USAir Makes AA Merger Offer Tuesday December 11, 2012
If you'd told us ten years ago that the only legacy carriers left standing would be United, US Airways and Delta, we'd tell you you were nuts!
Yet last Friday US Airways formally proposed a merger with American Airlines, with US Airways' CEO, Doug Parker, running the combined company.
In a separate development, pilots at AA approved a new labor contract. That marks a key step in the company's recovery and could give added momentum to a merger.
The merger proposal from US Airways would give creditors of AA 70 percent of the combined company. Analysts say the pilots' vote gives AA creditors certainty about the company's labor costs, making it easier for them to weigh which deal gives them more money: American on its own, or a merger with US Airways.
In a message to employees after the pilot vote, American CEO, Thomas Horton, said they were wrapping up work on whether to remain independent or merge with US Airways.
AA filed for bankruptcy in November 2011. Read more here.
Beware of Airlines Bearing Gifts!
This holiday season, the airlines have a gift for you: Hidden fees! These fees are waiting for you at the airport and will add to the other fees you paid when you bought the ticket.
Flybag™ - the must-have TSA-compliant toiletry kit for the efficient traveler. From now until the end of the year, when you purchase a Flybag™ at regular price ($16) and enter code ISTILLFLY, you will receive one dollar off AND another dollar will be donated to FlyersRights.org. For more info, visit Flybags.com.
TSA Vendor Faked Tests of Naked Body Scanners 'Allegations of contractor malfeasance' December 5, 2012
The latest outrage was revealed by a TSA official during a grilling from members of a House panel Nov. 15 over information that one of the vendors of the body scanners may have falsified tests on software that was supposed to eliminate naked images of passengers moving through the machines at airport checkpoints.
Reports said it's possible that the discovery of the phony tests prompted TSA to remove 90 or more body scanners from major airports, as FlyersRights reported in October, following months of complaints.
TSA claimed the revealing machines were being moved to smaller airports to speed up lines at the larger airports. Now, it's been revealed that the machines, which are worth about $14 million altogether, have actually been placed in storage at a warehouse in Texas.
In his opening statement, the chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., made reference to the potential "malfeasance."
"At this time, I'd like to insert a letter for the hearing record that I sent to [TSA] Administrator [John] Pistole yesterday expressing concern about recent allegations of contractor malfeasance that may have led to the failed tests that put us in this situation," he said. "I hope we can get some answers today on this extremely disturbing situation."
To date, the federal government has sunk about $1 billion into some 800 scanners. Moreover, the agency has outline plans to buy and deploy a thousand more over the next two years.
We are fast approaching Christmas and the end of the fiscal year, and for many people and companies this is also a time to make a charitable contribution.
That's why we would like to propose the possibility of sending a tax-deductible contribution to Flyers' Rights Education Fund (FREF).
Your End of Year Gift of financial support will be a tremendous asset in helping us move forward in 2013 promoting the dignity, safety and well-being of air travel within the United States.
Flyers' Rights Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Your donation is tax deductible.
There is no amount too large or too small. Whether you can contribute $5, $100 or more, it will make a difference. Make your charitable donation online before the end of the year, or mail your check to: FlyersRights.org, 159 Silverado Springs Drive, Napa, CA 94558.
We are commited to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline profitability or create exhorbitant ticket price increases.
All American air carriers shall abide by the following standards to ensure the safety, security and comfort of their passengers:
Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.
Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.
Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.
Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.
Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.
Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.
Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.
The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.
Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.
Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.
Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.