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Yeah, but if you can look past the extra taxes, I think you'll find that this bill will ultimately benefit commercial pilots and passengers alike. Us GA guys will have to suffer until we make it to the airlines.Jeff

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Most GA drivers aren't trying to get to the airlines, so most of us just suffer just because... yay.I can just see many more precious and priceless airports and FBO's folding from crap like this.Best thing I've heard in a long time regarding politics:"I love my country... it's my government that I fear."

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Stupid. This is what happens when people who have no understanding of aviation decide they need to write aviation laws.There is a lot of misunderstanding out there about what happened that day at JFK, and unfortunately these misunderstandings drive much of popular sentiment now. Misunderstanding #1 is that the pilots control where the plane goes. ATC controls where the plane goes. ATC is manned and operated by the government. The Federal Government controls what happens to your plane once you push out of the gate. What happened at JFK was that the ground controllers could not move anybody because of the blizzard. Once you are out there on the taxiways at a busy airport, you are stuck out there, especially at JFK because of the way the ground controllers handle you and the layout of the airport. There is no place to "pull off to the side" since there is no side. And there is no going back to the gate since you will be facing opposite direction traffic if you want to do that. For example, typically at JFK, if you were to taxi to depart 31L at KK, you would be routed clockwise down A all the way towards an intersection near the liftoff end of 31L to make a U-turn and proceed back up P and B to KK. That allows the controllers to form one big long u shaped conga line like a line for a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. Your freedom of movement in a roller coaster line is exactly the same as that on one of these taxiways. If someone has a problem and needs to return to the gate, it may take you at least an hour for the controllers to stop other outbound traffic and make a sufficient hole for a route for you back to your gate. And that is on a sunny day. Even if somebody demanded to taxi back to the gate that day because no one was moving, they would not have been able to since nobody was moving, so there was no way for somebody demanding to go back to the gate to move back to the gate. If I have not made it sufficiently clear here, those planes were stuck because of the controllers. I don't think the USAToday explained this in any of their stories.Misunderstanding #2 is that the controllers don't care how long you've waited. If you want out of line for whatever reason, you lose your place in line. If you waited for 2 hours on the taxiway in a 3 hour taxi and rioted for a return back to the gate to get some food, you will have a further 3 hours of wait ahead of you after you got your meal. You will be placed right back in the back of the line by the controllers. After first come first serve, then it is what serves the departure controller best. Because the ground controller will sequence the departure planes so that they launch towards different directions sequentially in order to make the departure controller happy with his spacing. So you will see yourself stopped and then see planes from behind you cut in front of you. Ha. So if you do demand to go back to the gate, expect to repeat the experience.Misunderstanding #3 is that we as pilots know how long we will wait. No one knows how long you will wait for takeoff. Standard operating procedure of New York Departure control is to open and close the departure fixes repeatedly for spacing. And how long your departure route is closed is completely at the whim of the departure controller who does not tell anybody how long to expect it to be closed. So you wait. And you wait thinking it will be 10-15 minutes to go for an hour.Misunderstanding #4 is that people think that just because it is sunny here, it is sunny everywhere. The line by Charlie Wrangel in that article "...weather conditions we never heard of..." typifies how passengers do not understand how weather affects a flight. If a departure fix has weather near it and planes are deviating around it, the NY controllers will only allow a few planes through at a time and that is why they will "stop the fix" and make you sit on the ground. It may be sunny in NY, but there may be a cloud 50 miles away that you cannot see out your cabin window that is making you wait there on the ground for the two hours. That is what is happening when we tell you there is "weather" and you look out the window and say the pilots are lying.This doesn't mean things can't be done better, but legislation that says pilots have to take you back to the gate after a certain time is only going to cause you further delays and may very well by physically impractical or impossible. You end up inconveniencing a lot more people to make a few happy with these kind of laws. Certainly there are things that can be done to make the experience better by the flight crew during a delay. Flight attendants can be trained in stand-up, improvisation comedy or puppeteering. I myself have requested and gotten catering to send a truck out to our plane at the waiting pad one time on a particularly long ground delay. Usually I would rather absorb a delay by waiting at the gate instead of on the taxiway if I am informed of it by ATC in time. So there are things pilots can do if they think a little out of the box or are given the proper information at the right time, to make the experience less painful, that can easily be taken care of through training and catering policies. And instead of wasting effort on this kind of legislation, Wrangel would do more good looking at how the FAA and its controllers operate. This kind of kneejerk legislation based on media stories and popular misunderstanding will only have unforseen, unintended and undesired outcomes for those wanting the legislation.

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"This kind of kneejerk legislation based on media stories and popular misunderstanding will only have unforseen, unintended and undesired outcomes for those wanting the legislation."I was one of those who has gone thru this experience, back in the memorable Detroit Metro Blizzard in January of '99. I was stranded on a puddle jumper bound for Ottawa with no food, no heat, no water for hours. Why? Because the airline did not want to have to take us back through customs, even though they knew they were going to be delayed for hours.I'm not a "media story". I'm a member of this forum who has flown often enough, that something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. To the airline I was a piece of friggin' cattle that was an inconvenience.The blizzard was an act of God, but the airline wasn't paralyzed. They could have provided us shelter, and only did once some of the passengers became ill from inhaling three hours' worth of jet fumes and breathing freezing air. I guess the threat of vomit in the cabin was more a concern than having to roll us back through customs, at that point.People said then a "Bill of Rights" would be passed, and not a darn thing was done. I understand aviation--logged well over a million miles as a paying customer not to mention my interest as a student pilot. Stories like mine are common place, not "media hype". The flight in Detroit was the second time I'd experienced being held "hostage" by an airline. The first was years earlier, in '84, when weather diverted my inbound flight from Frankfurt to JFK into Philly. We were not allowed out of that jet for several hours, and had already exhausted most of the supplies on board. Only then, it was a humid summer day. Again, passengers becoming ill dictated our early release.Weather is a factor in flying, but it's not an excuse to dehumanize the customer. But my prediction is the bill will fail--Bush has already threatened a veto feeling "market factors" would move in to protect passenger's rights. I doubt it--here it is, more than eight years after my last experience, and people are still walking around saying the "public doesn't understand". I guarantee you anyone saying that to me that cold night in Detroit would have felt worse than someone going ten rounds with Marvin Hagler.JohnEdit: I should note that "market factors" don't always help. Those who travel on business know that some airlines have a lock on certain routes. In my case, I was on the same airline again only two weeks later. Only other choice was about a thousand mile walk.

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JohnCi, it looks like you completely missed the point of my post. Nowhere did I say that real people are not sitting in airplanes and waiting for hours feeling unhappy. The point of my post is that the Federal Government is just as complicit at making you sit on that airplane for hours and hours feeling unhappy. The airline is immediately assigned all the blame by the customers and the media, while the FAA slides by quietly and blameless. When in fact, both you and the little red turboprop you sat on for hours is "hostage" to the government. Sitting on a plane for hours on the ground is a symptom of fundamental problems in Air Traffic Control. Making these laws you support will not solve these problems. They will most likely cause you further delay by more cancelled flights, further delays for going back to gate all the time, and missed connections because of the further delays. The airlines will do what they think is necessary to minimize their exposure to these new laws and it probably won't just be having more peanuts on board, but rather closer to not putting you on board an airplane. If you want to see some real improvement, then you should write Charlie Wrangel and the USAToday to explain to them that what they really need to look at is the FAA, what these air traffic controllers are doing and expanding the capacity of their airports. Unless they start looking at addressing these fundamentals, you will still not get to where you want to go.

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This also brings back memories of the BA 747 flight from LAX to EGLL that tried making it all the way on three engines. They did that because of stupid passenger right laws that would require them to shell out loads of money because of their problem.

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:-xxrotflmao This from a senate/congress that has, according to some of the polls, the lowest job approval rating ever. This will never pass......heck, nothing they have come up as of late passes.The more I read the proposal the more confused I become. What exactly are 'my' rights if I decide that, "OK, we've been sitting here long enough"? Can I demand they either pass out the refreshments or let me the #### out of there? Right there...in the middle of the tarmac?This is no more than another ludicrous re-election year attempt to gain certain votes. That of the disgruntled airline passenger, which I will admit is growing in numbers by the day. The only way that I know of on how to relieve congestion is to simply have less. Less airplanes, less traffic,less gate delays,less aggravation. Sometimes less is better.John

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the problem is people think $200 is too much for an airplane ticket. they still prove price as the primary purchasing incentive and thus encourage razor thin margins in staffing by airlines. the FAA also staffs razor thinly and thus only exacerbates the problem. passenger bill of rights? how about one for the employees who have suffered through 50% wage cuts, pensions disappearing, and the like? i see "airline" like events happening every day. someone pays $200 for a ticket and thus feels entitled to the world when they miss their flight.

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"passenger bill of rights? how about one for the employees who have suffered through 50% wage cuts, pensions disappearing, and the like? i see "airline" like events happening every day. someone pays $200 for a ticket and thus feels entitled to the world when they miss their flight."Of all the responses in this thread, this just takes them all. The airline employees at Mesaba didn't deserve a single dime for locking us inside a tomb for three hours. I wasn't po'd about missing a flight. I wanted off when it was clear, according to the pilot, that the flight was to be delayed for five-six hours. No one on the flight complained about how much it cost. Yours and other arguments are trying to broaden this issue to make it seem as if this is some passenger revolt against anything with a logo on the tail. Airline flying is a bargain and has been a bargain. If it costs $250 to fly to Dallas one way, imagine the cost of travel by car and two nights in the seediest motels, plus food. But that is no excuse for an airline employee to lock me or anyone else in a coffin for hours at a time. All the "counter" arguments to this bill miss the point. Human beings have a basic right to be treated with dignity. I worked hotel and retail for many years--earning minimum wage in the beginning. Never came close to seeing even 50 percent of what airline employees made after the worst of their cuts, until I moved to I.T. But I still didn't treat people like animals. I didn't lock my guests in their hotel rooms because there was no room in the lobby. I didn't lock customers outside our store because the cash registers were queued up. I didn't blame government regulations when I had to close the doors and lose business, because someone smelled what they thought was gas.Let me ask all of you this--what should happen to passengers? Does the airline have a right, in your eyes, to lock me or anyone else up and deprive them of the most basic of necessities? Go back and read the bill again. No one is asking a plane to fly on three engines. Passengers are asking if they are being held hostage on the ramp, they have a right to water, a working toilet, comfortable ventilation. If the airlines or those who lobby for their cause feel this is too much, I don't give a dang.... I've been an airline flyer for 40 years. Nobody can sit here and tell me that the attitude displayed in the cabin hasn't changed over that time. You can't just complain about the government. If employees don't feel duly compensated, others will be happy to step in. JC

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You know John, you're right. I can remember the airline days when it was going through it's hijacking phases in the 1960's and 70's,(although I was very young). Even there the hijackers would allow basic necesities onboard. I'm all for having passengers de-plane on the tarmac or taxiway if the flight is "grounded" for an extensive amount of time. They can be bussed back to the terminal area and then they (the customer) can decide what to do. They are after all the boss, since when they purchased that ticket they "hired" the airline to do a job for them.However, as stated above, it's not entirely up to the airline to determine what happens to a delayed flight. The FAA has a lot to do with it since the airline has to abide by its rules and regulations.I'm just not convinced that our government is up to the task to add yet another rule to determine what "rights" our passengers are to have and which ones not to have. For example, we can give them the right to water but they can't off the plane......unless they're sick. But then how sick do they have to be? Do we send medical assistance to the plane or do we have the plane taxi back to the gate? Can the airplane get back to the gate? etc,etc.....I'm afraid this is just too much for the government to handle. If the passengers really want to get their point across just stop flying. The world was doing just fine before deregulation of the airlines started this mess. Stay close to home....drive to the beach.....relax. Besides, as much as I like my uncle Bob, I don't want him flying out here every Christmas from the west coast because airline travel is "so cheap". Stay at home Uncle Bob and I'll do the same.John

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>>the problem is people think $200 is too much for an airplane ticket. they still prove price as the primary purchasing incentive and thus encourage razor thin margins in staffing by airlines. the FAA also staffs razor thinly and thus only exacerbates the problem.<

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>Of all the responses in this thread, this just takes them all.> The airline employees at Mesaba didn't deserve a single dime>for locking us inside a tomb for three hours. I wasn't po'd>about missing a flight. I wanted off when it was clear,>according to the pilot, that the flight was to be delayed for>five-six hours. No one on the flight complained about how>much it cost. Yours and other arguments are trying to broaden>this issue to make it seem as if this is some passenger revolt>against anything with a logo on the tail. what makes you think the CA/FO/FA wanted to sit and listen to complaints for 3 hours also? the smaller ticket price leads to smaller revenues which has led to drastic reductions in staff thus not allowing you to leave the aircraft as there is no one there to let you off. they can let you off on the ramp and be arrested / accosted by TSA for a security violation? yes that's fair.>Airline flying is a bargain and has been a bargain. If it>costs $250 to fly to Dallas one way, imagine the cost of>travel by car and two nights in the seediest motels, plus>food. But that is no excuse for an airline employee to lock>me or anyone else in a coffin for hours at a time. All the>"counter" arguments to this bill miss the point. Human beings>have a basic right to be treated with dignity. I worked hotel>and retail for many years--earning minimum wage in the>beginning. Never came close to seeing even 50 percent of what>airline employees made after the worst of their cuts, until I>moved to I.T. again you need to see the chain of events in conjunction with the FAA and their archaic system of lining up and waiting. most long waits on the ground are for taking off. the FAA directly control this.as far as thinking airline ees make too much you are sadly mistaken. when you are away from home 19+ nights a month, have "rest" rules worse than the trucking industry, and have your job on the line every day then perhaps you can comment. does your IT customers entrust their very life with you on EVERYTHING you are doing while working for them? how much is that worth to you?>But I still didn't treat people like animals. I didn't lock>my guests in their hotel rooms because there was no room in>the lobby. I didn't lock customers outside our store because>the cash registers were queued up. I didn't blame government>regulations when I had to close the doors and lose business,>because someone smelled what they thought was gas.again what part of if there is no gate you cannot get off the airplane do you not understand? shall we simply pull over on the taxiway and let you off. when you ahve 1 gate agent covering 2 gates (both full with other departing a/c) whose going to let you off? now the airlines have 3 planeloads of unhappy people.>Let me ask all of you this--what should happen to passengers? >Does the airline have a right, in your eyes, to lock me or>anyone else up and deprive them of the most basic of>necessities? Go back and read the bill again. No one is>asking a plane to fly on three engines. Passengers are asking>if they are being held hostage on the ramp, they have a right>to water, a working toilet, comfortable ventilation. If the>airlines or those who lobby for their cause feel this is too>much, I don't give a dang.... I've been an airline flyer for>40 years. Nobody can sit here and tell me that the attitude>displayed in the cabin hasn't changed over that time. You>can't just complain about the government. If employees don't>feel duly compensated, others will be happy to step in. of course they have a right to the above (h2o, toilets, etc.). you take 4-5 examples in the past year out of the million flights and state that this is the norm which is preposterous. each situation is a unique situation that no one "bill of rights" can encompass.as for somebody happy to step in, that ain't happening. the airlines have so drastically treated their employees no one wants to work their. pilots are so short in this country the FAA is considering the preposterous multi-crew license.

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>You know John, you're right. I can remember the airline days>when it was going through it's hijacking phases in the 1960's>and 70's,(although I was very young). Even there the hijackers>would allow basic necesities onboard. >I'm all for having passengers de-plane on the tarmac or>taxiway if the flight is "grounded" for an extensive amount of>time. They can be bussed back to the terminal area and then>they (the customer) can decide what to do. They are after all>the boss, since when they purchased that ticket they "hired">the airline to do a job for them.couldn't be further from the truth. so we have 150 "bosses" on the airplane with 150 opinions and comments?

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