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Delta Air Lines To Provide Diversity Training To All Employees

Between removing unruly or disruptive passengers from flights to denying boarding to travelers with service animals, the way in which airline employees handle tense situations with consumers has come to the forefront. Today, Delta Air Lines announced it would better prepare its employees for these encounters with diversity training.  [More]

Kerry Lannert

In-Flight Cellphone Calls May Finally Be Ready For Takeoff

You know that woman on the mall scream-talking into her cellphone? She could be on your next flight — well, maybe in a few years. After decades of prohibiting airline passengers from yakking away on their cellular devices from 20,000 feet up, federal regulators are mulling the idea of allowing travelers to make cellphone calls while in flight.  [More]

afagen

New Federal Rules Mean Airlines Have To Offer Refunds For Delayed Baggage

The White House issued new regulations this week that are aimed at protecting airline consumers by giving them more information to compare the cost of flights and the performance of air carriers. The Obama administration also wants airlines to refund checked bag fees when luggage is delayed. [More]

Rachel

Four Airlines Fined For Misinforming Passengers About Compensation For Lost Bags & Being Bumped

If you’re involuntarily bumped from an overbooked flight, or if your bags are lost, the airline owes you some form of compensation. It turns out that four carriers — American, United, Alaska, and Southwest Airlines — haven’t exactly been forthright with all their passengers when it comes to getting what they are owed. [More]

frankieleon

British Airways, Lufthansa & Air France Fined For Treatment Of Disabled Passengers

Four months after the U.S. Department of Transportation fined United Airlines $2 million for violating rules protecting air travelers with disabilities, the agency is continuing to police the skies when it comes to disabled passengers. This time, levying fines against Lufthansa, British Airways, and Air France.  [More]

yooperann

American Airlines Ditching Confusing 24-Hour Hold Policy For 24-Hour Cancellation Option

Federal airline regulations require that carriers must either give most passengers a 24-hour window to cancel tickets without penalty, or allow travelers to put tickets on hold for 24 hours before being charged the airfare. Of all major U.S. carriers, American Airlines is the only one that doesn’t offer the cancellation option, resulting in costly confusion for some travelers. But AA says it is ditching that policy and will begin offering the 24-hour cancellation window instead. [More]

Traveler Complaints About Airlines Increased Nearly 30% Last Year

Traveler Complaints About Airlines Increased Nearly 30% Last Year

While airlines might not be leaping at the chance to tell customers how to file complaints about their service, that hasn’t stopped more travelers from sharing their tales of woe with the Department of Transportation. In fact, the number of complaints filed by beleaguered passengers increased by nearly 30% last year.  [More]

DOT: Average U.S. Airfare At Lowest Price Since 2010

DOT: Average U.S. Airfare At Lowest Price Since 2010

It’s not often that we get to use the word “cheap” along with “airfare,” but that’s the case today, after the U.S. Department of Transportation released its quarterly numbers, showing that the average price for an airline ticket in the third quarter of 2015 was the lowest it’s been in six years. [More]

Consumer Group Sues DOT For Failure To Create Searchable Database Of Safety Defects

Consumer Group Sues DOT For Failure To Create Searchable Database Of Safety Defects

More than three years ago, Congress instructed the Department of Transportation to create a publicly accessible, and easily searchable, website featuring communications between regulators, automakers, dealers, and consumers about safety defects. One safety group says this hasn’t happened, and is suing DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx in an effort to make this database a reality. [More]

Themarcogoon49

Don’t Get Stuck Paying For A Flight You Can’t Take; Know Your Airline’s 24-Hour Cancellation Policy

You can spend months, and thousands of dollars, putting together a trip abroad, but no matter how much effort you take to avoid travel trouble, unforeseen circumstances can force you to change your plans. Thankfully, most airlines flying to and from the U.S. have a policy that lets passengers cancel tickets within 24 hours of booking. Note that we said “most airlines” — not all. [More]

Regulators Move To Ease Restrictions For Self-Driving Cars

Regulators Move To Ease Restrictions For Self-Driving Cars

With everyone from Google to Ford trying to get into the self-driving vehicle business, federal regulators say it may be time to ease up on some restrictions that the industry claims are slowing innovation in the relatively new field. [More]

United Airlines Fined $2.75M For Tarmac Delays, Treatment Of Disabled Passengers

United Airlines Fined $2.75M For Tarmac Delays, Treatment Of Disabled Passengers

In October, United Airlines apologized to a disabled passenger who ended up crawling off the plane after he was told he’d have to wait up to 50 minutes for a wheelchair. This is just one of several complaints related to United’s treatment of disabled passengers. When combined with penalties for stranding passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours, the airline now faces federal fines of $2. 75 million. [More]

(Alan Rappa)

Denying Travelers Compensation For Damaged Bags Won’t Fly With The DOT Starting Jan. 9

Some airlines aren’t living up to their obligation to compensate passengers for damage to their luggage, recent inspections by the Department of Transportation found. Now, the agency is warning carriers that if their policies and trainings don’t fall in line with federal regulations by Jan. 9, they could face fines and other enforcement action.  [More]

American Airlines Offering Some Travelers Free Flights To China After Glitch

American Airlines Offering Some Travelers Free Flights To China After Glitch

For five hours in mid-March world travelers were able to book American Airlines flights from select U.S. cities to China for bargain prices because of a glitch. While the carrier honored tickets that had been paid for in full, it canceled hundreds of trips that were placed on a 24-hour price hold. Now, as part of an agreement with the Department of Transportation, those passengers are eligible for a free – or significantly discounted – trip to China.  [More]

(frankieleon)

Sensor-Based Emergency Braking Systems Added To List For Five-Star Ratings Starting In 2018

If you plan to start shopping for a new car in 2018, you’ll have a longer list of recommended safety features to look for. Federal regulators are set to include automatic emergency braking as a recommended safety technology when distributing 5-star safety ratings starting in three years.  [More]

New Rule Bans E-Cigarettes From Checked Baggage

New Rule Bans E-Cigarettes From Checked Baggage

After more than 26 incidents in six years in which e-cigarettes have caused fires or explosions on planes, a new federal rule is set to go into effect banning the devices from being left in checked baggage.  [More]

American Airlines Fined $20K For Failing To Adequately Compensate Bumped Passengers

American Airlines Fined $20K For Failing To Adequately Compensate Bumped Passengers

If you get bumped from a flight because the airline overbooked the plane, you usually get some sort of compensation — money or vouchers for future flights — in exchange for having to change your travel plans. But federal regulators say American Airlines screwed up when it bumped nearly a dozen passengers from a Miami-to-London flight and failed to tell them why or offer them anything for their troubles. [More]

Federal Advisory Panel Recommends Clearer Disclosure Of Airline, Hotel Resort Fees

Federal Advisory Panel Recommends Clearer Disclosure Of Airline, Hotel Resort Fees

It’s no secret that airlines have increased their fees and shrunk the size of their seats over the years in an attempt to maximize revenue. While those extra costs and seat sizes are generally available through the carrier’s website, a federal panel thinks that information would better serve passengers if it were readily available during the ticket purchasing process. [More]