Still Flying The Unfriendly Skies
Here at the glorious chateau that we call The Shack we continue to bring you news, feature stories and our opinion about the good old airline industry.
CNN has the news about the findings of a federal task force whose job was to develop a plan for assisting passengers. Specifically those passengers who are trapped inside planes that are stuck on the tarmac.
Let me sum things up for you. It was a Federal task force so our tax dollars were spent to fund it. After almost a year of meeting they failed to come up with any requirements for the airlines and airports, just a few recommendations.
“The tarmac task force, as it is informally known, is expected to vote Wednesday on guidelines for airlines and airports on how to craft their own contingency plans for dealing with lengthy tarmac delays.
Among the problems: The task force was unable to agree on whether “lengthy” is one hour, two hours or 10 hours.
Kate Hanni, a task force member and passenger rights advocate, said Tuesday there is nothing in the draft document that requires airlines or airports to provide additional services for passengers stranded aboard airplanes going nowhere.
The report “is a set of best practices, but there’s nothing enforceable where a passenger can say, ‘I won’t be held up for more than three hours or five hours or eight hours, or without a glass of water or a sandwich,”‘ said Hanni, founder of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights.
“We were hoping at a bare minimum to come out of this task force with a definition of what is an extensive on-ground delay,” Hanni said, but that didn’t happened because the airline industry “doesn’t want anything that is remotely enforceable.”
The 36-member task force was created last December by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to develop model plans for airlines and airports after several incidents in which passengers were stuck for hours before their flight took off or they were allowed to get off the plane.
Task force members said it quickly became apparent that the group — dominated by airline industry and airport representatives — would be unable to come up with a model plan acceptable to a majority of members.”
If you read through the story you’ll see that among the recommendations are that the airlines try to keep the bathrooms usable, provide refreshments and keep the passengers notified about what is going on.
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