For domestic flights there were 11 delays of more than three hours. For international flights there were 10 delays of more than four hours according to a US Department of Transportation (DOT) report released yesterday. All extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.
Also, the Department received 1,963 complaints about airline service from consumers last month.
Consequently, we plan on issuing a public statement calling on the DOT to provide appropriate fines, compensation and swiftly identify the incidents and the airlines involved.
We also plan on filing a Freedom of Information Act request, with a copy to the Congressional oversight and aviation committees.
These DOT rules are meant to promise relief from airline maltreatment and protect passengers' rights. They set a fixed limit on the time airlines can keep passengers onboard a delayed flight, and specify what the airlines must provide within two hours of a tarmac delay to make passengers as comfortable as possible. Otherwise heavy fines are levied on airlines who don't comply.
Airlines Divide Coach Cabins Along Invisible Lines
The slicing and dicing of airline seats continues, and it goes way beyond shrinking legroom, said NBC News earlier this week .
Legacy airlines are incrementally breaking down their coach tickets into components and creating new tiers of monetization.
This new area of pricing and value is made possible by advanced reservation-system computerization.
The airlines are determining costs on amenities such as the option to choose your seat or fly standby, basics that had until recently been part of the ticket.
For example, Delta has five cabin classes, but it has far more than five fare classes. For each cabin class, there are a multitude of fare classes with differing booking (and rebooking) restrictions.
Previously, FlyersRights lampooned Delta's latest creation as a ' Last Class', also known as Delta's Basic Economy fare, which doesn't allow for ticket changes or a seat selection - even with a fee.
So, the question becomes: How shall we name the airlines' new class levels? A few that come to mind are: Last-Last Class, Bottom Class, Cattle Class, Baggage Class, Pilgrim Class or *drumroll*, Steerage!
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.