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President Trump Just Signed a Law That Radically Changes Life for Airline Passengers, Flight Attendants, and Airlines

- Prohibits airlines from "bumping" passengers who've already boarded a plane. - Requires the FAA to set minimum standards for seat width and seat pitch.... ( More...

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Most of the items to be implemented will be a great improvement for passengers - especially on long-haul flights. The minimum seat pitch and width requirement are especially good.
Bernie20910 7
Minimum seat width and pitch will most likely be set to the smallest currently in use, and possibly even smaller if any company can show that they can fill an aircraft so equipped a well trained and well-rehearsed team of midget acrobats who can evacuate it in the required time allotment. This will then be applauded by that airline in their press releases as a "major advancement in passenger safety" because they've managed to evacuate more people than ever before, so that's an improvement, right?
Where does one find “well trained and well-rehearsed team of midget acrobats”. You see I’m looking to cast a movie about a girl, Kansas, a tornado, and a dream. Thanks in advance.
There seems to be no current information on what the pitch will be. I just hope it is set at something reasonable.

And hopefully, it will set a decent minimum standard. I am not an ergonomic expert so when it is known I will leave it up to the latter to comment on suitability......
I'm usually against government regulations with regard to markets. But, the government does have the responsibility for society's protection with adverse effects from capitalism.

I'm a atnunch free-market capitalist person, but market forces (the invisible hand) cannot influence airline's quality of services.

Airline customers will continue to fill seats, regardless of horrible conditions...
Dave Fisher 0
"I'm usually against government regulations with regard to markets"
really. how about food markets? should we get rid of the FDA and those pesky food safety regulations.
Should pharmacies be 'regulated'? while opponents call them "regulations", they are actually, for the most part, "protections" for consumer safety. then again, history has proved that industry can police themselves and always be trusted to do the right thing, huh?
ken young 4
Straw man argument. The objection to certain regulatory interference does not translate to "no regulations".
Look, Government should walk BESIDE business. Not behind it while wielding an instrument threatening blunt force trauma.
Bad example with FDA. Worst goverment agency in the U.S. and well behind the rest of the world in trying to actually protect citizens' health. But you have a very valid point otherwise.
Markus Wolff 14
I really hope the FAA gets its fattest guys to write the seat policy.
ken young 2
TSK TSK,,,That is "customers of size" , to you sir...LOL
In the U.S that should be VERY easy.
Chuck Pergiel 11
Maybe airlines should just charge by the pound. You and all your baggage step onto the scale and the ticket master computes your bill.
Dave Fisher 4
I have been saying that for years! I weigh 140 pounds and am charged for (slightly) overweight baggage while the guy behind me weighs 240 and pays nothing.
Grommit12 6
This is really cool.
There is one thing missing: The discount for short, light people. People like ME!
idgie57 4
"Prohibits airlines from 'bumping' passengers who've already boarded a plane"... Watch the "preferred boarding" sales skyrocket with this one.

glang3 6
I am interested to see if drones start to get brought down by Federal law enforcement.
Jay Schumann 3
This is comical: "Requires the FAA to set up an "Office of Spaceports."" Really? As for the seat width and pitch until numbers are given that is totally meaningless. i'll give the new rules for with and pitch credit when i can sit comfortably next to a 300 pounder.
Alan Dahl 1
If SpaceX follows through with their plans for point to point rocket travel in the 2020s having this office would probably be useful.
Does anyone ever spell check articles before posting anymore?
Frank DeLeon 25
Spelling is a lost art. In my school district spelling tests will no longer be given because cell phones have spell check. Also, cursive is no longer taught...for almost the same reason--students can no longer read that fancy font because they write on computers or cell phones. The dumbing down of our society is well on its way.
Bernie20910 9
Uppercase letters will be the next victim.
lynx318 1
WHAT?? (jk)
ken young 1
HA HA....So what are you saying?
Chuck Pergiel 0
ken young 2
Yes. I believe lower case letters are among the "offended".
Ken Hurne 1
We need to go back to typewriter fonts to ensure total equality. The letter "I" never gets as much space on a page as the letter "M" anymore... The travesty.
joel wiley 1
You knew things were going downhill when the added the '1' key to replace the traditionally used 'l' (lower case L). Oh the humanity!
AWAAlum 7
When I heard that cursive would no longer be taught (and is already not taught in California) I can't figure out how people will sign their name. No such thing as a signature anymore?
tom treutlein 2
Just make your x
bobfiegel 1
May as well -- can't read anything on those electronic signature pads anyway. I had a cast on my wrist and had to "sign" a credit card transaction in Target. Cashier said "No problem" when I jokingly said I'd sign with three Xs. I went ahead and did so. No problem. Why bother?!
lynx318 -3
Have you even seen Trumpkin's signature? Gawd knows what font or writing style he uses.
Dave Bartell 1
I swipe a curved line. No one cares
AWAAlum 3
I do. I even recall when people would comment on how pretty or how clear someone's handwriting was. Too too many things are getting pushed aside.
matt jensen 6
Dumbing down started in 1990
Will you transfer to another school? :)
Jim Welch 4
This is GREAT NEWS for the Disabled community!
I’m disabled, and commercial travel has challenges for us that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, ESPECIALLY if there is a flight transfer prior to reaching the destination point.
I’ve spent years mentoring newly disabled individuals, and commercial travel is our worst nightmare.
The plans we have to make in order to make it from point A to point B are exhausting, and have to fall into place at EVERY POINT along the journey, or it’s disastrous.
Absolutely, positively, disastrous!
Being “bumped” from a flight, even while having already been boarded, is a topic that comes up all the time in disability forums. Don’t think for one SECOND that it doesn’t happen or that we’re somehow given a pass on being bumped. We’re NOT!!!
This bill is good for everyone, but think about how much it means to the disabled community.
It’s absolutely momentous.
matt jensen 2
My nephew is severely handicapped - CP and MD. He is confined to a 200kg motorised wheelchair. Cannot fly commercially b/c of the wheelchair. We have to fly him privately, with every movement between aircraft on a fork lift. He nows flies with us on the Electra or the Dash 7 - he's more comfortable and it's easier for us to accommodate him.
KatzyBaby 1
I must say that I have had excellent assistance from Delta and AeroMexico, both in the US and abroad, especially getting from one gate to another. I do try to let them know ahead of time, usually upon making the reservation/payment. They really have a system now, but as with most things, you have to be patient about it. Any improvement will be appreciated by those who are disabled and especially by others who know they will soon be disabled or elderly with limited mobility.
idgie57 2
UA did very well for me at ORD last month. I had a tight connection, and when the lady saw my ticket, she burned rubber with that wheelchair and got me to the gate (one concourse over) just in time for boarding. The key is to let them know in advance and follow up at the gate.
a1brainiac 2
Space ports ? ET land here....
I have no issues with seat size. I have an issue with being charged for baggage. I dont cause "extra" fuel to be burned meanwhile the 300 pound passenger next to me weighs more than twice me and my baggage and pays nothing "extra". Government should fix the FDA not seat size.
matt jensen 2
In several of the countries I flown to/out of = they weigh everything, including the pax. Overweight you pay extra - two seats.
MultiComm 2
Interesting ... they snuck in the package delivery drones language. No telling how long it will take for the FAA to develop the regulation but at least now they have to start working on it.
Joshua Bright 3
How are they going operate without bumping passengers when they have to add a last minute alternate and the plane becomes too heavy? Take off all the bags, or just cancel the whole flight?
Chuck Pergiel 2
"they have to add a last minute alternate"? What the heck is that?
We were in some out of the way place in Colorado once and they decided the plane was too heavy, so we sat there for, I dunno, 15 minutes? while they unloaded some luggage. That alternate must be really heavy if they have to unload all of the luggage.
Russ Nelson -2
Don't worry, Joshua, Congress has a plan. They'll write another law and another law and another law until nobody can fly.
Anna Sheaffer 3
Of course I would like more room when I fly. But I also like to have options. For example, I can pay about $39 extra dollars and upgrade to an increased seat pitch. In most markets, the premium seats are the last to be sold. Why? Because people buy based on price. Everyone will now pay more
MultiComm 1
Just increase all tickets $40-50 bucks and allow the plane to make money with a few less seats (increase pitch). If people want to fly bad enough they will find a way to afford a nominal increase.

If there are markets affected so badly that the price increase would prevent the route from happening then expand the EAS to those markets and make an exception to the role where reduced seat pitch is allowed on EAS flights.

Just a thought...
And just why should the outdated EAS program be expanded? It should be eliminated. If air service is essential, and it really isn't, to these communities, the passengers need to pay the price.
Bernie20910 1
Without set minimums that $40-$50 increase might not actually gain you anything on some airlines.
MultiComm 1
Correction: Add the extra price for the ticket in combination with the increase minimum standards for seat pitch. The customers are more comfortable and the airlines still make the money they want with the lower seat pitches they have now.
GraemeSmith 4
So then you will have to put on more planes to carry the same number of passengers. ADS-B will allow closer spacing with safe separation - so that will be OK. But there are not enough gates at the airports - that's where the existing bottleneck is going get worse.

And then there is the increased carbon footprint from more planes.

Time to tackle the obesity problem. Then we will consume less food, require fewer planes and gates and the carbon footprint will go down all round.
MultiComm 3
Ahhhh the circle of life ...
ken young 1
Adjusted for inflation, restricted coach fares are about the same as they were in the 1980's.
For example...I used ot fly from KEWR to KCLT on Piedmont. The RT fare was around $175..Give or take.
According to the ( Bureau of Labor Statistics) inflation calculator$175 in 1984 dollars is now $433....So if one catches the right fare , it can be cheaper to make that same trip for LESS than it cost 34 years ago....
Quite frankly, the fares are too low. Hence the fees, cramped aircraft and the low levels of service( as compared to the past) and hassles.
debra brown 0
Please the above comments about dumbing down. I am referring to your improper English. The word should be "badly." You used an adjective when an adverb was requisite.
AWAAlum 2
"Please the above comments about dumbing down." ... is an incomplete sentence.
joel wiley 2
Not if the subject is 'comments' and 'please' it the verb. Then it is just incomprehensible.
lynx318 1
It's even worse when someone speaks of 'dumbing down' comments and places their comment in a string that doesn't mention it.
Russ Nelson 0
I want more room but I don't want to pay for it. I'm glad that Congress has given me more seat room without me having to give up anything in exchange. God bless Congress, all hail Congress, Heil Congress.
SoNic67 1
Speaking of free stuff... Are you not also happy with the progressive taxation enacted by Congress that makes you pay less than people that make more money than you?
Bernie20910 0
Not every route has upgraded seating.
Cade foster 5
Thank you Mr. President!
dodger4 2
Holie shit! He must be trying to get re-elected! There arew some far-reaching implications in those regulations.
He signed it - does not mean he read it
waynej007 -3
Yeah, kinda like Obamacare / Pelosi .... "Pass it, then we'll read it" [which I doubt happened]
Russ Nelson 4
They don't read the bills. Not Congress and not the President. That's why Downsize DC keeps initiating their "Read The Bills Act" via one sponsor or another.
ken young 1
Yer kidding. Who the heck has time to read a 1200 page Bill?....
The staffers do this. The lobbyists and industry analysts hold meetings with members of Congress to appraise them of bullet points in the Bill
AWAAlum 2
Am I missing something? What has this to do with radically changing lives for pax, flt attendants and airlines ...
"Authorizes $1.68 billion for relief for Hurricane Florence, which hit the Carolinas last month."
MultiComm 2
I see at least 7-8 provisions in the summary of the article that directly benefit the passenger and a few that benefit the crew (flight attendants being the main one).
The headline says that the bill radically changes, etc. It does *not* say that the bill *only* radically changes, etc. The bill can do more than one thing, y'know.
AWAAlum 0
No, I guess not - but it does specify "for Airline Passengers, Flight Attendants and Airlines" - which led me to believe it. Silly me. What it doesn't say is "and any other topic we'd like to squeak through".
joel wiley 1
It has less to do with aviation and more to do with way congress 'works'. Slipping something in an unrelated bill has a long and ignoble history. Hurricane relief is just more seemly than some of the other things they've slipped into bills.
AWAAlum 0
Yes, I know it's a common practice, sadly, but it just doesn't seem kosher to me.
ken young 1
You can thank the short lived "Line item Veto" power once given to the POTUS....
The offset is House members and Senators can no longer insert "poison pill" proposals into Bills
My guess is which ever House wrote the bill needed to get the relief money appropriated quickly. So rather than wait for a separate appropriation, with its blessing, Whichever House of Congress submitted the bill, made it clear the hurricane relief money needed to be dispatched quickly. No one objected.
Joe Birts 1
Gotta get out the base for next weeks election.
AWAAlum 1
OK - maybe someone can explain to me? I see a downvote, and don't understand why.
Immediately struck me with the same question. North or South Carolina on the committee drafting the law? This is what is wrong with our government ... why hide this in an FAA bill unless there is something wrong about it?
A good law that sets improvements for passenger's (both humans and animals) comfort. And, finally, a little step toward supersonic Flying !!
ken young 1
"Requires the FAA to set minimum seat widths and seat pitch"..Weak. Essentially the manner in which this is written Congress allowed itself to kick the can down the road and into someone else's lap.
Congress should have written its own numbers into the Bill
"Prohibits passengers from making voice calls "in -flight"...Its a start, Does not go far enough. Should read, "Use of personal electronic devices once the doors of the aircraft are closed is prohibited.
-Requires the government to look into whether it's "unfair or deceptive " when airlines say flights are delayed due to weather, when there are actually other factors involved.
Look into? Please. Those lawmakers who's districts have high numbers of air line employees will not touch this.
Ed Crist 1
I wouldn't point fingers at anyone...............but, on my last flight with AS on one of their Q400 turbos, there were two guys up a couple of rows who both needed extenders. How they managed to sit together I can't imagine. They did board together last. And come time to get off, well, they both had a very difficult time getting out of their seats. If we would of had an emergency, I suspect they would still be on that plane. But I don't think any airline is going to pull all of their seats and install wider ones. I told my wife "my last trip on one of these bouncy babies".
ToddBaldwin3 1
I'm getting ready to move overseas, complete with a 35 kg German Shepherd. The requirements for my dog's crate are more roomy than the seat space alloted to me.
About half of this is good; the other half bureaucratic bloatware. And Trump is supposed to be a businessman.
ken young 1
I believe the term is "compromise"?
In legislation, no one gets 100% of that which they wish.
Of course the law contains lots of bureaucratic nonsense.
Don't go thinking representatives did not have a hand in writing the Bill.
jmarler 1
For everyone here who approves the new bureaucratic bloat, you don't get to simultaneously complain when every flight goes up in price as the airlines pay to deal with the new regulations. Labor costs will go up, costs for maintenance, cost per seat ... this affects pretty much every aspect of air travel and with the new added regulations (1,200 pages) costs will only go up. Guess who gets to pay for that ...
joel wiley 1
IMHO, if you are a citizen and do not vote, you have no right to complain about anything congress does.
Chuck Pergiel 2
That's what is so great about America: anyone can complain about anything at any time.
ken young 0
Oh yes , Thats true. But if one does not vote, their complaints get to be ignored.
Dave Fisher 1
"For everyone here who approves the new bureaucratic bloat"
because, god forbid, we hinder airlines ability to drag people off airplanes, cram them in like sardines and generally treat them like baggage. as for airlines charging more, in the name of all that's holy, cutting into the industries enormous profits to ensure the reasonable treatment of passengers is nothing short of heresy.
Guerra38 1
Started in 1990
Does this also included for airline employees flying stand by's on their own company or flying on other carriers?
AWAAlum 4
When flying non-rev, you'd be one of the first to go
Alan Dahl 2
Back in the 1970s my father, a retired UAL pilot, managed to talk the flight crew into letting him ride in the jump seat rather than bumping our who family. I doubt you could get away with that today...
AWAAlum 2
Again a downvote? I'm flummoxed.
Liza Rukhina 1
I also saw your question and clicked the up arrow. I don’t know you but I don’t dislike you. But, as far as the strange up and down behavior I’m with you? I wonder the same.
KatzyBaby 1
I tried to give you another upvote for your flummoxed reply, (it was at 1) and it dropped to 0, tried again and it went to -1, tried again and finally got it back to 1, so apparently I can't upvote this. Maybe the system is tired.
AWAAlum 1
Or maybe someone out there just doesn't like me? Naaaah! Thanks, Susan.
ken young 1
If a flight is sold out and all passengers or revenue stand by show up , Non Revs usually do not get past the gate
Russ Nelson 0
Thank GOD that Congress knows more about running airlines than do airlines. Somebody has to regulate everything, and I'm glad it's Congress and not the customers.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

jagerardi 4
I am surprised as a Liberal, you actually have enough intelligence to form a cogent sentence.

John Warner 4
You can always tell a liberal - But you can’t tell them much.
Cade foster -5
oh a hate filled liberal comment, surprise.
Liza Rukhina 0
Thanks to Mr. Behling and Mr. Nelson I’ve ‘skied’ down the comments from one to the next and enjoyed their informative comments along the way. I think I’ll try to get through the comments again reading two others’ (other’s?). Thanks again
Ga Za 0
Requires airlines to refund passengers for "services they paid for but did not receive." Does this mean I can call the day before a flight to cancel and get my money back?
ken young 1
That provision is so vague, it almost passes the laugh test.
How in Sam Hill is the federal government going to enforce that provision....The short answer...It isn't.
matt jensen 1
More laws with no teeth or is it tooth

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Mike Duralia 1
As with any government regulation that increases costs, those costs will be passed along to the consumer. Nevertheless, there appears to be some good stuff in this legislation assuming the summary is correct....


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