What did federal agencies do for travelers in 2013? Elliott — Volkswagen Campmob

20 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи What did federal agencies do for travelers in 2013? Elliott — Volkswagen Campmob отключены
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What did federal agencies do for in 2013?

Ask travelers what the government did for them this and you’ll probably get a shrug, at — or a rant about sequestration, park closings and the Transportation Administration, at worst.

But there’s a specific answer: Federal did a lot more than you might And, in at least one prominent a lot less.

When it comes to protections, two agencies carried of the water in 2013: the Department of (DOT), which oversees and motorcoach safety in the United and the Federal Trade Commission which has a broad jurisdiction from time-share sales to This year, the U.S. of Justice also played a role in protecting travelers a halfhearted attempt to block the of the nation’s largest airline.

The office of Aviation Consumer has so far issued a record $6.9 in fines for 2013, up from million in 2012. Its fines grown at an almost exponential in recent years. Consider as recently as 2008, the agency only $1.1 million of tickets to the airline industry.

“Travelers have rights,” Transportation Secretary Anthony “And we will continue to the industry accountable.”

The DOT’s blotter, which you can find makes for fascinating reading. American Airlines, fined in November for advertising a kids-fly-free that was not, in fact, There’s United Airlines, hit a $1.1 million penalty in for allowing 13 flights to remain on the for more than three without offering passengers an to get off the planes. And there’s a $750,000 against Delta Air Lines summer for allegedly failing to its passengers of their rights to after they were boarding.

The agency also put agents in its cross hairs in penalizing companies for a variety of including failure to reveal a fare (Legendary Journeys) to the details of a codesharing flight Mid-Atlantic).

Even with the impressive in fines, the enforcement actions relatively small compared the size of some of the penalties, can run into the millions of dollars, the Federal Aviation Administration against airlines. And a careful of the DOT settlement agreements reveals half the fine is often as long as there are no future (So far in 2013, the agency has forgiven $2 in fines.) To some air travelers, seems like a slap on the

But the DOT says that the numbers tell the whole story. The aren’t meant to be punitive so as preventive — which is to say that intended to correct a customer problem across the industry. By measure, most of the DOT enforcements

The FTC, which in late warned 22 hotel operators to the way they disclose mandatory “resort” fees, continued to the issue in 2013. The agency’s letters strongly encouraged the to review their Web sites and that their ads don’t the total price of a hotel but stopped short of calling fees unfair and deceptive. all” the hotels complied, to the FTC.

“We continue to work the travel industry to improve disclosures about mandatory resort fees,” says Rich, director of the FTC’s of Consumer Protection. “We think are getting the message that consumers avoid surprise is necessary, as consumers have a to know the true cost of hotel stay.”

For consumers, the actions on resort fees to be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, the has almost certainly made junk fees easier to on the other, they haven’t yet them, which is what seem to want. Perhaps will be the year the resort fee dies? Here’s hoping.

The agency’s biggest win for travelers in came in June, when it 191 federal and state actions to fraudulent operations from time-share property resale and travel prizes. Fraudulent resellers, a persistent problem in the industry, persuade consumers to pay fees while claiming they have buyers who are to pay top dollar for the properties. They


The FTC also pursued companies offer discounted or “free” packages supposedly worth of dollars to lure unsuspecting into high-pressure time-share presentations. All told, the FTC stopped that drained $14 million consumers’ wallets, according to the

The Justice Department, which doesn’t make news for efforts in the travel industry, may been the biggest story of the at least for airline passengers. In a move, the DOJ this summer a lawsuit to block the proposed between US Airways and American citing competitive concerns. And to the drama, the DOJ signaled that a was out of the question, instead saying it would ask the court for a “full to the merger.

But in a decidedly undramatic ending, the succeeded in making almost no one A settlement agreement required the new Airlines to shed an unprecedented of landing slots and gates at key including Washington and New York. The were humiliating for American’s new team, which had made an argument that its dominance benefit consumers and make the more competitive. But the settlement failed to impress consumers, none of whom were to see this merger and who hoped a “full stop” actually a full stop.

In allowing American and US Airways to the DOJ may have inadvertently done air a little favor. The agency the combination of two airlines that well-deserved reputations for charging fees and generating more their share of service Now, there will be one airline to avoid.

Did the federal do enough for travelers in 2013?

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