The airline industry is poised to reap billions of dollars in taxpayer assistance while some of the carriers are unfairly restricting reasonable accommodations to those who have paid for tickets but are not able to fly because of the worldwide Coronavirus emergency.
I am sending the following email/letter to my two Senators and my Representative. I urge every US citizen to send a similar letter or email as well. We should not allow the airlines to ride roughshod over the people who will be providing support for their survival.
If you think this is reasonable, please pass this along. Even if this particular issue does not affect you, you may have friends or loved ones who will suffer a financial loss if reasonable allowances are not granted.
Dear Honorable Senator or Representative:
I am writing to you about a very specific concern I have and I am sure that many of my fellow citizens have as well. The people about whom I am writing are among those who count themselves as your constituents. Please take the follow concern to heart.
As the US government prepares to use taxpayer dollars to “bail out” and assist the airline industry, I believe the airline industry, at the behest of the US government, should in turn “bail out” and assist the passengers who have purchased tickets to use the services of the various airline carriers.
Several of my friends have found themselves in the following predicament:
They were planning a trip in the future and to be sure they were able to secure an airline ticket, they purchased their tickets many months in advance. As an example, let us assume they were planning a May, 2020 trip, but purchased the tickets in September of 2019.
While they are able to cancel their May, 2020 flight and get “credit,” some of the airlines are insisting that the credit MUST be used within one year of the date of purchase, i.e. September, 2020 or within four or five months of the cancellation.
Don’t you think this is unfair? Travelers had specific reasons for booking their airfare such as attending an event and that reason may no longer exist. It is unreasonable to expect customers to be able to make travel arrangements within such a short period of time just to avoid losing money.
A – Congress should mandate that airlines must provide credit in the same amount as the original expenditure or provide a flight of equal or greater value within 18 MONTHS of the original DEPARTURE date. This time frame is much more equitable and makes a great deal more sense.
Congressional oversight is needed to assure that airlines do not “significantly” increase fares to compensate for the proposed financial adjustments to passengers.
B – There should be an additional stipulation for the elderly or infirm who find that they are no longer able to fly due to medical and/or other health reasons, that they be granted a full and complete refund. This group of Americans had nothing to do with the Coronavirus and the worldwide emergency and they should be protected. A reasonable form supplied by a licensed physician should be enough for such a waiver to be granted.
C – Those unfortunate people who may have died in the interim should have their estates reimbursed in full upon simple application and provision of a death certificate.
D – I also understand that some of our citizenry have made arrangements to fly on foreign carriers over which American laws might have little impact. To compensate those Americans who find themselves in a situation similar to the above (A, B or C), I would suggest the following:
A US government fund should be established to offer compensation to Americans who find themselves being denied such compensation by foreign air carriers. This fund shall remain active and in effect until all claims by American citizens have been satisfied within the specified time frame.
Any foreign carrier not willing to extend the 18-month extension and/or the waiver for ill or disabled citizens should be charged a significant surtax for using US airport facilities until the compensation fund is made whole. The surtax revenues will be deposited in the established fund.
US airlines partnered with foreign carriers who do not comply with the provisions above will have a choice to 1) Offer compensation by way of a flight of equal or greater value with the same conditions noted in A, B and C or 2) Pay the surtax fees until the compensation fund is made whole.
I understand that the airline industry finds itself in a difficult financial situation, but it is no more difficult than the millions of average Americans who are suffering physically, emotionally and financially as well.
Let’s all share the pecuniary load imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic and not burden the American citizens with the financial liabilities of this world and national emergency.
Thank you for your consideration regarding this concern held and shared by millions of your countrywomen and countrymen.
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