Friday Nov. 07, 2008 @ 11:51 pm By

So, just what was the point of the fed’s task force – a task force said to be dominated by airline industry and airport representatives – in offering stranded passengers aid when said aid offering is “voluntary” in participation and has “no limit on how long travelers can be delayed” before airlines act. Essentially, this means that airlines can participate, or not, and decide their own time limit before deeming it necessary to provide a remedy to passengers stuck for extended times on the tarmac. So, pretty much we are no better off then before this laughable task force formed. We are at the whims of the goodwill and best judgment of the airlines. Exactly where we were before, which is why we have all read stories of passengers spending up to 9 hours on the tarmac.

Other recommendations:

  • Airlines update passengers delayed on tarmacs every 15 minutes even if there is nothing new to report.
  • A secure room be provided for passengers from diverted overseas flights so they can avoid having to go through security checks when reboarding an aircraft to their final destination.
  • When practical (???), refreshments and entertainment should be made available to passengers confined aboard aircraft awaiting takeoff.
  • Airlines should make reasonable efforts to be keep airplane restrooms usable.

It was reported that the ATA – the trade association for the airline industry – claimed, “the task force achieved its objective and some of its recommendations are already being adopted by the industry.” Really, which objectives were those exactly? Was the objective to NOT come up with a time frame, to NOT make it mandatory to even participate in aiding passengers, or to give the most obvious recommendations any high school kid could have thought of them? If so, then yes, we agree, they “achieved their objective”.

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