Airline passenger rights reviewed
Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 7:39 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 7:39 a.m.
AAA Auto Club South is urging people to respond to U.S. Department of Transportation proposals to improve "airline passenger protections.”
“The Department of Transportation is asking for feedback and I encourage all airline passengers who've been dissatisfied with problems such as lengthy delays and inadequate communications to make their voices heard,” said Teresa Hildebrand with AAA in a statement.
Hildebrand said airlines need to improve customer service, communications and their efforts to give passengers advance notice that flights will be canceled.
Proposals to improve air travel for passengers are:
• Require contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays and incorporate them in contracts of carriage.
• Require carriers to respond to consumer problems.
• Declare the operation of flights that are chronically delayed to be an unfair and deceptive practice and an unfair method of competition.
• Require carriers to publish delay data on their Web sites.
• Require carriers to publish complaint data on their Web sites such as tarmac delays and missed connections.
• Require carriers to report on-time performance of international flights.
• Require carriers to audit compliance to customer service plans.
Two proposed rules that have been submitted for public comment would:
• Double the maximum compensation for bumped passengers and strengthen other aspects of the rules that cover oversold flights.
• Require airlines to provide more data to the department for complete statistics on the number of tarmac delays.
The deadline for public comment is Jan. 22.
Information about the proposals and how to provide comments is available at www.regulations.gov. Go to the site's “search for dockets” page and then go to passenger protections: DOT-OST-2007-0022, denied boarding compensation: DOT-OST-2001-9325 and airline service quality data: RITA-2007-28522.
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