The DOT has fined fewer airlines this year. Should you be worried?

If it seems as if airlines are getting away with more passenger-unfriendly behavior, maybe it’s because they are.

The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is responsible for enforcing federal consumer-protection regulations, is on track to punish significantly fewer airlines this year, issuing 18 consent orders for $3.1 million in civil penalties. By comparison, the DOT had 29 orders worth $6.4 million for 2016, which included a $1.6 million fine against American Airlines for violating its tarmac delay rules handed down in mid-December. Barring a last-minute flurry of penalties, 2017 will be a much quieter year for the department. Read more “The DOT has fined fewer airlines this year. Should you be worried?”

Will a new bill hold the travel industry accountable?

Imagine a world where your cruise line or airline pays you if it fails to keep its schedule, you aren’t penalized for a canceled reservation if your hotel is able to resell the room and ticket change fees are related to the actual cost of changing your flight schedule.

Impossible, right? Read more “Will a new bill hold the travel industry accountable?”

Who will protect you?

These are challenging times to be a customer.
Read more “Who will protect you?”

Hey Meridiana Airline, where’s our compensation check?

After Lynne Viti and her husband’s flight is delayed, they file a claim for compensation. Then they file another one. Where is their check? Read more “Hey Meridiana Airline, where’s our compensation check?”

Here come the fake consumer advocates

As the hour of the House Subcommittee on Aviation hearing on airline fees draws closer, I’m amused by the number of self-appointed consumer advocates who have come forward to claim this issue as their own. And troubled.

Expect to see these impostors parading around Washington in the next few days and speaking in canned soundbites on the nightly news and on the front pages of our dying newspapers.

Truth is, this is not their issue. It isn’t my issue.

It is your issue.

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that most of these so-called “advocates” didn’t give a damn about airline fees until the Congress got involved. And if you keep scrolling back in time, you’ll notice very few people who actually spoke out against the massive fraud the airline industry has perpetrated on the American public before it became the issue du jour in DC.

No, this is your fight. Yours to win — or lose.
Read more “Here come the fake consumer advocates”