Fliers keep trouble on their radar

Travelers try to beat the rush at the airport

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: As much as I want to see my family during the holidays, I am dreading the thought of flying. I might wear the same clothes the entire trip, just so I don't have to check my luggage. Of course, I'll still have to go through security or sit on the tarmac for a long time.

At least this is on the government's radar. The president announced a few changes last week, like opening restricted airspace during the holiday. And today, a consumer group will start doing their own kind of airport surveillance. Here's Bob Moon.


Bob Moon: It's still so bad, it seems the president himself has been fearing another air-travel nightmare before Christmas:

President Bush: Unfortunately, it's the season of dread for too many Americans.

Some critics complain the fixes Bush announced late last week are hardly more than Band-Aids. Passengers are still being abused, they say, and the airlines keep getting away with empty promises.

Kate Hanni: They haven't kept one of them.

Kate Hanni founded the Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights. A former captive passenger herself, she's determined this holiday season will be different. Her group is enlisting volunteer travelers with cameras to record any airline trouble they encounter.

Hanni: We feel if we can hold them to task and let them know that we're watching closely, that they won't be able to get away with that kind of behavior anymore.

Airline attendant: Continue boarding our main cabin, start from the rear of the aircraft.

Those who do run into trouble can call a special 'round-the-clock hotline for help. If they're stranded on a runway or bumped from an overcrowded flight. You'll find details at the group's Web site, flyersrights.org.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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