A lot of passengers have had plenty to say about flight delays, getting stuck on the tarmac, and the airlines' poor responses to it all. Now there's an official way to register not just a complaint, but your opinion on whether proposed improvements would work. The Department of Transportation is currently accepting consumer feedback for its "Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections" proposal.
There's way too much to summarize here, but among other things, proposed changes include having U.S. airlines create legally enforceable plans for taking care of passengers during extended tarmac delays, penalties for U.S. airlines if a flight is late 70 percent of the time or more and the airline doesn't adjust operations to improve the on-time performance, and requiring U.S. airlines to disclose the number of delay-related complaints they receive.
To get the details of the plan, read this Travel Weekly article (free registration required) or head straight to the Regulations.gov website, click on "search for dockets" in the top nav, and then enter the docket ID DOT-OST-2007-0022. The article is a better choice if you want the quick overview, while the official documents are better if you're looking for a more comprehensive read.
There are multiple ways to submit a comment:
- Online, go to Regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
- Through the USPS, send your comments to the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
- You can also fax comments to (202) 493-2251.
In all cases, be sure to include the agency name (DOT) and docket number DOT-OST-2007-0022 at the beginning of your comment.