Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Airline Traveler's Rights

Airline travellers now have new regulations on their side. No longer will we be shuffled onto a plane and held on the tarmac waiting indefinitely to take off. Right!

Congress announced new rules that airlines must follow when getting passengers on their way. You see the airlines measure an on-time departure (the stat that is published regularly to the travelling public) as any time a plane leaves the jetway within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time. Did you catch that - within the time the plane LEAVES THE JETWAY. They would play fast and loose with this stat by pushing back from the jetway and then sit on the tarmac for hours. Not nice but looks good in print.

Now rules require that if passengers are on the tarmac for more than 2 hours the airline has to give them food and water and have operating toilets, the plane must return to the jet way if on the tarmac for more than 3 hours. 3 HOURS? Are you kidding me?

That's like the Viagra warning about contacting your doctor if a certain medical condition exists for more than 4 hours. Sounds like a reasonable warning but in practice would drive you crazy if you had to wait that long.

If I am out on the tarmac more than two hours I'm going to open a can of whup-ass. I'm going to pee my pants just to soil their seat. I'm going to . . . . . just kidding TSA. I don't want to be profiled as a trouble maker and get "detained" next time I fly.

Unfortunately my pessimistic mind thinks the only change that will occur will be that we will be charged more for a ticket to offset the cost of enforcing this regulation. I'm really glad congress is looking out for us.

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