Magazine article Medical Economics

Air Passenger Complaints Finally Bring Congressional Action

Magazine article Medical Economics

Air Passenger Complaints Finally Bring Congressional Action

Article excerpt

Airline passengers have grown so angry about the deterioration in service that Congress is finally listening. In 1998, passengers filed almost 10,000 complaints with the Department of Transportation, more than in any year since 1989. Delays, cancellations, missed connections, and lost baggage accounted for about 40 percent of the complaints.

"Passenger rights have been left at the gate," says Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, who, along with Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, recently intra duced the Airline Passenger Fairness Act. The bill would require airlines to:

Explain why a flight has been delayed, diverted, or canceled

Notify passengers who ask whether a flight is oversold.

Refund the price of an unused ticket if a passenger so requests within 48 hours of purchase.

Provide information on all available fares when asked, so that passengers can more easily comparison-shop

Allow passengers to use portions of a multicity round-trip ticket for a single-city round trip; for example, a passenger going from New York to Chicago and back would be able to buy a New York-Chicago-Los Angeles round trip, and use just the two New York-Chicago legs, if they're cheaper than a simple New York-Chicago round-trip ticket. …

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