Frontier Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have been fined for violating U.S. Transportation Department airline consumer protection rules, the department said on Friday.
Frontier Airlines was fined $400,000 for violating oversales and disability rules, American Airlines $250,000 for failing to make timely refunds to passengers, and Delta Air Lines $200,000 for filing inaccurate baggage reports, the department said in a statement.
Delta failed to properly report all baggage claims from 2012 through 2015 and told the Transportation Department that if it had reported all claims it would have likely fallen from fourth to fifth in rankings among carriers for fewest baggage claims in 2012 and 2013.
Delta said in a statement it was notified last year its damaged bag policy was not compliant with the department’s published guidelines and it immediately updated its policy.
Frontier “failed to seek volunteers before bumping passengers involuntarily, failed to provide bumped passengers the required written notice describing their rights, and failed to provide proper compensation to passengers in a timely manner” the Transportation Department said. It reviewed more than 200 complaints.
“Frontier remains committed to complying with DOT rules,” the airline said in a statement, adding it updated procedures “that were not effective” and “taken steps including, introducing a new reporting system.” It must also add a new quality assurance management position by Sept. 1.
American Airlines failed to process a “significant number” of refunds in a timely fashion in 2015, the department said.
The company said Friday it “is committed to providing timely refunds to our customers.”
American said it “took proactive steps to address refund delays some customers experienced in 2015 due to a systems integration issue after the merger with US Airways, including investments to improve processing times.”
Airline bumping practices have drawn more scrutiny following video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight in April.
This and other incidents have been broadcast on social media, prompting congressional hearings with airline executives that raised questions about customer service and airline cost-cutting.
Southwest Airlines Co said in April it would end overbooking, while United announced policy changes, including boosting compensation for overbooked passengers to up to $10,000.
Legislation unveiled in Congress in June would make it illegal for an airline to bump an already boarded passenger from a flight. Another measure before Congress would require new rules for airlines promptly to refund passengers for baggage fees or other fees if they do not receive the service.
A SPANISH airline has been slapped with a £22,130 fine after it was found to have forced women applying for flight attendant positions to take a pregnancy test.
Iberia Airlines was given the sanction by the Ministry of Labour of the Balearic Islands, and has since said it will remove the condition from its application process for aspiring cabin crew, and allow individuals to choose whether they inform the airline if they are expecting.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the practice was unearthed last year during a campaign against labour discrimination.
Sources within the company told the newspaper that pregnancy tests were conducted across the country.
They claimed they were part of medical examinations for candidates who had passed the selection process, so that they could incorporate them into the airline’s health protocol.
Iberia said that the tests were put in place to protect the health of the applicant, so that the airline could avoid assigning expectant mothers a task that may put their pregnancy at risk.
In a statement to The Sun Online, Iberia said the protocols ensured they met international aviation regulations.
“Iberia has strict protocols for protecting pregnant employees, including trainees, and they are not assigned duties that could endanger their health of that of the foetus,” the statement read.
“In keeping with international aviation regulations, female cabin staff are relieved of flying duties as soon as their pregnancies are known.”
Iberia’s Workplace Health and Safety Officer, Dr. Maria Teresa Garcia Menéndez, said: “Given the controversy arising from the current protocol in place to protect pregnant women, we will no longer include a pregnancy test in the medical examination for new hires.
“However, we will continue to use all necessary means to ensure the safety and rights of pregnant employees, as we have always done.”
But the Ministry of Labour confirmed sanctions this week after rejecting the airline’s excuses.
In the UK, women are not required to tell an employer that they are pregnant until the end of the 15th week before the baby is due.
Spain’s flagship carrier airline still has the opportunity to appeal the decision with the Ministry if they so wish.
Carriers regularly cancel both legs of a trip if passengers miss the first one, but the new ruling by the Mayor’s and City of London Court could see an end to the practice, which often leaves passengers paying through the nose for another flight.
The ruling comes from a court case brought by barrister James Dove after Iberia cancelled the return leg of his flight from London to Madrid.
The President has banned all refugees from entering the States for four months and barred Syrians indefinitely
Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants and refugees has sparked mass protests in the US and international condemnation.
The President signed an order on Friday banning all refugees from entering the States for four months, and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.
No visas will be issued for a further six mainly-Muslim countries for the next 90 days.
Thousands have gathered at airports including JFK in New York and LAX in Los Angeles to protest the move and support those stranded.
‘We are as much in the dark as everybody else’
An interesting anecdote from a Reuters reporter from JFK Airport tonight here:
After immigration agents detained two Iraqis on Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, their lawyers and two U.S. representatives accompanying them tried to cross into a secure area – and were stopped themselves.
“Step back! Step back!” the agents shouted at them.
A few minutes later, Heidi Nassauer, chief of passenger operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the airport, was called over.
Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velazquez, both Democrats from New York, wanted clarification on whether an immigration ban issued on Friday by President Donald Trump prevented the Iraqis from consulting with attorneys.
Nassauer had no clear answer.
“We are as much in the dark as everybody else,” said the border protection official at one of the largest U.S. airports.
Do flight attendants have a “cop” mentality? Probably.
-Because passengers think they are “above” the law.
-The rules don’t apply to them specifically.
-The seatbelt sign means nothing.
-TURBULENCE means nothing.
-Laptops arent considered “large” personal electronic devices.
-People pack bowling balls in suitcases, which become to heavy for them to lift, but assume they’re light for me to lift.
-People are too entitled.
-People think the airlines owe them everything.
-People expect everything for free.
-No one likes to be told what to do, even though they aren’t following FAA rules.
-Parents with children think children qualify as a disability, and expect everyone to cater to them because they have children.
-People use a wheelchair to get to and from the plane, but have 5 bags with them.
The list goes on and on, but until you start being a DECENT passenger, we’ll continue to have the “cop” mentality.
I have travelled on Emirates, Etihad, Cathay, British, Lufthansa, KLM, Jal, ANA and Air China and always found the attendants very pleasant under such a tasking enviornment however I recently flew on United to Mumbai and found the attitude of flight attandants quite obnoxious and high handed. They were seriously acting like police officers.
During boarding one FA sternly told the agent to move away from the Aisle eventhough I just saw him arriving and putting his bag.
Another lady with a small kid asked for help for putting her cabin bag and the FA responds “you should only bring cabin bags that you can lift, we cant help you with that”.
I got up during the flight and the washroom was occupied so I was waiting with another passenger. The FA told us to get back to our seats as congregating around washrooms was not allowed. I asked her can you let me know if the washroom gets vacant and she responded no I need to go back and use it when its empty… lol
One old Indian male with limited english was asking her something about the food. She kept asking him do you want A or do you want B instead of figuring out that they messed up his special meals.
I took an Ambien and was sleeping when they were apparently descending. Instead of tapping me to upright my chair, out of nowhere I hear a loud thud at the back of my head and saw the FA pushing my seat upright and then doing the same with another one and just going on. Im not exaggerating but it seriously gave me headache all day long. Maybe I was in deep sleep and the huge thud at the back of my head scared the …. out of me.
Its hard to describe their attitude and while the above things might seem petty, my overall impression was less than stellar. They had a very harsh and condescending manner of speaking with passengers like some cop who pulled you over for a traffic stop.
Since its my first time flying a US based airline Im just wondering if this is a standard practice for FA’s to behave like TSA?
By Elliott Hester – I’m a flight attendant, not a cop. But on a recent flight from Miami to Rio de Janeiro, I was forced to wrestle a passenger to the floor, restrain her with airline-issued flex cuffs and turn her over to Brazilian police.
The incident began about 4 a.m. The aircraft cabin was dark, save for the softly flickering images from a few dozen seat-back entertainment screens.
Meal trays had long since been served and collected, leaving most of the 230 passengers sleeping peacefully, lulled by the purring General Electric turbofan engines.
Of the 11 flight attendants on board, some chatted quietly in the galley and others napped in the crew bunk room or performed mandatory walk-arounds through the quiet cabin.
Being a flight attendant is perceived by Thais as a glamorous job, but this Thai air hostess went above and beyond to show off her hi-so life to her Instagram followers by photoshopping herself into world-famous destinations.
Thai netizens took to social networks to discuss the questionable logic of the Thai air hostess behind the Instagram account @ticha_ek. The hashtag #ticha_ek has been trending on Twitter and Facebook since yesterday.
The Emirates flight attendant, only known as “Ticha Louktarn,” has over 150,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts her travel pics and snapshots of her glamorous life.
However, people finally figured out the backgrounds of her photos were stolen, starting with a view of the northern lights in Canada.
A chic underwater shot? She’s got it.
She also knows how to add shadows in photoshop.
Honestly, people on Twitter said they can’t tell what is real anymore.
Must be a romantic getaway?
Some people pointed out she also photoshopped herself to work in first class. Hey, what’s wrong with flying coach?
Louktarn Ticha has removed all photos that she was busted for photoshopping. But her legacy is that she has inspired Thai people to photoshop themselves into their dream destinations too.
American Airlines will offer double pay to almost 200 pilots who say they were improperly scheduled to work on Christmas.
According to the Allied Pilots Association, an estimated 198 high-seniority American pilots were scheduled to work on Dec. 25, while more junior pilots were given the day off.
The issue stems from the preferential bidding system American employees use to request shifts. The company is changing the complex formula it uses to award shifts — which balances operational needs with employee requests and seniority — as it continues integrating since the 2013 US Airways merger.
The situation was complicated by the busier-than-normal holiday flight schedule and the large number of pilots requesting Christmas off.
Friday evening, American and the pilots’ union announced that the two sides had reached an agreement that will provide double pay for the 198 affected pilots if they work their Christmas shifts.
“We obviously recognized some of our pilots expressed concerns about the results of the December bid, so since it was released we’ve been working closely with those pilots and APA,” American spokesman Matt Miller said. “Ultimately it’s a win-win for American and for our pilots.”
A man has been arrested for assaulting several flight attendants and and disrupting an international flight from Mexico to Germany.
The passenger on the international flight forced the plane to make an emergency landing at Jacksonville International Airport, Florida, USA on Wednesday.
Oliver Charlie Halliday Gee was reportedly unruly prior to the arrest and prevented several flight attendants from doing their job because he was hurling insults and obscenities and other passengers.
The 34-year-old Mexican, nearly 90 minutes into the flight, threatened to kill another passenger, hurt a 3-year-old and then removing his clothes to expose his genital. The charging affidavit from the FBI says it seemed like he was about to urinate in the plane’s cabin.
It was at this point that a passenger who said he was skilled in martial arts stepped in to help get Gee to the bathroom got slapped several times across the face with an open hand. A flight attendant was slapped twice as well – once in the face and once in the thigh, both times with an open hand, the charging affidavit says.
Gee was eventually subdued by the flight attendant and the passenger trained in martial arts. He was removed from his seat just before the flight touched down at the airport.
The charging affidavit mentions that the crew was worried about keeping Gee on the flight, because it was from Cancun to Frankfurt and most of it would take place over water. They weren’t sure they would be able to stop and get the man off the plane while over the Atlantic Ocean.
Gee was taken into custody by Jacksonville Aviation Authority Police and is charged with assault or intimidation of a flight crew. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
He made his appearance in federal court on Thursday and will be detained until his formal detention hearing November 7.
By Larry Miller, WGRZ – You’re already getting pinched for just about everything at the airport, from the bags you check at the counter to the comfy seat with the extra leg room.
But consumers can fight back and nab big savings.
Ben Mutzabaugh, a travel expert with USA Today, has seen the deals firsthand.
Airfares fluctuate considerably and purchasing cheaper tickets is an inexact science, according to Mutzabaugh. Airfare prices depend, in part, on where you fly, when you’re traveling and how you purchase the ticket.
He says Tuesday tends to be the best day to buy a ticket statistically.
“Airfares change on the dime all week long,” he says. “Friday might have the average highest fare and Sunday or Tuesday might have the average lowest fare. If a fare sale comes out on a Wednesday and you’re not looking, you’re going to miss it.”
Online travel sites like flyertalk.com, milepoints.com, or boardingarea.com provide some of the best deals and insight on upcoming airline deals. Also, try to get your ticket as early as you can. Usually, 60 days prior to your travel date works best on domestic flights.
“Two months is the window you really want to be looking but considering this fare looks pretty good maybe I should lock it in now and bet it’s going to go up down the road,” said Mutzbaugh.