Entries in Department of Transportation (4)


Airlines to Report More Detailed Revenue Data

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Uncle Sam wants to know exactly how much many airlines are making from those baggage and reservation change fees.  The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing new rules that would require airlines to break down exactly how much money they are making from the sale of food, drinks, movies, and other in-flight fees.  

The Transportation Department already collects quarterly reports from airlines showing just revenue made from baggage and reservation change fees.  A recent report said that airlines made $3.4 billion from baggage fees and another $2.3 billion from reservation change charges in 2010. The new rules will require a more itemized report.  In the future, airline revenue summaries will report on 16 additional categories.

The Department of Transportation hopes to provide more useful information to passengers to determine the impact of these increased use of fees by airlines.  The new rules are also part of DOT's effort to strengthen passenger rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hawaiian Airlines Ranks as Best On-Time Carrier for 7th Straight Year

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Hawaiian Airlines/Chad Slattery(HONOLULU) -- For the seventh straight year, Hawaiian Airlines ranked as the nation's number one airline for on-time performance in 2010, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday.

The carrier's flights averaged a punctuality rate of 92.5 percent for the year and 87.6 percent for the month of December alone.  Hawaiian also led all carriers in the U.S. in on-time performance for each month of 2010.

"Being the nation's most punctual airline for seven straight years is a credit to the dedication of our employees, whose hard work drives this industry-leading performance day in and day out, year after year," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO.

The report also found that Hawaiian had the fewest cancelled flights last year among carriers, ranking in first place for 10 of the 12 months.  For the year, the carrier canceled 55 out of 67,649 total flights, which averages out to about 0.1 percent.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


DOT Forces More Disclosure by Regional Airlines

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The federal government is cracking down on airlines and third-party ticketing sites that make it difficult for travelers to decipher who is really flying their plane.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Aviation Enforcement Office announced Monday it is giving airlines and online ticket agents 60 days to modify websites to make it easier for travelers to learn if their flight is being flown by a large airline like Continental or Delta or a smaller regional airline operating under the mainline carrier's banner.

Under code-sharing, an airline sells tickets on flights that use the airline's code, but are actually operated by a different carrier. Longstanding DOT rules require airlines to disclose code-sharing arrangements to consumers before they book a flight, but legislation adopted in August 2010 has also clarified the requirements for Internet websites that sell airline tickets.

"When passengers buy an airline ticket, they have the right to know which airline will be operating their flight," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "For years we've required airlines to inform consumers about code-sharing arrangements, and we'll be monitoring the industry closely to make sure they comply with the provisions of the new legislation."

Federal law requires airlines and independent booking sites to disclose upfront when a flight is operated by somebody else, like a regional airline. But many sites never disclose the name of the actual airline or require several clicks to learn the identity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Department of Transportation: Long Tarmac Delays Down Since 2009

Photo Courtesy - Delta Airlines(WASHINGTON) -- According to new numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there was only one flight with a tarmac delay of more than three hours in August 2010, compared to 66 delayed flights in August 2009. 

The number of lengthy delays has plummeted since the Department of Transportation began to enforce the new aviation consumer rule on April 29.  The rule prohibits U.S. airlines from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers.  The Department of Transportation will investigate delays that exceed the three-hour limit.

There have only been eight tarmac delays in excess of three hours from May through August of this year.  During the same four-month period last year, there were 529 flights delayed for more than three hours.

"These numbers show that the tarmac delay rule is protecting  passengers from being trapped indefinitely aboard and airplane -- with little or no increase in canceled flights," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.  "Also, it shows that the hard work the airlines are putting into implementing the rule is paying off.  With the summer travel season behind us, it appears that the rule is working as planned."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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