Tourism Industry News

ASTA Calls on DOT to Complete Work on Tarmac Delay Task Force

09/02/2009 09:30

USA (World Tourism News) - In a letter to Secretary Ray LaHood following his Senate confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, ASTA requested today that the Department bring to a timely conclusion the work of the National Task Force to Develop Model Contingency Plans to Deal with Lengthy Airline On-Board Ground Delays (Tarmac Delay Task Force).


In the letter to Secretary LaHood, ASTA asked that airlines and airports nationwide be required to report to the DOT in six-month phases on the actual progress that each has made in implementing the report's recommendations. In ASTA's opinion, this will assure that the real progress envisioned by the final report of the Task Force will occur.



"The airlines' longstanding promises to improve the treatment of passengers needs to be backed up by a meaningful reporting requirement," said Paul M. Ruden, ASTA's senior vice president for legal and industry affairs and a member of the Task Force. "Without this step, the Task Force is at risk of becoming just another relic on the shelf of government reports."


On Nov. 12, 2008, the Tarmac Delay Task Force concluded nearly a year of debate about how to deal with inevitable major flight delays that strand passengers on aircraft for periods up to eight or even 10 hours. ASTA held a seat on the Task Force and voted for its final report, which, while imperfect, nevertheless represented a meaningful, positive step for air travelers.



ASTA's (American Society of Travel Agents) mission is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable, growing and a rewarding place to work, invest and do business.


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