21 December 2007

US Airlines - Grow up and stop complaining

The US Airline community as represented by ATA has for a long period of time - specifically since 9/11 been an oligopoly who has disdained consumers in favor of their own goals and objectives.

However Consumers are finally getting their day in the sun - if not in court.

On Tuesday NY Judge threw out a challenge to the NY State law enacted post the debacle of last winter with passengers imprisoned on aircraft at JFK and other places. http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/12/21/court_rejects_airlines_suit_to_block_ny_law_on_passenger_rights/

The US airlines have been woefully inadequate in their following even the basic guidelines (note not law) as agreed with the US DoT. http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/flyrights.htm

However - now we see the States stepping in to mandate tougher consumer protection.

In Europe a similar effort was mounted by all airlines but in 2004 new regulations that are far more strict were enacted.
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air_portal/passenger_rights/doc/2006_flyer_be_informed/2006_be_informed_flyer_en.pdf These apply no matter if you are flying on a first class ticket or short LCC hop. Even charter airlines - notorious for their lack of consumer services are all identically covered. Impact? Better behavior and no huge financial impact on the airlines.

So US Airlines and ATA - get over it... join the rest of the world.

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