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March 15th 2009

FlyersRights representatives were in Washington DC last week to fight for your rights. On March 10th through 14th, Kate and other volunteers went to Capitol Hill to urge members of Congress to co-sponsor the bi-partisan Passenger Bill of Rights (S.213).   We met with staff members from the offices of Senators Boxer (CA), Brown (OH), Voinovich (OH), Shaheen (NH), Kerry (MA), Rockefeller (WV), Ensign (NV), Cardin (MD), Begich (AK), Mikulski (MD), Webb (VA), Hutchison (TX), Johanns (NE), Stabenow (MI) and Thune (SD), as well as Representatives Doggett (TX), Wolf (VA) and Capito (WV). Whew! Our feet were hurting!

Pam Jackson and Ron Crowe waiting oustide Senator Jim Webb's office.





Kate takes a load off at Union Station between appointments at the Senate and the Department of Transportation.




On March 11th, we held a press conference in the Russell House Office Building in Washington, DC, to release the 2008 FlyersRights Report Card on airline tarmac delays, and announced that 1,232  flights had sat on the tarmac for over 3 hours in 2008.  Download the PDF version here:  2008 Airline Stranding Report Card

 

FlyersRights volunteers Pam Jackson and Anjum Malik look on as Kate begins the press conference.





Kate introduces Dr. James Breneman, an expert in Deep Vein Thrombosis, who explained why long tarmac strandings can pose serious a safety issue.  Also, from left to right - Francis Turner, Jane Turner, Anjum Malik, Jennifer Shirkani and Pam Jackson.

The report card says Delta had the greatest number of tarmac delays over 3 hours.  Southwest Airlines was the best rated, for incorporating into their contract an actionable strategy to move customers off planes stuck on the tarmac and for providing food, water, trash removal, toilet cleaning and temperature controls.

This year’s Special Award winners included:
  • Delta won the "When you are on the ground they treat you like dirt" Award, for having the most and longest strandings and the most callous disregard for passengers.
  • American Airlines won the “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate” Award, for diverting a 13 hour flight from Japan to Detroit, where it sat on the tarmac for 7.5 hours, forcing passengers to spend 20.5 hours on board.  Vomit was in the sink and toilets, and the toilets were inoperable.
  • US Airways won the “Nausea” Award for having the worst overflowing toilets.
  • Southwest Airlines won the "My Heavens" award for best airline overall, since Southwest maintains a “contract of carriage” that protects passengers against strandings.




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Copyright 2009 - Coalition for an Airline Passengers Bill of Rights - FlyersRights.org