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Congress Wants More Flight Delay Info from Airlines

LCT Staff
Posted on March 21, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Growing airline delays combined with incidents that stranded passengers have prompted a new push in Congress to force airlines to disclose to travelers how often flights arrive late. That effort aims to help people avoid chronically delayed flights and comes after passengers were stranded for up to 10 hours this winter on grounded planes in New York and Texas. Proposed as part of a "passenger bill of rights," the law would enable travelers to find out before booking a flight online whether it is chronically delayed. The legislation defines chronically delayed as arriving at least 30 minutes late more than 40% of the time during three consecutive months.

Three carriers — United, US Airways, and Alaska — already provide on-time statistics on their websites. Federal law requires airlines to disclose delay information if customers ask for it on the telephone. The industry is considering providing the information on all airlines' websites, said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association. Frontier Airlines, which had no chronically delayed flights last year, supports more delay reporting, said spokesman Joe Hodas.

Most airline officials bristled at making reporting mandatory. Chronically delayed flights represent a tiny fraction of all flights, and are overwhelmingly due to congestion at a few key airports, they said. Disclosure would do little good to unclog those hubs, they said.

Source: USA Today

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