2/8/2007 11:05:46 AM
Kate Hanni, Lobbying for Airline Passenger StandardsMs. Hanni heads a coalition of airline passengers, who were traveling on American Airlines flights #1348, 534 and 1008 from San Francisco to Dallas and were diverted to Austin because of heavy storms in Dallas, became stranded for over 8 hours with no food or access to bathroom facilities. She along with other passengers were on Capitol Hill yesterday to lobby Congress to hold hearings on a comprehensive Passengers Bill of Rights. Her Passenger Bill of Rights would modernize and improve airline industry standards for customer service. 00:24.Washington, DC

36 comments on “ON AIR Again 2/8/07 – C-SPAN – Kate Hanni, Lobbying for Airline Passenger Standards – C-SPAN

  • This is the Best of the bunch since I am able to take callers and respond to real questions. Also, it reflects a true ratio of the type of feedback we are getting from the public regarding our Bill of Rights.

    We are standing at 99.3% support on all polls of the general public. You all may notice that others are commenting on this blog, they are airline plants that are paid bloggers…American Airlines has a whole team of people to counter act the bad press we are getting. I received confirmation of that today. It’s fascinating stuff.

    Imagine, a grass roots group of victimized and disenfranchised passengers who want positive change for all travelers…being criticized for speaking out? Kind of absurd isn’t it.

    You won’t find this type of feedback in any of the travel blogs or articles. All of the Cameramen/women, anchors, managers of the shows I’ve been on are tired of the flight delays, etc. It’s a hot button issue and way past it’s time.

    Enough is Enough!!!

  • Another Newspaper Article today, February 9th, 2007.

    The airlines had a chance for “self-regulation” in 1999, and they completely blew it. Oh, it’s so nice for AA to put an internal “rule” and leak it to the press, yet AA can change this at any time and it’s not even part of their contract with you (if they break it, tough luck).
    (This is a quote from someone at Flyer Talk that I thought fits the picture after you read the newspaper article).

  • You need to find out about the aircraft that american diverted to Shreveport LA on the same day. The conditions and treatment was even worse than that of Austin.

  • I have some passengers saying they received $100.00 vouchers, some saying they received $500.00 vouchers and some saying they’ve gotten nothing yet.

    I talked to a woman yesterday on flight #1010 American Airlines stuck in San Antonio who is a Travel Agent, her luggage was lost, they were stuck 6+ hours on the tarmac, and much to my surprise, AA took off in the middle of a lightening storm in the middle of the night to get them to Dallas. They haven’t received any compensation for their trouble, and they missed their cruise for which they get no refund of thousands of dollars. They did, evidently, get a small voucher for the lost luggage, but again…too little, too late.


  • Regarding the 4 hour rule.

    They can change their minds whenever they decide it’s not beneficial for them.

    The next time a similar event happens, and it will, we’ll see how they react.

    Remember, they made promises before and didn’t keep them regarding the same types of legislation proposed in ’99 and 2001.

    We believe we should have hearings and sit down with them to discuss the possible solutions that can be legislated to protect us and not be too much of a financial burden on them.

    Continental Airlines has made great strides in the right direction and many business travelors agree.

  • The above comment is probably from an American Airlines plant!! The Airlines does need HELP and a Passenger’s Bill of Rights!!!

  • Well, I think it’s hysterical that anonymous people who don’t have a profile leave these aggregious comments. They have probably never taken a stand for anything in their lives. According to my people there are a whole room full of bloggers paid for by American to counteract our blog spot. So there you go.

    Also, they are doing counter spin control at the speed of lightening.

    Ask yourself. Did American Airlines Change their Contract of Carriage to reflect the new “4 hour rule”?

    Kate Hanni
    Coalition for Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights

  • If,

    You are an American Airlines employee be aware that it is possible to identify who you are if you post to this blog.

    It happens ALL the time, anonymous isn’t as anonymous as you think it is, and if you say something libelous it can be traced back to you.

    Don’t believe it, then just Google all of the trouble that John Edwards has been having with his staffers who have been blogging extremely hateful comments directed at the Catholic Church.


    A customer who was mistreated/abused by American Airlines in 1994, swore to never fly AA again, was forced to because of extreme mechanical difficulties with another airline in 05 and sat on the tarmac at DFW for almost 5 hours waiting for a gate!

  • I was ecstatic to hear you speaking on Armstrong & Getty’s show this morning, 2/13/07. The past 2 trips I’ve taken have been on American Airlines and although my experience was not nearly as horrible as your’s, I was left stranded in Harrisburg, PA as they canceled our flight and left us there to fend for ourselves with no transportation, no food, no drinks, nothin! We had to rent cars and drive 3 hours to Philly just to reach our destination. In January 2007, I flew with my mother on AA destined for Pensacola, FL and they canceled our flight due to “fog” and we had to spend the night in Dallas in a crappy hotel with their crappy voucher. Needless to say, we missed my mom’s sister’s funeral the next morning in Florida due to American Airlines. I will NEVER fly them again! Thank you so much for this Petition, it is awesome!

  • You might be interested to know that the executives and managers of American will be rewarding themselves hefty bonuses to the tune of almost 200 milion dollars on April 17, 2007

  • Thank you, Kate Hanni, for doing what you are doing to improve conditions for travelers. I have had many bad experiences on planes..most bad experiences occured on American Airlines…like when they had us board a plane in Miami in August that was not previously air conditioned and it was like entering an oven. My 10 month old baby began to scream because of the stifling heat and luckily, a passenger behind us offered a bottle of water to pour on him as we stripped his clothes off to cool him down. The heat was making people panic. (Thanks AA for putting us in this situation!) Good judgement call to put people into an oven!!

  • My brother, who often flies from Nicaragua to California has always told us to “Never Fly American Airlines” as they are notorious for losing luggage. After I read today’s article in the San Jose Mercury, I called American Airlines because I have a flight booked to Nicaragua in the spring and am taking my two young children. The American Airlines Representative on the phone literally began yelling at me as I asked her questions about the 8 hour grounding of this AA flight and what AA planned to do in the future regarding any kind of similar situation. I told her I was now afraid to fly AA. She continued to yell at me and told me she’d happily cancel my future flight for me. Wow. What a class-act representative for American Airlines.

  • Call 911 and say that you are being held against your will. Don’t forget that you, or an fellow passenger, might need attention for an existing medical condition. Have the flight crew go down to the luggage area to get medication for you. Call 411 and get the phone numbers for all of the local media outlets. They love human interest stories and will appreciate the promise of an exclusive story. Send them cell phone pictures of the toilets, lack of food/water, and any old/young person who is suffering. If possible have someone in the aircraft with a TV-enabled cell phone play the story for the flightcrew. Call the airline HQ and tell them you have called 911 and all of the local media outlets. Use web-enabled phones to post to blogs such as this one during the event and ask readers to make calls for you. Do no harm to the aircraft and do not endanger the passengers or crew, but do practice civil disobedience. Sit in the aisles. Sing rousing songs to keep the spirits up. 99 bottles of beer sung over and over and over is a good one. Have everyone ring the agent call button asking for an update every 5 minutes – I doubt they are allowed to disable the buttons.

  • Can I just suggest that you make the link to sign the petition more prominent on your site? It took me about 15 minutes of searching the web and then reading through your site to find where I needed to go to sign the petition. There should be a GIANT button/banner/something at the TOP of the site’s home page to go sign the petition. Also, another prominent link that goes to a page that describes what people can do to help. I for one know that I’d be willing to stand outside the airport for 8 hours one day and collect signatures. Being stuck on a plane for more than 3 hours without going anywhere or the option to get off is just ridiculous and I can’t think of many people who would not support action to prevent it. You need to make the site easier to find, and then the petition far easier to find once people get to this site.

    Thanks for all that you are doing!

  • The whining is a shame. Stuff happens. Bad weather, human error, etc. If you’ve noticed, things have gotten worse since the government got involved after 9/11. More bags lost, more stuff stolen, long lines, bad security but higher taxes and fees. Why get them involved again in this? Other than raising the cost of flying, what are they really going to do? We’re better off boycotting for changes.

  • As an airline traveller who was once stranded for four hours (apparently not close to the record), I am all for new legislation. I have a suggestion that should be hard to argue against.

    I recall watching a 60 Minutes episode many years ago that revealed the fact that airlines can record their flight as departing on time as long as the plane pulls away from the gate, even if it spends hours on the tarmac. This gives the airlines an incentive to create situations where passangers are sitting on the plane going nowhere for hours.

    I would like to see legislation that defines departure as the moment the plane leaves the tarmac. Then they would have no incentive to fill the plane and depart from the gate and then make passengers wait.

  • All airlines do is make apologies and promises they never fulfill. After 53 years of flying as a passenger in commercial aircraft I can say it is getting worse not better.

    In Canada they don’t even bother to apologize anymore and the federal government watchdog was fired so there are no longer any official complaints. No one cares -they know you will fly like it or not.

  • Holding some against their will in any other environment could be considered Kid Napping. Today ten years after, being imprisoned for 7 Hrs on the Tarmac, I still suffer from anxiety that experience every time I fly. I’m 100 % behind a Firm enforceable bill of rights with a passenger review board.

    Good on you
    Frank W

  • Face it. If one gets onto an airplane, one takes the chance of being stuck on same plane.

    Enough of the whining and drive next time, or take other public ground transportation.

    The airlines answer to no one, and clearly were unprepared for the events of September 11th.

  • Kate Hanni

    I think it is also “speed of lightning” and not “speed of lightening”.

    Please use your spell check before posting.

    Robert D

  • As a three-year old child I sat on a tarmac in Egypt for nearly 24 hours surrounded by armed Egyptian guards while we waited for Emperor Salasie to regain power in Ethiopia – our destination (and home for the next 3 1/2 years). Would your proposed legislation permit me reparations for that delay?

    Would your bill provide me reparations because I was victimized on that flight by the US government in selecting our flight through Egypt to Ethiopia where father was stationed for four years after the Ethiopian civil war?

    Would your bill provide me relief while I sat on a plane for several hours and witnessed ethnic cleansing of certain Kurdish passengers in Turkey or African passengers in Africa?

    Would your bill provide me reparation for the angst I suffer from seeing magazine pictures depicting acts between persons not from my sexual orientation on an intercontinental flight?

    Would your bill provide me reparation for being sexually propositioned by someone not of my sexual orientation on a flight?

    Would your bill have allowed me to board a flight after I lost my wallet and identification in a rental on October 5, 2001 upon leaving the emergency room in an out of state hospital only to rush for a flight to attend to a son in another hospital emergency room 800 miles away?

    Would other passengers have been permitted some relief while the airline delayed that flight for my spouse and me?

    Should I recover monetarily from the humiliation suffered upon passing the passenger who said loud enough for several passengers to hear “so we held the plane for these $#%$^$&”?

    Should I recover automatic remuneration when the passenger who went into the bathroom as the plane was pulling away from the gate, over strong objection from the flight attendants, was later arrested and pulled from the flight, thus delaying the flight for hours?

    Should I recover for several hours of delays at the San Diego airport caused by a disabled plane on the tarmac? Or that caused my flight to be re-routed to another airport due to the airliner that landed with the stuck front landing gear?

    Would your bill have permitted me to fly home on September 11, 2001 or for several days thereafter when all air travel was halted? Or when I could not obtain travel by bus, train, or rental car during that week after my tickets for several flights were repeatedly cancelled?

    Would your bill have permitted me to fly through Katrina? Or other similar storms? only because the delay would victimize me while sitting on a tarmac in a southern state?

    Would your bill permit me to take your seat in first class for the cost of economy class only because I have suffered from DVT (23 inch long blood clot), PE (nearly 70% of my lungs), clots in my heart chamber, and brain showers and am known to clot on “long flights”?

    Would your bill likewise enable recovery for my loosing a pre-selected isle seat to accommodate ambulation on a returning flight from Hawaii to San Francisco in light of my blood clotting condition and two swollen ankles?

    Would your bill provide me reparations for sitting through a screaming rampage of an un-medicated 2 year old who traveled with ear infections based on my hyper-noise sensitivity?

    Would your bill provide me reparations for the humiliation suffered when the titanium in my vena cava sets off an overly sensitive metal detector?

    Would your bill permit my parent to recover from similar “victimization” caused by a heart valve or pace maker?

    Would your bill force me to sit between two 300 pound plus passengers only because I weigh 138 pounds at 6’4” and am more likely to provide better accommodation to their condition?

    Would your bill provide me automatic recovery for the child who knocked over the stanchion onto my ankle, injuring it?

    Would your bill provide me automatic monetary relief for the anguish I suffered when the passenger sitting next to me was sucked out of my flight through a hole in the plane?

    Would your bill eliminate the invariable excuse from contractual performance for acts of nature, war, insurrection, strikes, etc. under contractual force majure provisions?

    Would your bill turn back the hands of time surrounding Warsaw conventions?

    Would I be permitted to use local law officers to enforce a small claims judgment against the plane of my choice long enough to extract reparations for my “damages”? What about the passengers aboard the plane of my choice – would they be equally protected by the same bill of rights during their delay? And so the flood gates open to “victims” of air travel.

    In a age of growing irresponsibility some continue to harangue the “big corporations” for things “big corporations” and they themselves cannot control. Perhaps they should have taken my mothers advice and plan ahead for the “unexpected”. . .

    Maybe it is nothing more than “bad luck”. No amount of pre-planning on my part would overcome these events in my life – despite all of mother’s prodding to plan ahead and be early.

    Perhaps we should all learn some patience at a time when we have come to expect almost instantaneous service for everything. . . Maybe, just maybe it is time for us to just grow up as mom would always tell us children.

    Robert D

  • When you have paid money for service and delivered yourself into the care of an airline then they have full responsibility for your comfort and life support.
    No more than an hour sitting in a aircraft should be tolerated. I

    In any event if detained by an airline beyond your own control of your life and creature comforts, then that airline should be responsible for providing meals, accommodation, and facilities.

    Slave ships went out with Wilberforce.

  • I am VERY outraged as to how the airlines treat the passengers!
    Being stranded for many hours in the plane is crazy! It is outrageous, and unprecedented!
    Whereas I was not on either of those planes, I deeply sympathize the ordeal you all had to go through.
    It feels like passengers are sometimes treated no better than a cattle. And – DEFINITELY measures should be taken. I totally support the moderator of this blog, as well as everybody who request to implement the Passengers’ Bill of Rights.
    And – Dear fellow passengers, my heart and soul is with you, and – best of luck to all of you!

  • Ari Says:
    Your efforts for a bill of rights is very laudable. It is ridiculous how the airlines treat passengers. No wonder there is air rage!
    No body should have to wait more than 2 hours on the tarmac, if there is a problem get the people off the plane, there are a million ways to acomplish this. in the early days, there were simple stairs to get onto airplanes. open the doors, let the people off. People are paying for air travel, for our dollars we should be getting basic rights. It sickens me everytime how these airlines just shrug their shoulders as if to say, well you just have to accept it. If I buy something in the store and I don’t like it I can get a refund, Why can’t I get off the plane and get a refund? food for thought……

  • Katie

    Thanks for moving this ahead! I

    Concerning the news that American Airlines now has a PR team to stem, the damage, I wish they’d had more personnal in cater our plane, get us on our way to Ft Worth, help us in Austin, or even just inform us that we had seats on planes the next day.

    Kath (from flight 1348)

  • First: Kate, et. al., thanks for ALL you are doing . . . as with any relationship–communication is key; this would be key in the service-provider / consumer relationship, as well. I personally sat on the tarmac for only 3 hours once with no explanation from the cockpit, with flight attendants “closed-mouth” as to what the acute condition / factor was in our delay of leaving DFW, and no further word from the cockpit for the entire flight up to and including post-landing at our final destination. TERRIBLE Customer Service (if any one could consider that Customer Service at all). I must admit, I’m not sure how I’d react to being held 11 hours against my will and with no seemingly plausible explanation. Action must be taken by travelers (consumers of airline services) and NOW . . .

  • i was on AA 1348 on dec 29 and they sent me a $500 voucher. i tried to use it on feb 16 and guess what? they couldn’t get a plane to take off in time for me to make a connection through dallas which meant i would have had to sit in dallas for 7 hours IF they had space on the next flight. so, i had to abort my 2nd attempted vacation in 45 days because of AA’s inept logistics capabilities. does anyone know how to contact Kate Hanni in order to help. i’ve never participated in any lobbying but this has motivated me.

  • No passenger should have to sit on a grounded plane for more than 45-60 Minutes ….3-4 hours is rediculous …Over 10 hours is just inhuman, let the powers that be try that sometime ….

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