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I would agree with the 3 points in this post cited as the main flight status communication issues: (1) There is a major disconnect in information between gate agents and reservation agents; (2) There is no prompt communication between the airline and the passenger; and (3) There is no way to guarantee re-booking or re-routing, without penalty, without going to the airport and waiting in long lines. I had a long delay in May at O’Hare, spent several hours waiting in 5 different lines – 2 of those lines were to use the automated kiosks at the “Customer Service Center” that had exactly zero personnel of the airline there to help (and 4 of the 7 kiosks were not working). When the kiosk said it couldn’t change my flight, I used the attached phone to call the airline,… more »
Some airline websites (United’s for example) provide the % of time the flight is on-time, such as in the “flight details” pop-up in the list of flights when you are shopping. If not, this information is available to the public on flightstats.com.
Several of the reasons cited for delays are air traffic control and late arriving aircraft. Air traffic in a couple key spots in this country is congested, in part, because airlines are flying more smaller planes rather than fewer larger planes – to carry the same amount of passengers. This takes up more landing slots. Why do they do this?
1) Planes are charged landing fees based on weight, and therefore it can be cheaper to land 2 smaller, lighter planes rather than one larger, heavier plane.
2) Airlines are worried that if they swap out 2 lighter planes for 1 heavier plane, then another airline will come in and take the landing slot and offer an extra flight of its own and siphon off passengers. Airlines worry that if they don’t offer the most frequent flights, packed especially… more »
The government should change the basis on which landing fees are calculated as a start toward dis-incentivizing these practices. 1) The landing fees should not be based primarily on weight, but rather should be based on the fact that the plane is using a landing slot, with only some consideration given to the weight of the aircraft. That would encourage airlines to choose larger planes that can carry more people with less per-person environmental impact and fewer overall landing slots, reducing delays. 2) The landing fees should be somewhat greater at peak times of day to encourage airlines to spread out their flights more, thereby reducing congestion and delays. « less
All the talk about baggage has been focusing on the fees and on what problems flight attendants claim it causes because more people are carrying on more. These baggage issues came up during the House Transportation Committee’s hearing last week. While I don’t like the baggage fees, as a fairly frequent traveler for business, the main reason I do not check my luggage has nothing to do with baggage fees. I do not check my luggage because of all the time it takes. Checking my luggage would require me to:
1) get to the airport much earlier to wait an unpredictable amount of time in a line to check the bag, rather than just print my boarding pass before I come to the airport and go directly to the security line without stopping at the airline counter or skycap.
2) Wait after my flight… more »
When you travel regularly, adding an extra hour plus to each direction of each trip is alot of time that can be much better spent elsewhere and on other things. The baggage handling process at some airports is incredibly slow and sometimes I could be home or at my hotel in the time it takes me to get my bag at the baggage claim. The baggage handling process is too slow and inefficient for many frequent business travelers to use.
A note on fees – the idea of charging extra for both checked and carry-on luggage as an “extra”/optional service that can be unbundled is ridiculous. Virtually no one can travel without either a checked bag or a carry-on. Even business people who travel somewhere in the morning and back the same night tend to bring a briefcase or similar. If virtually everyone would have to pay the fee, then it is not optional and should be part of the ticket price. « less
This regulation is another example of government trying to implement an inefficient and costly requirement on taxpaying travelers. Look what requirements on tarmac delays have done – increased flight cancellations. Look at what the airlines did to find other revenues – they added exorbitant fees onto travelers if they couldn’t fit all their travel gear into a small bag. The airlines won’t pay for this requirement if it get enacted – everyone who travels will. I find it very difficult to believe that there is not a more reasonable cost way to achieve the same end goal.
Thank you for the comment mcheung. You bring up some interesting suggestions. What are the possible implications of these suggestions; will they disproportionately impact smaller aircarriers who only have small planes? What effect will it have on the number of flights offered during peak hours?
Hi mcheung, DOT believes that this proposed rule would save airlines $45.9 million in labor costs and save passengers $76.9 million by reducing waiting times. You can read more about these benefits in Table 13 of the Regulatory Impact Analysis. Do you think the Agency has considered everything that it should? What, if anything, do you think should be added to the calculation of costs and benefits?
Instead of revamping all the kiosks, why not require a priority lane for disabled people to get personal assisted service instead? The same goal is achieved at at very much reduced cost.
I fail to see why airlines and airports should have to pay these added costs instead of just having priority lines for the disabled to be serviced by humans. The latter has got to be cheaper and less of a technical challenge. Do the disabled really want to use kiosks instead of getting personal service? Most able-bodied people would rather have the personal service and hate the kiosks.
This is plain and simple government overreach and interference! The benefit will never exceed costs and will drive many good companies from the web! NO new stupid rules! The economy is weak enough as is! Kill this project!