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Advocacy Group Calls For Airport, Airline Reforms

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A consumer advocacy group is calling on airports and airlines to make massive reforms to reduce travel delays on U.S. commercial flights.

FlyersRights.org, the nation’s largest nonprofit airline consumer organization, is seeking improvements in speed, reliability and affordability when it comes to delays.

In a presentation at the GAD Airport Development Conference in Chicago, FlyersRights.org president Paul Hudson – also a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Rulemaking Advisory Committee – laid out a series of reforms he would like to see implemented.

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FlyersRights.org has airlines/two-consumer-groups-pushing-for-airline-adjustments.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>previously petitioned for changes because of delays, but not to this extent.

For airports, among other things Hudson is asking to:

– Mandate passenger representation on airport governing boards to offer a better perspective.

– Add a third major airport for New York and Chicago metro areas to relieve chronic and growing congestion delays.

– Modify for repeal US law and regulations prohibiting federal government ownership and operation of airports, and increase federal government new airport planning funding from 50% to 80% (pending approval of DOT since 2017)

– Review and reduce airport antitrust exemptions that increase passenger expenses, travel times and negatively impact national air transportation efficiency.

– Ensure that passenger rights information is freely available at airports

– Consider nationalizing major airport operations and control in a new federal airport agency or corporation.

– Mandate or encourage the use of larger aircraft at congested airports.

– Mandate express rail links to central business districts for large metro airports and to off-airport car rental centers

– Mandate common gates and ‘use it or lose it’ rule to allow access of all airlines to hub airports.

Among the airline-based reforms, Hudson is suggesting:

– Mandate that airlines and airports complete needed equipment installation by end of 2020 for NextGen ATC operation.

– Restore reciprocity rule (aka Rule 240) allowing passengers on canceled or excessively delayed flights (over 90 minutes) to use their tickets on another airline with available seating flying to the same destination.

– Minimum fines of $3,000 per passenger for three-hour rule violations with $1,000 paid to passenger plus $10 per minute for delays over three hours.

– Require ready reserves of personnel and equipment sufficient to prevent cancelation rate over 2% of flights and for on-time performance of over 85%.

– Require cancellations for economic reasons be made at least three hours before flight time and provide passengers with alternate transportation and ticket refund. Presumption is flight less than 30% booked.

– Require plain language notice of delay compensation, especially for international trips.

– Require stranded passengers receive lodging, meal and ground transportation.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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Numerous Cities on List For Potentially Losing Air Travel

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The ball is now in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s court when it comes to deciding whether to grant the request of domestic airlines to significantly trim certain cities and airport from their respective service lists.

And, ironically, it comes at a time when the majority of the country is starting to reopen for business in the wake of the effects from the coronavirus pandemic.

The government comment period on the matter ended on Thursday, leaving the matter to a decision by the DOT, which has not said when it will issue a ruling according to USA Today.

Airlines are looking to drop service to conserve some desperately needed cash, with demand for air travel having dropped to unprecedented lows. At one point, screenings by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were off 94 percent compared to a similar date last year. But as a condition of accepting federal grants and loans as part of the CARES Act stimulus package, U.S. carriers needed to maintain the same amount of service it offered prior to the coronavirus impact as well as seek permission from the DOT to drop routes.

But the cuts could be devastating to small airports.

According to USA Today, Anthony Dudas, the airport director in Williston, North Dakota, said that the town is a gateway to the rich Bakken oil fields. Before the pandemic, it had five daily flights from United and Delta. Now, those flights have been reduced to one a day for each of the two airlines. If Delta is granted permission to suspend service, the community will be down even further – serving a $275 million airport that opened last year.

“While we understand the need for air carriers to have flexibility in adjusting schedules and services, we believe the impact from significantly reducing air service to western North Dakota will be enormous,” Dudas wrote.

Here is the list of cities that could be dropped.

ALASKA AIRLINES

Charleston, South Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

El Paso, Texas

New Orleans

San Antonio, Texas

ALLEGIANT AIR

New Orleans

Ogdensburg, New York

Palm Springs, California

San Antonio

Springfield, Illinois

Tucson, Arizona

AMERICAN AIRLINES

Aspen, Colorado

Eagle, Colorado

Montrose/Delta, Colorado

Worcester, Massachusetts

CAPE AIR

Portland, Maine

Corvus Airlines

Goodnews Bay, Alaska

Kodiak, Alaska

Napakiak, Alaska

Napaskiak, Alaska

Platinum, Alaska

DELTA AIR LINES

Aspen, Colorado

Bangor, Maine

Erie, Pennsylvania

Flint, Michigan

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Lincoln, Nebraska

New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, North Carolina

Peoria, Illinois

Santa Barbara, California

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Williston, North Dakota

ELITE AIRWAYS

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

FRONTIER AIRLINES

Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina

Mobile, Alabama

Palm Springs

Portland, Maine

Tyler, Texas

JETBLUE AIRWAYS

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Palm Springs

Sacramento, California

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

Worcester, Massachusetts

Seaborne Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Culebra, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

SILVER AIRWAYS

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Huntsville, Alabama

Key West, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

SPIRIT AIRLINES

Asheville, North Carolina

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Greensboro/High Point, North Carolina

Plattsburgh, New York

SUN AIR EXPRESS

Nashville, Tennessee

SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES

Madison, Wisconsin

Philadelphia

Portland, Oregon

Sacramento

St. Louis, Missouri

UNITED AIR LINES

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pennsylvania

Charlotte Amalie

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Fairbanks, Alaska

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Ithaca/Cortland, New York

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Key West, Florida

Lansing, Michigan

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Rochester, Minnesota

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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