounting, she called Kate last Friday to ask for help. Good idea, Melissa!


Kate put Melissa in touch with Spirit’s Senior Manager of Customer Relations, Heather Harvey for resolution of the issue. She also talked to Heather personally, made clear our interest in Melissa’s difficulties, and urged Spirit to take care of three passengers whose lives were badly disrupted.


We are pleased to report that Spirit did the right thing. They are covering the hotel and meal expenses for Melissa and her family until they can get them to San Jose, and have refunded all baggage fees and the assigned seating fees they charged the family. While the initial trip disruption was undeniably caused by their equipment change decision, other delays were not their direct responsibility. Nevertheless, through Kate’s efforts, they stepped up to taking care of these three customers. We applaud their decision.


What lessons can we take from this? First, at least on Spirit Airlines, book your flight as early as possible to lessen your chances of being bumped if they elect to provide fewer seats than they’ve sold. Second, international travel can be tricky, because rules and requirements differ so widely from country to country. Do your homework, so that you’re not surprised at the check-in counter or, worse, at the country’s port of entry.


Finally, be an advocate for yourself. Understand the options and rights available to you when traveling by air, and when you need help, call the FlyersRights Hotline at 866-359-6776!! Join the thousands of passengers we’ve helped over the last 4 ½ years.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

11/8/12

E-Cigarette Survey Outcome!

CORRECTED COPY

CN Gov Malloy's Stranding Perspective

Help Us Launch Flyers Rights Education Fund

A Vote of Support

What Kate's Saying

EDITOR'S NOTE: The first edition of this newsletter incorrectly identified Dannel Malloy as Governor of New York. He is, of course, Governor of Connecticut. The fault was entirely mine, and FlyersRights sincerely apologizes for this error.

E-Cigarette Survey Outcome!

Three weeks ago we asked you to weigh in on a new Department of Transportation (DOT)Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The DOT wants to ban use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on commercial airliners, citing their concern that current research has not proven them safe. We produced a short survey and invited responses from you through this newsletter, and from the general public through our Huffington Post column. Unfortunately, publication in the Huffington Post drew the attention of tobacco industry ballot box stuffers, who badly skewed the results.

E-Cigarette AdLast week, we asked you to retake the survey, so that we could present your views, our members, to the DOT. You stepped up magnificently. We received 20% more responses than from the entire first survey!

We received 985 informative responses. We'll share the results with you today, send a report onward to the DOT, and publish the results on our Huffington Post column.

Our survey asked respondents whether they supported or opposed the DOT's proposed rule, and the reason behind their answer.

As indicated below, respondents voted overwhelmingly in favor of the NPRM. Support was generally on the grounds of health or cabin comfort concerns, while those opposing the ban were about evenly divided between doubts that the devices pose a risk, belief that insufficient research meant regulation was inappropriate, and general objections to regulation.

Survey Questions

Percentage

Do You Support or Oppose the NPRM

Support the NPRM

81.4%

Oppose the NPRM

18.6%

Reasons for Supporting the Ban

Health Concerns

29.0%

Legal Reasons--Other legislation supports this rule

1.5%

Cabin Comfort

41.5%

Concerned that more research is needed to assure safety

23.5%

Other

4.5%

Reasons for Opposing the Ban

Don't believe they pose a health risk

33.7%

Insufficient research to prove threat

31.5%

In general, government regulates too much

19.9%

Smokers, in particular, are restricted enough

14.4%

Other

0.6%

CN Governor's Perspective on Snowtober Strandings

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has set a new, very low bar for airline and airport service. Our members, the national media, and the American public believe that passenger safety means protection from ten-hour entrapments in constricting airline seats without food, water, or even cabin power. As op-ed writer Patrick Scully eloquently pointed out in hisConnecticut News Junkie column, "The airline Passengers' Bill of Rights clearly means nothing to JetBlue or Bradley. They violated just about every 'right' listed pertaining to tarmac wait times."

Governor Malloy apparently believes in a different standard of behavior from those to whom we entrust our lives. According to the Governor, quoted in the Governors Journal,"Everyone who landed at the airport, no matter how long they were on the plane, they didn't crash. So we gotta put things in perspective."

So hey, folks, don't expect much more from airline travel than actually surviving that Christmas trip to Grandma's house! According to the governor, expecting safety and comfort just indicates a lack of perspective.

Help Us Launch the Flyers Rights Education Fund

The Flyers Rights Education Fund is the education and service arm of our organization. Approved by the IRS in June, 2011, the Fund gives you a way to contribute to our airline passenger rights efforts through a tax-deductible vehicle. We now support many of our efforts through The Fund:

  • Our free, 24/7 Hotline
  • Mass mailings unrelated to political action requests
  • Press releases related to educational efforts on behalf of airline passenger rights

Now we have an exciting new way for you to leverage your tax-deductible contributions toFREF Logothe Fund. Paul Hudson, a member of our Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP), has pooled his personal resources with those of ACAP and friends of our longtime supporter, Ralph Nader, to pledge a matching-gift contribution of $15,000 to Flyers Rights Education Fund.

Paul's generous pledge gives you an opportunity to truly leverage your contributions to the Fund. His coalition will match, dollar for dollar, your donations to the Flyers Rights Education Fund, up to the $15,000 pledge!

But you must act now! We must achieve this goal by the end of the year. Please go to theFlyers Rights Education Fund donation page now and give what you can. The coalition's generous offer expires at midnight, December 31, 2011. We must answer the coalition's challenge and meet their contribution goal by the end of the year.

Remember, each and every dollar you contribute during this short window will have a double impact on advancing the cause of airline passenger rights.

Help us stay in the fight! Kate's remarkable responses to Snowtober, in so many national forums, would not have been possible without your generous support. You know that her family can no longer subsidize the effort-without your help, the premier voice of airline passenger rights in America will be stilled.

A Vote of Support

Ever felt awkward when ordering wine at a restaurant? Ever walked into a wine store and had no idea where to begin, what to buy or how much to pay? Ever looked at a European wine label and wondered what's in there?

Wine Flair LogoThen Wine-Flair.com is just for you. It's all about wine education and appreciation, written in plain language.

This fascinating web site supports our efforts, and lets its members and visitors know it. Check out this page on their web site. Frequent travelers from all walks of life, just like you, support our efforts!

What Kate's Saying

Kate continued to provide commentary on the Snowtober Strandings in a continuous stream of radio interviews last week. Her other media appearances included the following.

Orlando Sun Sentinel

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/fl-jet-blue-passengers-stranded-20111030,0,1193571.story

Associated Press

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5haxiHsTcS4h3r2yKnKhfeWh0gdEA?docId=9cc9758df9444028820308f95d9ee12f

Chicago Sun Times

http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/8519970-474/editorial-airport-airline-screwups-leave-passengers-stranded.html

San Francisco Chronicle

Snow-Bound Jets on U.S. Tarmacs Spur Call for Tougher Rules

KHOU-TV Houston

http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news/Passenger-stranded-on-tarmac-for-more-than-7-hours-describes-ordeal-133003263.html

Travel With Lisa interview from The Weather Channel

http://travelwithlisaonline.com/2011/10/29/flying-just-got-friendlier/

Sacramento Bee

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/10/31/4019340/flyers-rights-renews-call-for.html

Arizona Daily Star

http://azstarnet.com/weather/snow-s-over-but-thousands-may-be-without-power-for/article_f52cae08-0573-5e15-b28d-bf1ff5dc1374.html

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/ct-trav-1106-jetblue-20111104,0,5258793.story


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Donate to the Flyers Rights Education Fund (tax-deductible!)

www.flyersrights.org
Hotline: (877) 359-3776