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On-Time Departures (21-September): British Airways Might Sell Your Stuff

September 21, 2007 | Posted in: Airline News

Here are a few of the stories that some of my favorite travel bloggers and publications were covering this week:

Congress and The Passengers’ Bill of Rights

The House has passed a bill that will lead to some changes in the FAA. While many looked to the passing as a show of support for a Passengers’ Bill of Rights, it’s still far from that. While some attention was paid to the extended delays travelers have suffered on the tarmac, no huge steps were taken, and we all know that a true Passengers’ Bill of Rights needs to cover far more than setting time limits on how long passengers can stay on a stranded plane before being let off to return to the gate. Airline Biz has a nice breakdown of what actually made it into the bill. Here are just a couple of highlights:

  • It has “passenger’s bill of rights” language in it, but it doesn’t set a limit on how long airlines can keep passengers on a parked airplane. It just requires airlines to have a plan to deal with extensive delays.
  • The bill allows airports to charge as much as $7 per passenger to improve their facilities. The passenger facility charge currently is capped at $4.50 per departing passenger.

Mid-Air Misbehavior

I know it was a frustrating summer for flying, but it’s still important to show a bit of common decency to flight crews and fellow passengers. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and a few recent incidents have prompted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to express just how seriously they take in-flight incidents. The Savannah Morning News takes a look at the rise in problem passengers and the legal ramifications that face those who interfere with airline employees:

To make their point, law enforcement agencies and federal and state prosecutors had a news conference to announce indictments of two people who could legally face up to 20 years in prison.

Brandy Lee Shampine, 24, of St. Marys, and John Michael Moody II, 43, a lawyer from the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area, were charged with assaulting and intimidating flight attendants on separate U.S. Airways and Southwest Airlines flights and interfering with performance of their duties. Both had been arrested and released on bond after the incidents, which occurred in May and June.

To Carry On or Not to Carry On

There’s a great post on Fly Away Cafe highlighting certain items that you should always carry on the plane with you. The blog is written by a flight attendant who is fond of checking her bags, so you know when she talks about carrying on, she’s serious. As a side note, I would suggest that if you’re traveling over Thanksgiving, you carry on everything and avoid checking your bags if at all possible.

Fly the WiFi Skies

Alaska Airlines looks to join the likes of Virgin America and American Airlines by offering in-flight Internet to passengers. Other airlines have mentioned initiatives to do the same, but Alaska Airlines is actually taking the steps to make it happen. A word of warning, though, big moves like these can often take considerably longer to put into place than the airlines might suggest. Read Jaunted to learn more about the race for WiFi that’s taking place between several carriers.

More Baggage for British Airways

British Airways has become famous for losing luggage. However, things may have reached a new low for BA. Over on elliot, there is a story of a sports doctor, a custom chiropractic table, lost luggage, and a shady sale that British Airways may have made. It almost has the makings of a spy thriller. It’s also a sad comment on how little airlines do to look after their customers sometimes.

Have a great weekend!

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