Last week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought forward by a group of airlines challenging new Department of Transportation (DOT) rules requiring them to use the effective full price of airfares including all mandatory taxes, fees and surcharges. In other words, the airlines claimed damages from being told to tell the truth in pricing of air transportation.
Back in February, the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) received notification from Change.org that they were initiating a petition to protest the treatment of Greyhound bus passengers who had been forced to wait for a connecting bus in freezing Mid-West, mid-winter weather. The merger of Change.org’s petition with CTA’s contacts within DOT produced a move by Greyhound to guarantee that this would not happen again.
Travel as we know it will not turn into an ordeal today. From the speeches that the Secretary of Transportation and the The Secretary of Homeland Security have recently given, combined with rhetoric coming from the administration, the public should be forgiven if they thought the world as we know it was ending.
A more activist Transportation Department, which set a record in 2011 for the number of fines it issued against airlines for violating aviation consumer protection rules, appears to have maintained its momentum this past year. In 2012, the Department issued 49 fines for consumer rule violations and assessed $3,610,000 in penalties, exceeding the previous record of 47 fines and $3,264,000 in penalties issued in 2011.
From a passenger’s point of view, 2012 was on of the most momentous since deregulation. Airline consumers reached more milestones and the Department of Transportation (DOT) put into effect more passenger protections than in the history of the department. Here are a dozen changes for the good for airline consumers.
This festive holiday season is starting off dismally for consumers. Between mergers that are stripping competition from the airways and delays at DOT that hurt transparency of airline ancillary fees, consumers are getting a dose of coal for Christmas.
The reelection of President Obama and the new group of Democratic Senators coming to Washington is good news for consumers in terms or consumer protections. The current administration, especially in the Department of Transportation, has been the most consumer-friendly in the history of the country. But turnovers in leadership both in DOT and Congress will be changing the legislative and regulatory landscape.
In a dramatic win for airline consumers, the final act of the historic Department of Transportation (DOT) rulemaking concluded last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld DOT’s power to regulate how airline tickets are advertised and sold.
Over the past three years, passenger protections have slowly but surely made their way through the rulemaking process in Washington, DC. New tarmac-delay rules have been instituted and have eliminated much of the tarmac-delay issues. But, the Department of Transportation (DOT) didn’t stop there. The last of the most recent rules are coming into effect. These new rules, six of which are listed below, have changed the landscape of passenger protections.
The Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protections (ACACP) meets for the first time today. This committee is charged with assessing how well the Department of Transportation (DOT) is enforcing current consumer protections and recommending new consumer protections. Reporting to the Secretary of Transportation and through his office to Congress, this committee brings aviation consumer protection to the highest levels.