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FAA Reauthorization Bill passes, and what we think

February 2, 2012

The FAA Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012, more commonly known as the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill, has passed in congress. Flyers’ Rights website list some of the positive ways a passenger will benefit and additional rights you may have as a passenger, there are a lot of questions one may ask:

  • Food and water will always be available on your flight, and changed from being required to make food and water available after two hours. If you are stranded on the tarmac, the airline will be required to have food and water ready.
    Our take: But they don’t say what kind of food? Peanuts, pretzels, chips?

  • Medical treatment will always be available to passengers who need it, and changed from being available after two hours.
    Our take: Honestly, we didn’t know this rule! Does this mean that if I’m on a 1 hour flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and if I fall sick after 15 minutes of take off, they won’t treat me?!

  • A Department of Transportation consumer hotline will be established so passengers can call toll-free with problems. This hotline will be published on the internet, prominently displayed by carriers on ticket counter signs, and printed on e-ticket confirmations.
    Our take: we hope passengers will make use of this, but do they say what happens after you lodge a complaint? Guess not!

  • Carry musical instruments on board without additional charge. This means that they will be treated the same as regular carry-on luggage so long as they meet the standard carry-on guidelines.
    Our take: This simply means that you will not be allowed to carry your one carry-on bag AND your musical instrument bag, since most airlines allow only one carry-on item.

  • Creation of a Department of Transportation advisory committee, comprised of members from air carriers, airport operators, state, local governments, and non-profit public interest groups with consumer protection experience.
    Our take: Protect consumer experience? How? No one says that! Also, this may be called as lobbying.

  • Airlines will be required to refer passengers to a Department of Transportation web page that lists all countries that may require in-cabin spraying of insecticides for flights to those countries to prevent bug infestation. This list will be made available so passengers can determine if they are allergic to any spray that may be used on the aircraft.
    Our take: They don’t say what airlines are required to do to those passengers who claim to be allergic.

Although most of these changes benefit the passenger to a great extent, the details are quite vague and it’s be nice to see what exactly the bill says.

Read more at: FAA Bill Passes! [Flyer’s Rights]



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