Not always a good idea

I know that an airline customer's bill of rights seems like a good thing,problems with but there are often problems with laws like this. After a winter of at least three major blizzards that stranded customers on the tarmac and at airports, there has been a lot of talk about new laws to protect airline customers.

Before a law like this is passed the impact has to be studied. Lawmakers need to make a good faith effort to predict how a law like this will make the market react. Will airlines offer fewer flights? Will the airlines charge more money during the winter to make up for bad weather? Will airlines cancel flights at the threat of bad weather leaving more customers stranded? Any of these things might be worse than the current situation.

There are things that can be done to fix the situation. Right now at most airports, airlines can post any departure time they like. It is not connected to the capacity of the airport. Every flight for ever airline could have 9 AM as a departure time even if only 10% of those flights could take off between 9 AM and 9:10 AM. A better scheduling system between the airports and airlines might help some of these problems.

I prefer airlines come up with their own customer Bill of Rights like Jet Blue. This way the company can make choices that fit there business model. Customers can would be forced to include to look at the company's service, not only price, when making a decision about choosing a flight.


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