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June 3, 2010 6:51 pm

I believe this rule should apply to all air carriers. When you waive it for some you set up a situation which is unfair and opens unforeseen loopholes. 3 hours is a reasonable time limit for all carriers and it should be a legally binding limit. More time than that on the tarmac is nothing more than a demonstration by the carrier that they have not planned properly and are willing to make the paying customer pay for their poor planning.

June 3, 2010 7:01 pm

Such notifications are “nice” for relatively short delays (2 hours or less say). Often however they don;t know how long a flight will be delayed if it is a mechanical issue or if thunderstorms have caused a back up of landing/take-off traffic. The problem becomes more of “in which situations is a notice required” vice how long/early should they notify people. That isn’t addressed here.
Bottom line, I think this idea needs a lot more consideration and thought before going forward.

June 3, 2010 7:03 pm

This is just another regulation that takes basic responsibility out of people’s hands. If you can’t do the math to figure out the total cost then you probably should stay home since you can’t figure out the tax on your purchases at stores either.
As long as there is a requirement for a listing of the total cost before they charge you then it is up to the consumer to ASK what those other fees are.

June 3, 2010 7:11 pm

A regulation that will force the air carriers to prominently display the various fees that are required is a good idea so that you know before you fly just how much more your ticket really is going to cost (i.e. bag fees, seat fee, etc.). Optional price for a meal or entertainment is “nice to know” information but I don’t think it needs to be written as a regulation since you have the option of not watching a movie but you likely don’t have the option of not bringing that suitcase along. The website notification is a good idea but it would also be good to have these posted in the check-in area as well.
The idea of a full fair price with every optional cost added in is not realistic since the majority of people do not use ALL of the options. I do like the add-on services… more »

It’s not the job of the airlines however to tell you that their competition may have a cheaper flight for you. Sorry, that’s the consumer’s job. If one airline charges significantly more for something than another airline does and it affects the competitiveness of their tickets the market will deal with that, no regulation for this is needed. « less
June 3, 2010 7:17 pm

No, no, no! If you have an allergy to peanuts and you know you have it then take your own precautions. If I decide to bring a bag of peanuts onboard an airplane and am then told I’m in a “peanut free zone” or something like that, then my rights have been trampled as have the rights of everyone in that zone. Request peanut free services from the airlines for yourself, but do not force those restrictions on the rest of the flying public. I have no problem with the airline offering peanut free foods, etc. but it should be an option that people can select not a requirement for everyone else to abide by.
What’s next? Can I have all perfume banned from an airplane or have people wearing them banned? How about deodorants, hair sprays, any product with latex in it?
It is not a “right” if you have to impose that behavior on others for yourself.

June 15, 2010 4:13 pm

You have a responsibility to keep your child safe. You don’t let them play in traffic but we don’t ban cars. This is no different. It is YOUR responsibility, it is not the airline’s or the government’s job to keep everything away from people that can hurt them because you know what? Whatever you pick, someone out there has a SEVERE allergy to it that can kill them.

June 15, 2010 4:17 pm

Where is your “right” to fly? Or where is your “right” to limit my choices? The shampoo ban is supposed to be to prevent liquid explosives from being brought onboard, not to prevent exposure to some allergic to it. Sure I can “survive” without eating peanuts, but you know what, you can also survive without flying wherever it is you are going, why is it what you can survive is more important than what I can survive without? What makes you more important than the 98% of the population that is not allergic to peanut products?

June 15, 2010 4:21 pm

I don’t support banning guns or cigarettes either. Those are choices people make (to buy a gun or smoke) and that is what I support and what I propose…choice. If you think a ride is dangerous for your child you don’t let them ride it. Is it their “right” to be have the ride toned down for them or is it the right or every citizen to make a choice on what risk they accept and what they will not? This, like many other regulations is simply taking that choice and handing it over to the government and forcing their decision on everyone. Just because peanuts MAY kill someone doesn’t mean everyone else should have no choice in eating them.

June 23, 2010 1:47 pm

Will you also ban latex from all flights? What about ANY substance which someone has a potentially fatal allergic reaction to? There are a LOT of those out there. Where do you draw the line? Or do you draw a line at all?

June 23, 2010 1:52 pm

Bottom line here is that there are a lot of things that can potentially kill someone who is allergic to them. If you ban peanuts/peanut products then what about all of the other things like latex or perfume, etc. If you don’t then what is your argument (ban supporters) to those who suffer from severe allergic reactions to these other products? Why is their safety worth anything less than yours? Yet if you ban every product that could potentially cause a fatal or near fatal allergic reaction then you make flying impractical.

June 23, 2010 2:00 pm

That’s the problem with regulations like this. There are so many reasons why a flight might be delayed and each of them has a great variance in how long it may take to resolve that issuing a blanket rule would cause as many problems as it solves.

June 23, 2010 2:10 pm

Weight is the excuse for charging a fee to improve revenue. In general the airlines average what a “typical” load of baggage and people weighs and how much that adds to the amount of fuel required for a flight. They do not weigh each aircraft prior to take off so you don’t have any good numbers to back up the need for a fee for more bags or for heavier people. If you want to charge based on weight then everyone on a flight that is not full should get a refund since the airline is carrying far less weight if the plane is half full right? And how about if the majority of people on the flight are smaller than “average”? Should they all get refunds as well? What if I only bring a light carry on and you check a 30 pound suitcase, should I get a discount or should… more »

…you pay more? (I weigh 250 lbs) Or…should it all just be averaged out among all of the passengers like it is now? as for the disclosure…yes, airlines should disclose what it costs to take a flight with them and it should be easy to find, read and understand. After that it’s up to the customer to actually find and read it before they pay for it. « less
June 23, 2010 2:14 pm

I have no problem with airlines developing their own policies vice a mandated government requirement but whatever those policies are they need to be easy to find, easy to read and understandable by your “average” person before someone books and pays for a flight. If you want to regulate this then insist that all policies related to overbooking, rebooking, rerouting, basically any changes to the originally contracted flight must be made available in a format that is easily accessible and understandable to the general public.

August 5, 2010 9:49 am

dberger – Once again we see the attitude of everyone must change for a few, a very few. This allergy is yours and yours to deal with, why in the world do you expect all of the rest of us to change anything in our own lifestyles to accommodate you? As it is, you have a solution, you take Benadryl when you fly. Great. Other people need to take other medication to fly as well to deal with their own issues/problems also which they have no control over. Should we therefore make exceptions for all of them as well? I say no. There are steps you can personally take to deal with your own allergy but instead you insist that everyone else take steps so that you don’t have to. Sorry, I’m not accepting that.

August 5, 2010 9:59 am

elizwestly – Actually I read a lot about dying here but can anyone provide a single statistic of how many people have died from peanut allergies onboard an airplane? How about how many people die from peanut allergies in the US each year? I know that the “estimates” are that .6 to 1.5% of the US population may be allergic to peanuts. And I found the following in a story “In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control cited just 14 deaths due to anaphylaxis. The only known registry of deaths from anaphylaxis noted 33 deaths between 1994 and 1999. Remember, all of these estimates refer to the total number of people who had an anaphylactic reaction for any reason, not just from peanuts or other foods.” but I have yet to find anything I can pin down that says how many people… more »

…REALLY die from a peanut allergy each year.
To me it seems pretty obvious that people with peanut allergies do fly (as many here have stated they do) and yet as far as I can tell no one has died. So, why are we even discussing banning peanuts when they have not killed a single person on an airplane? « less
August 5, 2010 10:00 am

I fail to see why it is a “right” to fly so you can go somewhere “interesting”.

August 5, 2010 10:02 am

You are partly right. I would be upset if we had to make an emergency landing because someone did not take the proper precautions when they have a serious allergy and thus caused a hundred plus other people to have a major delay.

August 5, 2010 10:07 am

I always like it when someone talks about everyone else’s “need” not being important when their own “need” is involved. What about your responsibility to protect yourself? While you can argue someone doesn’t have a “right” to wear perfume I would counter that you have no more “right” to fly. Is it much more convenient than driving or taking a train? Sure, but it is not a right plain and simple. So, stop trying to determine what everyone else “needs” they should be allowed to fulfill and do your own due diligence to protect yourself with filter masks, alternate travel, or whatever.

August 5, 2010 10:09 am

A telephone survey? How many of these children were actually tested to discover if they really did have an allergy vice how many are “assumed” to be allergic from parental observation?

August 5, 2010 10:17 am

Hmm, so if people are made aware of the situation you feel discriminated against but if they are unaware of the situation and they have peanuts then you feel, essentially, discriminated against? Seriously, just because the cheaper airfare doesn’t ban peanuts that is no excuse to place restrictions on everyone else who flies. You have children with an allergy that means it is going to cost you in money, time, and diligence in order to protect them to whatever level you deem necessary. That is your burden. I have a bad back and therefore I do not pack a heavy suitcase when I go somewhere and end up buying some items that I otherwise might have carried with me. That is my burden. I don’t expect you to carry my bags for me so that i can pack more in.

August 5, 2010 10:19 am

If you ban everything that makes people “want to be sick” then you would have to ban air travel since a far higher percentage of people in this country get air sick than have severe (or lethal) reactions to peanuts and believe me, when you are air sick you really wish it was fatal at times.

August 5, 2010 10:23 am

jsoodi – You have one major perception in your post, “Peanut allergy is common,”. It is NOT common. It affects somewhere between .6 and 1.5% of the US population and “severe” reactions are far more rare then that.

August 30, 2010 2:20 pm

Moderator – The quote illustrates the idea that the DOT should NOT ban peanuts because you are doing exactly the same kind of things the quote covers in an attempt to achieve something for those not willing to take the responsibility themselves.
Do NOT ban peanut products unless you are willing to go the VERY many roads of banning other substances as well.

August 30, 2010 2:22 pm

Once again, a reaction “not severe enough to…”. Here is the problem. No one has ever died on an airplane from a peanut allergy. The problem that the DOT is trying to fix here doesn’t exist. People have all kinds of allergic reactions in all kinds of places but I don’t know of anyone dying from ANY allergic reaction onboard an airplane. If there is such a case can someone please post a link to NTSB documentation?

August 30, 2010 2:25 pm

Moderator – The problem is if you ban any food product you’ve just opened the door to ban every food product, perfumes, and an uncountable number of other things. Regulated bans always result in follow-on bans which steadily increase restrictions for problems that are better solved by individual responsibility vice government rules.

August 30, 2010 2:27 pm

Moderator – a classic example above. Don’t just ban peanuts, ban everything that might contain something which may have encountered a peanut or peanut product in it’s life. Once you start a ban on one product, you better be prepared for more and more demands to ban a lot of other items.

August 30, 2010 2:29 pm

Gee, if all children are so bad at avoiding the peanut products they are allergic to why aren’t they dropping dead by the thousands each day? They’re not because in general they’re not morons and their allergies are not at the level of being deadly.
If your argument is that it might save ONE life therefore it is worth it, then you better ban flying all together since more people have died in plane accidents than from peanut allergies.

August 30, 2010 2:33 pm

And that’s the REAL problem. “…let’s go here for all allergies.” I’ve said it before and statements like that just reinforce what I have been saying. Once you ban one thing you will be required to ban a LOT more things going forward. I don’t think the DOT is prepared to ban all perfumes, deodorants, service animals, people who smell of smoke, people who use certain shampoo, and on and on and on.

September 2, 2010 9:31 am

Overall a good summary of the discussion. I would only suggest that when you mention the slippery slope argument you also mention that several people made suggestions of regulating other allergens and products which tends to support the concern that this will lead to even more regulation.

June 3, 2010 8:35 pm

JJMurray mentions the idea that there should not be a cap on compensation because there is no cap on ticket prices, what do others think about this? Is this too harsh of a penalty for airlines?

June 3, 2010 8:40 pm

Welcome to regulation room and thanks for trying to discuss these difficult issues.

How you try to address the issue of for which situations notice should be required?

Do others think that this a problematic area of the proposed regulation?

June 3, 2010 8:45 pm

Thanks for the comment. Where in the check-in area do you think that this information should be posted? Would it be best on signs as you wait in line? As a screen on the automatic ticket kiosk? Verbally from an agent?

What do others think?

June 4, 2010 2:29 am

What about my child’s “right” not to die?

June 5, 2010 3:17 pm

I think the problem, as seen with JJM, is that some people don’t view peanuts in the same category as guns and cigarettes. These things kill. Just because they (peanuts) won’t kill YOU doesn’t make it your right to expose others to it. It’s a matter of education. We’ll get there. This dialogue is a good step.

June 18, 2010 3:59 pm

You are right on sir! Most of these supposed allergies are the paranoid imaginings of over anxious parents. The rest of the public should not be forced to accommodate them. A hive or two is not going to kill little jimmy, and the previous poster “shoeslut” should have her head examined for panicking like that. She is causing more harm to her child by being such a paranoid freak than any peanut ever will.

June 23, 2010 2:46 pm

Thank you for the comment JJ. What level of disclosure is sufficient? Is it enough for airlines to just display additional fee information on their website?

June 23, 2010 9:28 pm

Actually, JJMurray, I would support banning such items from being used/taken out during flights, given that they are capable of doing so simply being circulated in the air. You’re right that peanuts are not the only items that can do this, but the list of items that are well known to cause such reactions in this way is not that long. And I would challenge you to find any reason why a person couldn’t go without them for the duration of any flight.

July 19, 2010 8:04 pm

How do I ask? I’m talking to a computer program which doesn’t have a Do you have any questions? box to check. And the reason I’m on the computer is that there is an additional charge if I call a person who can answer those questions.

September 2, 2010 9:48 am

Thank you for your suggestion. We will note it for inclusion when we create the final summary.

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