Who Participated in the Costs and Benefits Discussion?

The Costs and Benefits issue generated a modest amount of discussion.  10 comments were made on this post:

  • 6 comments by an estimated 6 users
    (2 comments were gathered by site administrators from the site feedback page, and added to this post by the moderator.  No username was associated with these comments)
  • 4 comments by Regulation Room moderators

Commenters included primarily people who identified themselves as air travelers.  One commenter identified himself/herself as working for a U.S. air carrier.

From September 13 to September 19, the Draft Summary was available for comment.  No one made suggestions for changes. During this period, the Regulation Room team reviewed the comments on the Costs & Benefits issue post again; as a result of this review, some additional detail has been added to this summary.

General Comments on Costs and Benefits of Proposed Regulations

Commenters were equally split on whether the cost of the proposed regulations would exceed their benefits to consumers.

Two commenters are concerned that the costs to carriers will endanger the industry’s financial health and hurt consumers when these costs are passed on as higher prices.  One considers the proposed regulations to be the equivalent of mandatory air travel insurance that covers passenger inconvenience, delays, and other events airlines cannot control.  He/she predicts that the “premium” for this insurance will be high and believes that most customers, if given the choice, would prefer travel at lower cost to having additional travel interruption insurance.  This commenter says that DOT Department of Transportation is micro-managing the affairs of private companies.  The other commenter predicts not only increased consumer costs, but also further strain on carriers.  He/she also mentions airports struggling with less traffic.  This commenter believes that the problem is that airlines are underpricing fares to increase volume.  This is a risk to people and the industry.  He/she favors an approach that sets minimum fare prices at a level where necessary fees are covered.

Two commenters disagree.  One sees this as an issue of passengers’ rights, not management freedom of private corporations.  Focusing on tarmac delay, this commenter believes that passengers should have the option to deplane, choose another flight or means of transportation, or postpone travel.  Contingency plans for ensuring this should be a condition of airlines’ getting the right to operate.  The other predicts that the costs to airlines will be much less than what is currently spent on advertising that misleads consumers.  Now, consumers incur considerable cost and inconvenience in trying to get refunds and other recovery for problems due to airlines’ nondelivery of promised service.

Comments Specifically on DOT Methodology

One commenter questions why DOT Department of Transportation estimates that fee disclosure to consumers has any quantifiable cost.

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