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Talk back on airline regs

It seems everyone has an opinion on the stresses of flying, just as airlines find another way to nickel and dime seemingly every month, from charging for seat selection, extra leg room, blankets, pillows, beverages and meals; on top of that are proposals for more rules stemming from security threats, incidents or crashes, such as the idea of banning peanuts to prevent allergy attacks or the NTSB's recommendation that child seats should be required for babies.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says it wants to stand up for passenger rights--new federal airline passenger protections took effect in April--and that it wants to hear your gripes, and suggestions. To that end, it's launched, a place where consumers can monitor legislative language that's in the works--and help shape it, by commenting on individual sections.

The DOT spells out what it's considering and asks for specific feedback; a site monitor often responds personally to commenters.

In a section on expanding regulations designed to limit lengthy delays in which passengers are trapped on the plane, for example, a citizen wrote: "I agree that 3 hours is way too long to be stranded on the tarmac for health, comfort, and emotional reasons. I am a bit confused as to why people are not kept at the boarding area longer... I think there should be a time limit on international flights as well."

The site uses plain language whenever possible. The same sections says "The Department of Transportation is thinking about requiring these US and foreign carriers to update passengers every 30 minutes during a tarmac delay."

The site is a partnership with Cornell University and has brought praise from the White House as an example of effective use of technology to bring constituents into the fold when it comes to rulemaking.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 16, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation, NTSB  
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Seats should be required for babies and for every person. Three hours is too long to wait on the tarmac - if the flight can't be cleared for take off w/in 20 min of boarding the plane should not be boarded. it's time to bring service back to the airline industry!...and no I don't mind paying more for a ticket- I would rather pay more up front than feel nickled and dimeed to death by being charged for bags,water bathroom use, this and that once I boarded.

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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