The Ugly American: The Airline Bill of Rights...Shot down like an old fighter plane!!! Locations of visitors to this page
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The Ugly American
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
  The Airline Bill of Rights...Shot down like an old fighter plane!!!
As someone who spends a lot of time in airports and on airplanes the news I heard yesterday really disturbed me. The state of New York had passed something called the passenger bill of rights and the U.S. Second Court of Appeals shot it down yesterday. This law was asking for nothing more than for airlines to give passengers basic services if they are delayed on the tarmac for more than three hours. We’re talking about very basic here, working toilets, food and water!

This decision seems like one that would come from the ninth court, not the second! It amazes me; the federal government can bail out all the airlines, but screw the little guy! They give two shits about the people on planes. Last year, Jet Blue Airlines left passengers stranded on the tarmac in New York for over 3 hours and when the state tries to do something about it, because the Congress is too stupid or callous to act, the Federal government shoots them down!

The Court of Appeals called the goals of the law “laudable”, which is another word for really nice, they said only the federal government can regulate the airlines. The federal government can’t seem to regulate a damn thing these days!

Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the first to scream about too many laws, but this is needed! These airlines are constantly bending the numbers to make themselves look good. They’ll pull a plane away from a gate just so they can keep there on time departure numbers looking good, then the plane just goes out in the middle of the airfield somewhere and sits. I’ve been on planes that have done this before. I’ve also had airlines highjack my luggage, give away my seat and pretty much just about anything else you can think of short of bending me over the seat. They, and when I say they I mean ALL US airlines, don’t feed anyone anymore. They really do very little when it comes to making passengers comfortable. It’s all about the bottom line. The airlines know that when it comes to travel they have us bent over that seat and they don’t give a damn.

The first flight I ever took was when I was 17 and heading to Chicago for boot camp. There seemed to be plenty of legroom in the back of the plane back then and I’m still six foot tall. On planes these days, six foot gets you knees into the seat in front of you! Pray that person doesn’t decide to recline! Back on that first flight, I remember being treated pretty well. These days it feels like cattle being led to slaughter! If they could, I believe they’d stack us like cordwood!

I was delayed in Boston last year because of weather. I understand that and I accept it. What I don’t accept is that after the airline tells me that I’m stuck over night they can’t get my luggage back to me so I can go to a hotel with my stuff. Along those same lines I’ve been told I was to late to get on a plane because my luggage wouldn’t make it to the plane and if I didn’t fly with my luggage I couldn’t fly at all. But when I got to Norfolk after that over night delay in Boston a little over a year ago, my luggage was already there! I guess maybe my luggage can fly without me!

You know, sometimes I think that the idea of taking out the entire congress and starting from scratch would really be a great idea, but then I realize, with states that constantly re-elect people like Teddy Kennedy and Robert Byrd we’d just fuck the whole thing up again anyway!
careful what you wish for. the airlines are just businesses, trying to make money in an environment that is more regulated than it is for any other type of business. the government refuses to upgrade the system (runways, air traffic control, etc.), so more than 90% of the time, delays are not the fault of the airline (its either the constrained system or weather). On top of that, the consumer has said, throughits buying habits, that fares are more important than comfort and frills. The lack of legroom, etc. are a logical response to that. If you want improvement, don't start with thte airlines - start with the government and ask it to invest in new aviation infrastructure.
I'm not buying that argument. Airlines like United offer a section in coach called Economy Plus. There's a little more leg room. They reserve these seats for folks on their frequent flyer lists.

The lack of leg room is a response to how many people can we cram into this sausage tube called an airplane for no other reason than the bottom line. The lack of food, or should I say the $7 box lunch is another bottom line issue.

The only reason that those Jet Blue planes pulled away from the gate in NY and kept passengers stranded on board for OVER TEN HOURS is so that they could keep their ontime departure numbers looking good.

I'd say you don't fly all that often. I'm constantly in airports and more often than not it's not the weather that causes delays. It's missing flight crew members or mechanical issues that cause the problems.

I'm also not buying into it's the govts fault...Why is it always the govts fault???

And lastly, why should I be careful about asking for a working bathroom and a little food and water on a plane stranded on the tarmac for hours on end???
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Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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