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What's Happening Now

June 2, 2010 11:35 pm

Methods for pricing and advertising are inconsistent for both air carriers and third-party sellers, resulting in confusion for consumers that borders on fraud. Fees and surcharges paid to the airline can be misrepresented as government imposed taxes and surcharges. The following consumer protections should be imposed:

1. Final airfare cost should be fully disclosed in all advertising and sales.

2. Fuel and other surcharges paid to an airline should not be misrepresented to the consumer as government-imposed taxes and fees.

3. Baggage and all required additional travel costs should be fully disclosed and paid for by the consumer at the time of purchase (not a surprise at the ticket counter!).

The DOT proposal is very good but is not strict enough to provide adequate and necessary consumer protection.

June 2, 2010 11:54 pm

All airfare costs should include the passenger’s right to check at least one standard piece of baggage. All fees should be fully disclosed at the time of airfare purchase, regardless of nature (i.e. optional or mandatory). Any changes in fees should be identified by air carriers at least 6 months prior to taking effect. Fees must be paid according to the carrier selling the airfare, not to the one providing the service, as in the case of a code-sharing agreement.

June 2, 2010 11:56 pm

When in US airspace, DOT rules should apply to all carriers, regardless of the number of aircraft seats or nationality.

June 3, 2010 12:02 am

Without details regarding the methodology of this cost-benefit analysis, it is difficult to comment on the ‘reasonableness’ of what is proposed. Disclosure of fees to the consumer should not have a quantifiable cost.

June 3, 2010 12:04 am

Compensation must be in fiat currency. Frequent flier miles and certificates offered as compensation are valued at the discretion of the airlines.

June 3, 2010 12:10 am

Few if any airlines offer peanuts anymore. But peanuts are not the only allergen- what about pets? More people are allergic to pets than peanuts.

June 3, 2010 12:12 am

Airlines should disclose potential allergens on a flight (i.e. pets allowed, food served, etc.).

June 3, 2010 12:11 am

Details on methodology can be found via the Source Material information in the body of the post. Please report back on any thoughts.

June 3, 2010 12:37 am

Thanks for commenting. Is there some place we should look to find information regarding which airlines distribute peanut foods or foods in contact with peanuts? Also, where should I look for the data regarding pet and peanut allergies? Let’s get the information out in the open so we can start sifting through it!

June 3, 2010 12:46 am

Is the intention here to include flights which originate and terminate outside of the US but that fly in US airspace?
Also, what do others think? Ideally, when should this rule apply?

June 3, 2010 12:56 am

I agree – it’s be wise to disclose potential allergens. However, what happens beyond the disclosure?

I agree, r88c, there are more allergens than just peanuts (my family has a few beyond peanuts in our own list.) However, there’s a difference between my cat allergy (stuffy head, watery eyes) and my daughter’s peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergies – threat of anaphylaxis, vomiting, swelling of lips, itching in the mouth, etc.) *Any* food allergen (any allergen) can trigger life threatening reactions – BUT, peanuts and tree nuts combine for the top cause of ER visits for treatment of life threatening symptoms each year.

WHole peanuts/nuts are also more apt to release dust particles through the air system, then, say, opening a milk carton. Is it perfect?… more »

…no but it is a start.

As a mother of a peanut allergic child, I won’t fly with her on flights that serve peanuts. I won’t fly with her if i can’t have her EpiPen with her in flight. « less

June 15, 2010 2:58 pm

Travel vouchers are similarly valued at the airlines’ discretion, even when a dollar value is specified. I was recently voluntarily bumped from a US Airways flight, after being promised that the travel voucher was good for flights with any of their codeshare partners. Star Alliance is a big codeshare group, right? Well … contrary to what the gate agent told me, the voucher is only good on US Airways-coded flights; and as I live in the Southwest, there’s a very good chance this voucher will expire worthless. Good for the airlines, not so good for me.

(Why didn’t I refuse the voucher under these conditions? Because the gate agent would not give me the voucher – and let me read the fine print – until the plane had pushed back from the gate.)

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