This was a denied boarding fiasco. Inquiring minds want to know why four members of the crew for another flight were trying to board a flight that was already full and otherwise ready to depart? Why was the airline willing to remove paying passengers to make room for the deadheading crew? Did the airline have the legal right to remove a paying passenger who has already been given a boarding pass and seated? Who called the police? And, what authority did the airport police have in this situation.
Deregulation of domestic US airline ticket prices wasn’t supposed to give airlines permisison to lie, cheat, and steal, but the failure of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to police the deregulated airfare marketplace for fraud and decption has often allowed it to work that way.
Travelers are understandably confused by recent news about the REAL ID Act and new ID requirements for passengers on domestic flights within the U.S. As of now, there is an extension keeping in place the current rules for another two years.
Almost by definition, a place that is known as the “most typical” of anything of interest to international tourists probably isn’t typical of anything except the culture of international tourism.
Without a ticket, and the information contained on it, a traveler has no way of knowing which provisions of the tariff apply, and thus cannot enforce those terms against the airline. And the airline, of course, has no reason to tell the traveler about information on the ticket that might benefit the traveler in a dispute with the airline.
Next Monday, 16 December 2013, the ACACP will meet to consider privacy protection actions to recommend to the Secretary of Transportation. Pursuant to the law which mandated the establishment of the ACACP, the Secretary must report to Congress on what the ACACP has recommended, and what, if any, action the Secretary has taken on those recommendations. So unlike many advisory bodies, the ACACP can set its own agenda and can not be completely ignored.
In a preliminary ruling in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU three years ago on behalf of a group of people who have been prevented by the U.S. government from traveling by air, a Federal judge in Oregon has found (1) that international air travel is a Constitutional right, and (2) that a categorical ban by the government on the exercise of that right can only be issued in accordance with due process.
After a year-long “review,” the White House on August 12, 2013, approved the State Department’s proposed new “long form” questionnaires for some (unspecified) subset of applicants for US passports. Who gets this form? Why? And, what if they don’t have the information to fill it out? Are they denied movement?
One of the most important principles that protects consumers of travel services is that travel is a right. Your right to travel (both in general and specifically by air) is recognized by U.S. law and by international human rights treaties. That’s why an airline isn’t like an ordinary business which can say, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
Ignoring massive public opposition, and despite having recently admitted that it is already using the “proposed” forms illegally without approval, the State Department is trying again to get approval for a pair of impossible-to-complete new passport application forms that would, in effect, allow the State Department to deny you a passport simply by choosing to send you either or both of the new “long forms.”