Ashley Halsey III, The Washington Post Published 3:20 pm PDT, Monday, September 24, 2018 WASHINGTON - While Congress opted not to wade into the controversy over the nearly $5 billion in airline fees collected annually, passengers will find other victories in the compromise legislation agreed to over the weekend to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA reauthorization bill would require the agency to issue regulations establishing minimum seat standards - something many passengers have begged for as seat width and the distance between rows have shrunk. The FAA, however, has argued that it is a safety agency rather than one that regulates passengers' comfort. But a passenger rights group that unsuccessfully sued the FAA to force it to take a stand on seat size said the legislation is no guarantee of relief for consumers. "The problem I see is that it could give the FAA the ability to simply reiterate their current position, which is that seats are safe … [Read more...] about FAA bill takes aim at airplane seats
Faa reauthorization bill
Ashley Halsey III, The Washington Post Published 3:50 pm PDT, Wednesday, September 19, 2018 WASHINGTON - Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to approve funding to keep the Federal Aviation Administration afloat. Right now the bill includes language to curtail "unreasonable" airline fees. The airlines, with $4.6 billion on the line, are lobbying hard against it. The FAA reauthorization bill, as currently stipulated, would strip airlines of the ability to levy all sorts of fees and entrust that oversight to the secretary of transportation. "The only thing the airline industry is more committed to than increasing fees for passengers is defeating the provision in the FAA reauthorization bill," Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said. So, who will win? The airline industry, which has contributed millions to the political campaigns of those who will make the decision? Or consumers, virtually all of whom - Democrat and Republican - hate the fees that airlines add to their ticket … [Read more...] about FAA bill could cut excessive air fees
As summer vacationers start to pack up and head home, Congress is considering a sweeping tally of proposals that could affect travelers, from dictating seat size and legroom to rolling back rules that require airlines to advertise the full price of a ticket. The current law authorizing operations of the Federal Aviation Administration expires on Sept. 30. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, is working to bring his panel's bill for a five-year reauthorization to the Senate floor after a series of delays. The House passed its version of the same bill in April. Consumer advocates see victories and setbacks among the provisions in the two bills. — Airline seats: The House bill would give the FAA a year to set minimums for seat width and length and the distance between rows, although it didn't set specific measurements. The version approved by a Senate committee would only direct FAA to study whether there should be minimum requirements for the … [Read more...] about Airlines, consumer groups ready for fight over proposed bill
WASHINGTON — Minimum standards for ever-shrinking airplane seat sizes. A ban on airlines bumping ticketed passengers who have already boarded an aircraft. A prohibition on in-flight voice calls, including those made over Wi-Fi. Those are just a few changes air travelers might notice if a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill recently approved in the House ends up becoming law.The must-pass legislation, which won overwhelming bipartisan support, is still a ways from President Donald Trump's desk. The Senate is expected to take up its own version in the coming weeks, meaning that the two bills will be have to be reconciled.The far-reaching measure — closely watched by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Fort Worth-based American Airlines — is probably most notable for what isn't in it. … [Read more...] about Would airplane seat sizes really stop shrinking under House’s FAA reauthorization bill?
The Metropolitan Council would be stripped of its authority to distribute millions of federal transportation dollars if a provision approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday becomes law. The measure, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., tackles long-simmering complaints about gubernatorial appointees, rather than elected officials, leading the powerful regional government. The council’s status as the Twin Cities’ official transportation planning organization is grandfathered into federal law, which otherwise mandates that those boards must have local elected officials. “We now have in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, the only board in the country that is entirely non-elected, the only [transportation planning organization] that has the authority to independently raise taxes and is non-elected,” Lewis said during debate on his amendment, tacked onto the Federal Aviation Authority reauthorization bill. The measure’s future is … [Read more...] about U.S. House approves measure to undermine Met Council