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Friday, April 27, 2007

Washington Launches Deceptive Scheduling Practices Probe

Deceptive scheduling practices is the target of a Department of Transportation investigation into chronically delayed flights which impact many regional flights. The DOT charged that airlines not only fail to operate on time, but do not tell passengers the flights are subject to repeated problems. The move is in response to criticism lodged at recent House Transportation Committee hearings that DOT does not oversee or instigate enforcement actions against offending airlines. In a recent report on delayed flights, SkyWest flights were listed in the Top 10. Related Story  While many complaints that prompted Congressional moves to legislate a passenger bill of rights center on high-profile incidents of hours-long airliner captivity, regionals abandoned passengers during the December and February blizzards. Related Story
DOT is already focusing on eight airlines to determine whether or not they have followed requirements to tell passengers of chronic schedule problems upon request. However, the department is now broadening the scope to determine whether or not airlines are issuing unrealistic schedules.
Consumer problems are not unique to U.S. carriers as illustrated by coverage in Air Safety Week, RAN’s sister publication, about delays at RyanAir, in which the airline refused to pay compensation to passengers delayed for seven hours. An enterprising reporter, aboard the flight, found they were due compensation despite conflicting statements by airport and airline authorities. The reporter is now taking the complaint to the EU and regulators.
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