Big cuts could be coming to the US transportation system.
President Trump's plan moves oversight of the air traffic control from the federal government to an independent group,according tobudget documents released last Thursday.
Trump, who has long complained about America's "third-world airports" and "obsolete" air traffic control system, is proposing $16.2 billion for the Department of Transportation's discretionary budget for fiscal year 2018, which is actually a reduction of 13 percent.
Yet, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member on the Transportation Committee, hinted that Trump's pro-reform stance on air traffic controlwas merely "a political favor" thrown toRep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee, for backing him in the presidential primary race.
The Trump administration also wants toincreasethe 9/11 Passenger Security Fee, now assessed to all airline tickets, which helps fund the Transportation Security Administration cover 75 percent of the TSA's costs.
His budget outline does not specify the amount of the fee increase, but earlier media reports have said the current $5.60 fee would rise by $1 for each flight on a trip to $6.60.
FlyersRightsmaintains that privatizing the US air traffic control system issurrendering American airspace to the commercial airlines, while causing air travel to get more expensive, because more fees will be implemented. The current system is paid for by taxes on aviation fuel, levies paid by aircraft operators, and other sources.
Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org, told thePhiladelphia Inquirer that he opposes handing over control of civilian air traffic control to an organization "that would be dominated by the airlines. It totally excludes passengers, who are paying for the whole thing. It gives away the entire infrastructure of air traffic control, which is worth tens of billions of dollars, to a private entity which looks, to me, a lot like Amtrak."
Hudson said that 90 percent of the public in surveys have said the FAA is doing a good job. However, "only 20 percent of the public think the airlines are doing a good job, and we're going to turn this over to the airlines?"
- Cuts TSA budget for screeners while increasing passenger fees so revenue can be diverted to other Trump budget priorities.
- Cuts budget for Coast Guard forces used to interdict contraband and illegal entry by sea.
- Transfers command of Air Traffic Control - billions of dollars in FAA equipment plus unlimited power to tax passengers - over to a corporation controlled by major airlines with no passenger representation.
- Repeals hundreds of DOT/FAA safety, health and consumer protection regulations.
- Continues to allow airlines to shrunk seats, legroom, bathrooms and passenger space without limit.
- Continues to refuse any and all passenger protection measures.
- Allows deceptive ads and marketing to make price shopping difficult to impossible.
- Continues to allow exorbitant or hidden fees without restriction.
- Continues to exempt airlines from all state, local and most federal consumer protection, contract, tort and health laws, excepting only claims for death or physical injury.
- Continues to allow passengers to bring dogs, cats and other animals they claim are for emotional support on airliners without restriction.
- Continues, under the Patriot Act, to authorize flight crews to eject or have arrested any passenger for any reason.
- Reduces or eliminates all fines against airlines and allowing airlines and aircraft makers conduct their own safety inspections and certifications.
[First three are a series from JK]
Something came up andDeltawant[ed] to charge me $200 to take a flight I was going to take anyway. It's cheaper to buy aSpiritAirlinesfare.
(Delta cancelled the second segment of his journey when he didn't show for the first leg.)
It's standard procedure for an airline to cancel the connection if the outbound flight was not taken. Sounds like they just want him to get a new ticket with a $200 change fee.
Hey, I thought you might like to know that Delta unexpectedly called me this morning to tell me they were issuing me a full refund.
I had put in a refund request asking for credit, given that it was a non-refundable ticket, and I didn't expect to hear back from then given that it had been a week already. I also wrote an email to the Vice President of Customer Service I found onhttp://elliott.org/. I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
I got another message from Delta earlier and it turns out my email to the vice president did have an impact.
[next two are a series from JS]
I'm writing to let you know of a recent experience I had with United Airlines. I also submitted this feedback to them directly and still waiting for a response.
My husband and I recently booked a trip from SFO to Honolulu. I did precheck in and our seat assignments were the same as when I booked the trip. We got to the airport and checked in again and all was well until we were in our boarding line. My husband happened to check our boarding passes on his mobile app and noticed they had changed my seat two rows up from where he was seated. I immediately went to the agent and asked him to change me back and asked why this happened. He ignored the question and immediately gave me back the seat I had originally which was next to my husband. When we were seated and people were flowing in there were others that didn't think to look at their boarding pass and found they were moved unbeknownst to them to a different seat away from their family.
The same thing happened on our return flight. I checked in on mobile app and found they moved me away from my husband so I called United to let them know of their error in separating us even though we were booked on the same itinerary and to change us back to our original seats. They said they couldn't because they changed aircrafts but as soon as I asked to be transferred to a manager and explained that I needed to be next to my husband because of a medical condition I have she put me on hold, called the department to have me booked back to seats where we could be together. She then told me it was locked and wouldn't be changed again. However, when we got to the airport they changed us again! This time it was across the aisle from each other and because it was a full flight they couldn't change our seats. So instead we had to play musical seats with people on our flight to see if they would change so we could be together. Several other people had the same issue!
WTH is going on with United that they are doing this with paying customers sometimes without notifying people in advance.
Have you had other people complaining about this issue? What is our recourse besides sending them feedback via their website?
thank you for your advise/guidance.
We have not had any recent calls or emails regarding this problem. It does happen from time to time due to a change of aircraft or flight numbers, but nothing out of the ordinary lately. You were right to write to United and we would be interested in what they have to say.
In the future if you get to the airport and find it has happened to you and you have a medical reason to be together, if they won't accommodate you ask to speak to the Conflict Resolution Officer (CRO). Each airline is supposed to have a designated employee at each station responsible for maintaining therightsof disabled passengers.
article: National Weather Service: Sorry, You're Too Stupid To Trust With The REAL Forecast:
To: Ms. Blane Workie, Assistant General Counsel Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings. Department of Transportation
Cc: Jonathan Dols, deputy assistant general counsel in office of aviation enforcement, Department of Transportation
The National Weather Service now admits they intentionally withheld their revised snow forecast that Northeast coastal cities from D.C. To Boston would not be hit with more than a few inches! They intentionally decidedMondaynot to update their forecast so as "not to confuse the Public" with the true forecast!
So all airlines cancelled all flights to and from the NE and mayors shut down citiesMondaynight.
Instead of a delay of a few hours, hundreds of thousands of airline passengers lost their vacations or trips due to a knowingly false official weather forecast and have suffered delays of up to several days. The US economy took an unnecessary hit.
This is a major transportation scandal and, in my opinion, the Secretary of Transportation and White House should issue a statement that fake forecasts by the National Weather Service will not be tolerated.
We don't dismiss that Gulf governments help prop up their home carriers, both directly and indirectly. Bit we do dismiss cries of "us good, them bad" coming from the USA when they are just as guilty.
In last week'snewsletter, we credited AAA with the below tips - when we should have creditedFlyersRightsexclusively:
If your flight is canceled you can obtain a refund and take alternate transportation -if you do not want the accept the airlines' rescheduled flight (which can take several days.)
You are entitled to cash compensation for EU flight delays if you are bumped from an overbooked flight.
If you are on an international trip the airline is required to use all practical means to avoid or mitigate delay, or pay delay compensation -which can range up to $5,000- under the Montreal Convention Article 19.
If other airlines are flying to your destination, you can ask that your excessively delayed or canceled flight ticket be endorsed toflyon another airline (this is voluntary now but Flyersrights.org has petitioned to bring back this reciprocity rule).
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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.