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Kate Hanni
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Blog Entries by Kate Hanni

Airlines Scrooge Their Customers With Bag Fees

(7) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 7:00 AM

This holiday season, airlines have a gift for you: Hidden fees. These fees are waiting for you at the airport and will add to the other fees you paid when you bought the ticket. Happy Holidays!

Two pro-consumer groups, FlyersRights.org and Business Travel Coalition , along...

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Airlines & Hurricane Sandy: What Do Airlines Owe Passengers Displaced By 'Acts Of God'?

(16) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 4:53 PM

A tiny percentage of the people unable to board the 19,000+ flights canceled or rescheduled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy likely read the contract that is now determining what sort of help their airline is obliged to give them. Called "Contracts of Carriage," the legal agreements airlines...

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Why European Airlines Will Pay Passengers For Late Flights

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 8:00 AM

Is your airline trying to make up for your ridiculously late flight by giving you free candy? Don't let them get away with it. Passengers are often placated with vouchers for a free meal or a refreshment when they are legally entitled to more significant reimbursement.
...

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FAA Bill Codifies Airline Passenger Bill Of Rights

(21) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 7:00 AM

After five years of kicking the can down the road, the 112th United States Congress has agreed on the provisions of the FAA Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012, the bill we know as the FAA Reauthorization Bill. Through our efforts and the support of our congressional allies-Senators Boxer,...

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FAA Bill Risks End Of Tarmac Rule

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 7:30 AM

In the continuing Joint House-Senate Committee debate on the final form of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, the House of Representatives is winning the battle over removing the law prohibiting airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for over three hours from the bill. They propose that the Congress passes a...

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Your Flight's Cancelled: Now What?

(3) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 8:30 AM

We all know that air travel is never a sure thing. Many flights are delayed or cancelled, for a variety of reasons. But if your flight is cancelled, what do you do? What are your rights?

There was once an FAA rule, Rule 240, which required airlines to book you...

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Airlines Play The Victim After Hefty Delay Fine

(2) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 8:00 AM

In the wake of the Department of Transportation's landmark decision to find American Eagle $900,000 for the May 29th stranding of nearly 600 passengers on Chicago O'Hare's tarmac, remarkably similar stories claiming that the fines would terrify the airlines and drive them to cancel huge numbers of flights appeared all...

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Should The Transportation Department Ban Electronic Cigarettes On Planes

(7) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 3:11 PM

The Department of Transportation has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes a ban on e-cigarette use in airliners. Here's the Federal Register entry on the NPRM.

The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend its existing airline smoking rule to explicitly ban the use of electronic cigarettes...
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TSA Policy Changes For The Better, Slowly

(3) Comments | Posted September 25, 2011 | 6:29 PM

Last week, the TSA announced that child screening procedures will change "soon," which seems to be another way of saying they'll change "mostly."

Children under 13 will not be routinely required to remove their shoes and will not be subjected to intrusive pat downs that touch private...

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Shoshana Hebshi And The Big Flaw in Airport Security

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2011 | 8:32 PM

By now, most of you have seen the story of Shoshana Hebshi, a Jewish-Arab American, who was taken off a flight at Detroit's Metro Airport on 9/11.

In short, a nervous 9/11 traveler on Hebshi's plane reported her two Indian seatmates, not her, as suspicious because of...

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Spirit Airlines Hits A New Low (Again)

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 10:24 PM

Spirit Airlines, continuously the yardstick of how little an airline cares about their passengers, has, once again, astonished us. Just as it seemed all extra fee ideas had been exhausted, Spirit goes beyond. Effective November 1, Spirit is going to charge five bucks to print a boarding pass at the...

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EPIC Continues TSA Pressure

(3) Comments | Posted September 11, 2011 | 9:25 PM

Our friends and allies at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have upped the ante in their ongoing legal battle with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I was in the EPIC office last January with three FlyersRights volunteers when the organization filed suit against the TSA,...

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Ten Years Later: Are Travelers Really Safer?

(3) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 8:24 PM

A decade after this century's "Day of Infamy," FlyersRights still questions our government's efforts to provide real air travel security. Like all other Americans, we at FlyersRights.org want our travel to be safe. However, we demand that security measures imposed upon us be effective, safe, constitutional, and consistently-applied....

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Department Of Transportation Expands Airline Passenger Protections

(1) Comments | Posted August 23, 2011 | 2:28 PM

On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, the Department of Transportation implemented new airline passenger protections. Effective that date, international flights will fall under the same requirements as domestic flights as they will no longer be able keep passengers on the tarmac indefinitely. The new protections also increase compensation from $650.00 and...

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Congress Fiddles While FAA Burns

(2) Comments | Posted August 3, 2011 | 11:04 PM

On August 1, FlyersRights.org
called on Congress to move forward on the FAA Reauthorization Bill of 2011. With the bill stalled in joint committee, the FAA's ability to function has been severely curtailed since July 22. FAA workers have been laid off, the agency is unable...

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TSA: Security or Security Theater?

(5) Comments | Posted July 18, 2011 | 9:31 PM

After an extended period of inappropriate, knee-jerk response, dealing with real security threats by providing security theater, the TSA is slowly responding to public outcry. Widespread discontent with the TSA's new measures was focused through the efforts of consumer advocacy groups such as FlyersRights.org, Ralph Nader's

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DOT's Three-Hour Rule Works

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 2:41 PM

April 29, 2011, marks the first anniversary of the DOT's Three-Hour Tarmac Rule. When the rule was implemented, the airlines, particularly the Airline Transport Association, predicted dire consequences. There was much wailing and gnashing of their collective teeth as they warned of massive cancellations to avoid the potential fines imposed...

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The Lesson of Domodedovo: Find the Bombers, Not the Bombs

(5) Comments | Posted January 25, 2011 | 9:20 PM

On January 6th, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) hosted a conference titled "The Stripping of Freedom -- a Careful Scan of TSA Security Procedures." I was honored to speak at this event. It was an inspiring demonstration of people with divergent political views coming together on...

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Air Travel 2010: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2010 | 7:38 PM

The past year has been very eventful for airline passengers. We've seen big shifts in many facets of air travel. Crude terror plots failed to harm anyone, but prompted massive reaction from the DHS and TSA in the form of new rules, equipment, and procedures. The Department of Transportation's (DOT)...

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Beware of Airlines Bearing Gifts

(4) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 9:57 AM

Once again, an airline is trying to pull the wool over our eyes with the old "improved customer service" trick. American Airlines has rolled out the AA Direct Connect, which they say provides travel companies and agencies "a direct link into AA's host reservation system for the facilitation...

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