By: Rick Constant
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is no wonder that there are more incidents with what the airlines call
'unruly' passengers. Airlines and the industry in general view the flying
public as a captive market which pays for and does everything it is told -
at any cost, including their lives.
For example, last winter thousands of people were stranded at the airport
and in airplanes - some for up to eight hours. This happened at
Northwest's Detroit Metropolitan Airport because of a snowstorm which
apparently caught the airline by surprise - th is in the age of satellite
imagery and high-tech weather forecasting equipment in an industry where
bad weather has severe consequences?
During this episode, hundreds were trapped in airplanes without food, with
toilet facilities overflowing - some for up to eight hours. There is no
excuse for this kind of treatment. If jail-birds were treated in like
manner it would be called cruel and unusual punishment but a recent
Transportation Department report merely ruled that Northwest "violated no
Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Transportation
Subcommittee (R-Ala.) who had sponsored a 'passenger-rights' provision for
a Fiscal 2000 transportation bill dropped the provision thanks to the
heavy handed lobbying by the airlines. Aviation Week and Space Technology
of June 7, 1999 (p. 23) quotes him as saying that his decision came "after
so many visits by airline representatives that his office 'felt like it
was a chalet at the Paris air show."
Another example is the fact that a safer alternative to conventional
airliners has existed for over 60 years but the designer and his company
have been prevented from building that aircraft at the expense of the
taxpayer and the flying public - which they pay for with the
fruit of their labor and sometimes with their lives.
If the American people are willing - as they have been thus far - to put
up with this kind of abuse they will continue being treated like sheep and
die when they could have lived because they failed to demand what was
rightfully theirs. After all, who pays for air travel?
It is up to the passengers to demand their rights for proper service and
air transport safety. There is a safer alternative to conventional
airliners - and at less cost - but passengers won't get it until they
Tell your representative in Congress about www.aircrash.org. Demand your
rights and demand that companies be allowed to compete rather than
passengers being the victims of a cartel.
July 18, 1999
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