I’ve been waiting for a refund since last summer

Wendy Bell has been waiting for a refund on an unused airline ticket since last summer. What’s the holdup? And who can help her get the missing money? Read more “I’ve been waiting for a refund since last summer”

Maybe the dog ate Falcon Air’s homework

From time to time, a consent order crosses my desk that’s just too funny to not write about. Like today’s ruling (PDF) against Falcon Air Express, a Miami-based airline whose claim to fame is running a wet T-shirt contest on a charter flight to Mexico.

This time Falcon is in trouble for the less glamorous sin of failing to file its paperwork on time. According to the Transportation Department,

Falcon Air failed to file in a timely manner certain financial reports with the Department for half of 2007, all of 2008, and all of 2009, despite numerous warning notices from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

In April 2010, only after being contacted by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office), did Falcon Air file all the delinquent reports with BTS.

Talk about tardy.
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The truth about those controversial $10 holiday airfare charges

xmasLast week, several airlines added a $10 “miscellaneous” charge for flights on on Nov. 29, Jan. 2 and 3. — those are the peak travel days after Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The news sent the travel blogosphere into something of a frenzy. My colleague Janice Hough this morning predicted the “holiday surcharge” was only the beginning of a new fee orgy.

Rather than devote an entire post to criticizing the airline industry for yet another poorly-conceived idea, I thought it would be a good idea to ask the Transportation Department, which regulates a significant part of the airline industry, what it makes of the new fees.
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Why I don’t support a Passengers Bill of Rights

demonstrationI’m on record as supporting a Passengers Bill of Rights. But today I’m changing my vote.

I don’t want a Bill of Rights — in particular, I don’t back a proposed provision in the FAA Reauthorization Bill that would force airlines to return to the gate after a three-hour wait.

Why?
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Continental Airlines faces $27,500 fine in tarmac stranding incident

ejetThe Transportation Department this morning a sent a letter to Continental Airlines inquiring into the circumstances of its recent Continental/Express Jet flight 2816 extended delay. So what’s next? I asked Transportation Department spokesman Bill Mosley.

You’ve sent a letter to Continental, asking for details on the ExpressJet Airlines flight 2816 tarmac delay. What kind of sanctions are available to the department for keeping passengers on a plane for nine hours?

If the airline has violated its contract of carriage or customer service commitments, DOT could pursue enforcement action alleging that the carrier engaged in an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C 41712. If violations are proven, the carrier would be subject to a cease and desist order and civil penalties of up to $27,500 per violation.
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