FLYERSRIGHTS.ORG URGES COMMITTEE LEADERS TO INCLUDE KEY PASSENGER PROTECTIONS IN FAA REAUTHORIZATION BILL
NAPA, Calif., Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kate Hanni, Executive Director FlyersRights.org today sent a letter to key members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, including Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall, II (D-WV), urging them to include crucial passenger protections in the House Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. These provisions, which include a "three-hour rule" that would require air carriers to offer passengers the option to deplane if 3 hours have passed since door closure or landing, were previously included in the Passenger Bill of Rights Act – a bill Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced in 2007 and 2009 and is preparing to introduce this year.
"The release of today's data by DOT confirms that the 3 Hour Rule and the Regulatory Passenger Bill of Rights is actually making commercial airlines more efficient—so these vitally important protections are not only common sense—they make good economic sense also," Kate Hanni said. "Any day now, the U.S. House will package together the FAA Reauthorization bill – when they do, it's essential that the rules passed by DOT are made permanent by legislation as rules and regulations can be easily tweaked and changed—laws cannot."
"According to data released today, Tarmac Delays have been cut to a statistical zero (0), with only 3 tarmac delays in December 2010, and only 15 for the 8 month period the rule has been in effect," said Kate, "and airline on-time performance improved for 2010. The only conclusion we can make is that the Tarmac Delay rule has forced an efficiency for the airlines and improved their on-time performance."
While severe weather conditions are beyond the control of any airline, air carriers still have a responsibility to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers. Far too often, however, passengers on delayed flights are forced to remain on grounded planes for extensive amounts of time and under unacceptable conditions: inadequate food or water, overflowing toilets, poor ventilation, and extreme cabin temperatures are just some of the conditions that have been reported.
"Protecting the freedom of passengers and the rights of consumers should not be a partisan issue—especially when you consider that the reforms we have been fighting for these many years have now been proven to enhance, not degrade airline performance and efficiency. We are very hopeful Republicans and Democrats will work together – as the American traveling public expects them to – to finally make the Passenger Bill of Rights a reality in this country."
Kate Hanni 707-337-0328