Pilot Who Failed Drug Test Can’t Try To Use DNA To Prove He Was Clean

Steven Depolo

Imagine you’re one of the many American workers subject to random tests for the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system, and a test turns up high levels of heroin and cocaine. If you contend that the lab must have mixed up your urine sample with someone else’s should you be able to demand a DNA test to prove your innocence? If you’re a pilot, the answer is no. [More]

Are Airlines Deliberately Making It Too Difficult To File Complaints?

Are Airlines Deliberately Making It Too Difficult To File Complaints?

When you ask someone “How was your flight?” you never expect to hear too many positive things. At best, you’ll get an “Oh, fine,” but often the question will spark a detailed list of everything that went wrong. And yet, only about one out of every 43,000 air travelers in the U.S. ever file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. And airlines aren’t exactly leaping at the chance to tell customers how to file this sort of complaint. [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]

Allan

24-Hour Cancellation And Hold Policies For Major U.S. & International Airlines

Update: In March 2016, American announced that it was phasing out the hold option and transitioning to the 24-hour cancellation window option.

[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]

DOT Won’t Force United To Honor Super-Low First-Class Fares Resulting From Glitch

DOT Won’t Force United To Honor Super-Low First-Class Fares Resulting From Glitch

Earlier this month, several people figured out that they could book super-cheap airfares on United Airlines’ website if they made it look like they were accessing the site from Denmark. The airline canceled those tickets after getting wind of the loophole, which it blamed on a software glitch. Thousands of people complained to the Dept. of Transportation, arguing the airline was illegally raising airfares post-purchase, but the DOT has decided that isn’t the case. [More]

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Flying is painful enough as it is. Between arduous lines at security and ever-shrinking legroom, passengers are already plenty on-edge. Adding cell phone chatter to an already-tense high-altitude situation could be a recipe for disaster, and 77 members of Congress agree.

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DOT Firming Up Rules To Ban In-Flight Cellphone Use

DOT Firming Up Rules To Ban In-Flight Cellphone Use

It’s been more than eight months since the FCC first announced that it was considering lifting its ban on inflight cellphone use, which was followed almost immediately by the Dept. of Transportation saying it would think about enacting its own ban. Now comes news that the DOT is putting together new rules that would keep airplanes from being chatter-infested flying tubes of anger. [More]

It's a little hard to parse that spaghetti-like mess at the lower end of this graph, but it's quite easy to spot Spirit soaring high above the rest of the competition (Source: U.S. PIRG)

Spirit Airlines: The Most Complained-About Carrier In The U.S.

Yes, we’ve repeatedly made fun of delusional Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza for his claim that his company is the “most consumer-friendly” airline around, especially when it comes in dead-last in traveler opinion surveys and is the only U.S. carrier to make a recent list of the world’s worst airlines. And a new study confirms that Spirit’s passengers are several times more likely to complain than passengers on any other domestic carrier. [More]

(STL Okie)

NHTSA: New Vehicles Must Have Rearview Technology Starting May 2018

In four years, when you buy a new car or truck it’ll have a rearview camera as a standard feature. That’s because it’ll have to under a new rule just issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

[More]

The DOT Wants To Know: Should Cell Phone Calls Be Allowed On Planes?

The DOT Wants To Know: Should Cell Phone Calls Be Allowed On Planes?

Back in December when the Federal Communications Commission announced it would start investigating whether or not it’s a good idea to lift the ban on cell phone calls on planes — from a technological point of view — the Department of Transportation was all, “Hold on, we’re going to look into this too.” The DOT is now turning to the public to hear your thoughts. [More]

Bill To Ban In-Flight Wireless Voice Calls Moves Forward

Bill To Ban In-Flight Wireless Voice Calls Moves Forward

The battle for a maintaining relative amount peace and quiet on commercial airlines moved on to the next stage this afternoon after a Congressional committee voted to advance a piece of legislation that would ban the in-flight use of the “phone” part of your cellphones. [More]

Delta & Southwest Don’t Want To Listen To Passengers Gabbing On Phones For The Whole Flight

Delta & Southwest Don’t Want To Listen To Passengers Gabbing On Phones For The Whole Flight

Last week, the FCC said it was investigating whether to lift the ban on in-flight cellphone usage, which caused the Dept. of Transportation to effectively say, “Are you flippin’ crazy?” and announce that it would look into the need to set out its own guidelines to possibly stop planes from turning into flying tubes filled with obnoxious one-way conversations. In recent days, two of the nation’s largest carriers have joined their voices to the call for quiet on board. [More]

FCC Mulls Lifting Ban On In-Flight Phones But DOT May Stop You From Gabbing Away On Planes

FCC Mulls Lifting Ban On In-Flight Phones But DOT May Stop You From Gabbing Away On Planes

Yesterday, the FCC began the onerous process of considering whether to revise the decades-old rules regarding the use of wireless phones in flight. If the Commission eventually changes those rules, the relative quiet of the airplane cabin could eventually be filled with the dulcet tones of one-sided conversations like “I know! Seriously!” and “Uh-huh, uh-huh.” Since this seems like a disastrous idea to some people, the Dept. of Transportation is going to consider whether it should allow calls to take place at all. [More]

US Airways Fined $1.2 Million For Repeatedly Failing To Provide Proper Wheelchair Assistance

US Airways Fined $1.2 Million For Repeatedly Failing To Provide Proper Wheelchair Assistance

After reviewing hundreds of consumer complaints about US Airways’ lack of proper assistance for travelers in wheelchairs at two of the airline’s hub airports, the Dept. of Transportation has fined the carrier $1.2 million, a good chunk of which is to be used to improve systems for disabled passengers at these airports. [More]

(cavale)

DOT Sued For Failing To Issue Rule On Rear Visibility In Cars

Everyone knows that the wheels of government don’t always turn quickly, but the folks at the Dept. of Transportation have been sitting on a Congressionally mandated new safety rule, one that could save an awful lot of lives and prevent even more injuries, for several years. In an effort to compel the DOT to finally act, several consumer groups and the parents of children who have died in auto accidents have sued the agency in a federal court. [More]

(afagen)

DOT Fines United Airlines For Delaying Refunds To 9,000 Passengers

Thanks to the merger with Continental, United Airlines is now the nation’s largest commercial carrier, but has the airline been able to keep up with its increased customer base? On Friday, the Dept. of Transportation fined United $350,000 because it failed to provide prompt refunds to thousands of customers in 2012. [More]

(The.Comedian)

DOT Fines Southwest For Promoting Deals But Not Actually Making Seats Available At Sale Prices

Is a sale a sale when only a few people can actually take advantage of the deal, or if no one at all can get a piece of the advertised deal action? Nope, said the Department of Transportation, which has fined Southwest Airlines $200,000 for touting a sale that didn’t provide enough actual seats — or in one case, any at all — at the bargain price it advertised. [More]