An FAA funding bill has finally passed through Congress. However, it's not exactly a long-term funding bill, it's an extension through September 30, 2017 and known as H.R. 636, the "FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate plans to send the bill to the president's desk this week.
* The Families Flying Together Act, H.R. 3334, requires airlines to ensure that children younger than 13 years of age are seated adjacent to an adult or older child traveling with them. This should be obvious, but it was a big money-maker for airlines. What happens if oxygen masks drop, or in an emergency evacuation? Parents need to be next to their child.
* Forces airlines to refund bag fees automatically if luggage is delayed 12 hours after a domestic flight or 15 hours after an international flight. Airlines took in $3.8 billion in bag fees last year.
* No transferring of US air-traffic control to a private corporation, which was a highly sought after plan of the House Transportation Committee and most major airlines.
* Double the authorization for TSA's teams patrolling beyond airport checkpoints, such as arrival halls or baggage claims, often with bomb-sniffing dogs to discourage attacks like those in Brussels and Istanbul.
* Toughen eligibility standards for airport workers who have access to secure areas and conduct more random screening of workers for their credentials and possible weapons. The goal is to prevent workers from smuggling guns or a bomb onto a plane, as what happened in the downing of a Russian Metrojet in Egypt in October.
* Keep Precheck lines open during peak travel times. Authorize TSA to explore different options to sign up travelers for Precheck.
Not A Great Week For Delta
pic: Soprano In The Air
D E L T A = Don't Ever Land There Again
Last Thursday a Delta pilot landed an Airbus with 130 passengers on board at the wrong airport, arriving at Ellsworth military base where armed soldiers boarded the plane.
Yes, a civilian aircraft landed with no radio contact at a nuclear equipped base.
With all the technology we have and pilots still can't land at the right airport? The flight was bound for Rapid City Regional Airport, which is just 10 miles away.
But hey, they still had the right state and right country, that counts for something!
Carbon Monoxide Diverts Plane To Tulsa
A Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Denver was diverted to Tulsa over the weekend after a number of passengers on board fell ill. At about 3 p.m., a flight attendant and several other passengers-a total of nine people-reported feeling nauseous.
At that point, crew operating Flight 1817 decided to divert the plane to Tulsa, Oklahoma. After landing there, the plane was met by Tulsa emergency services, who found that 12 passengers had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their blood.
Passengers suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning (symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and headaches) were taken outside to breathe in fresh air, at which point their levels returned to normal. One passenger was sent to the hospital for reasons unrelated to the carbon monoxide levels, according to ABC News.
A Pittsburgh-Bound Delta Flight Forced Back To Paris After 'Blowout' Engine Failure
Shortly after a Delta Airlines flight took off from Paris on Monday to make a nonstop flight to Pittsburgh, passengers heard a loud pop and began to smell smoke.
A few moments later, they were informed by the flight crew that the plane, a Boeing 757-200, had lost power in one of its two engines and would have to return to make an emergency landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The plane landed safely and emergency crews were waiting on the ground.
Unfortunately passengers reported that Delta did a poor job of providing them with onward travel, overnight accommodations and food vouchers.
You may be interested in Atlantic City International airport. They have just enlarged, expanded to 10 gates.
They already have a landing strip, 'space shuttle' ready, built in conjunction with the former air base NAFAC.
Under two hours to Manhattan by bus, and 45 minutes to Philadelphia, it is
ripe for a WOW air, or Ryanair to bring flights in from the EU.
Also gamblers can stay a night or two in a Casino Hotel. The situation looks perfect to be a new feeder airport (think Stansted or Luton).
So far not much going on. It could certainly help the Atlantic City economy.
After a flight from Florida to Norway (on Norwegian Air International), I have learned that I hate flying. In my perspective, as a kid (11 years old), you do not want to sit next to random people, have no blankets, or have nothing to eat for seven hours. Do the airlines know this? Most likely, so they just make you spend a lot of money for little things like these.
Most parents might think their kids don't really care where they sit if they get to watch movies on the small screen in front of them. But it that really true? No, or course not. Kids do care where they sit, because nobody likes sitting next to two strangers, do they? In my opinion, airlines should try their own seats to see if they are O.K. for a long while, instead of just testing out first class.
Speaking of airlines, can we talk about the food? Sure, hard pretzels and dry peanuts were at least something, but where did they go? Now it's buy a big meal or add hunger to the list of bad airplane conditions.
Sometimes the plane seats are so bad I feel like I should just stand up, and when you finally get off the plane, I feel like I could do cartwheels around the whole airport.
So, parents, if you're wondering if you should just buy two first class tickets for yourself and make your kids sit in the crummy seats, think about how you would feel if you where sitting in the 'sad seats' in the back.
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.