Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stranded Passengers, Some Links


I’m a little late out of the gate getting this .pdf (above) posted. It’s the Transportation Department Inspector General’s background report, as of September, on the stranded passengers and other airline foul-ups.

(I’m still stumbling around trying to do things like upload .pdfs).

And while I’m at it, here is a copy of a resolution that recently was passed in Missouri. Sad to say those boys ain’t so hot on their math — they seem to have under-counted the Dec. 29, 2006 debacle in Texas by 124 airplanes stranded, and they’re off by another couple hundred on the Feb. 14 meltdown at JetBlue in New York. But the resolution does show that the states are putting more pressure on Congress to get moving on the two federal passengers’ rights bills now pending — even as states themselves take the initiative by drafting draft their own versions of passengers rights laws, like the one that went into effect in New York State on Jan. 1.


In fairness I’m linking here to the lawsuit complaint against New York State made by the airline trade group — here.newyorkcomplaint.pdf

I don’t have a .pdf yet of Federal District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn’s scathing dismissal of the airlines’ complaint (he basically said they were full of baloney on every count) and I’ll post it when I get one.

Meanwhile, here’s New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s statement on the federal court ruling against the airlines.

And below is the press release the airline trade-industry group came up with in response. I was particularly taken, as I said earlier, by the flip and dismissive tone this press release took — for example in referring to U.S. Judge Lawrence Kahn’s court — twice — as a “New York Lower Court,” when in fact it’s a mighty federal district court. The snottiness some of the airlines show their customers is reflected in the snottiness their trade group shows toward a federal court, in my opinion. Here’s the press release:

ATA Responds to New York Lower Court Ruling on Challenge to Airline Services Legislation


WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2007 – The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization representing the leading U.S. airlines, today issued the following statement in response to the New York lower court’s decision regarding ATA’s challenge to the legality of the state’s airline passenger rights legislation:

“ATA believes that the court has misinterpreted the law. We are considering our options, including filing an appeal. ATA’s sole purpose in filing this lawsuit was to preserve the principle that commercial aviation is best regulated by one source – the federal government – and not 50 individual states.”

ATA will have no further comment.

ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For additional information about the industry, visit


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