Making the Airlines Behave

Jun 29th, 1999, 07:59 AM
  #1  
cp
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Making the Airlines Behave

(Apologies for the Europeans)
Right now there are about 4 topics on the misery inflicted on leisure passengers. Cattle car seating, reservation and ticket SNAFUs, and airline indifference seem to be the central issues, though inedible food does affect everyone.

Did you have a terrible experience?

Call the airline, try to get the problem rectified or compensated.

THEN write your Congress critters. Right now Congress is considering a "Passenger's Bill of Rights" It's pretty weak legislation and the airlines are countering with even weaker "voluntary guidelines". As an American, this is something you can do to help alleviate the problem. Feeling fired up? Good. Now CC: your letter to the Department of Transportation. After all, you vote don't you? Make those guys do their job of representing the constituent.
I hate to say it, but refusing to Fly Delta, or United or Sardine Can Express is not going to make one bit of difference to that airline. Leisure advance purchase travellers are not their bread and butter.
It's going to take National legislation or the threat thereof to makes these billion dollar companies think about toeing the line.

Signed-
Just an activist
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 08:48 AM
  #2  
Peter
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Good point made. Hope others are not only reading but also acting. There is not much one can do individualy, but also will those laws effect prices in some way? larger seats, less seats, more $$/passanger??? There is always something for something...
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 09:25 AM
  #3  
Pierre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
How does one toe a line? Do you mean "tow?"
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 09:37 AM
  #4  
s.fowler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Pierre
The phrase "toe the line" is an idiom for "behave". I don't know the origin, but it could be tennis, where going over the line during your serve is penalized. Anyone else have the correct origin?
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 09:49 AM
  #5  
martha
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I beleive the phrase "toe the line" refers to the practice of having schoolchildren line up, toes on the line in question, to respond to a teacher's question.
In "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell mocks teh ignorance of people who write about "towing the line." I don't know if he deleted a paragraph about people who couldn't keep the origins of the phrase quite straight, but I'm worried.
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 09:59 AM
  #6  
martha
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Also found this explanation. Too athletic for my taste, but there's a citation, so....
"I can help you with toe the line, however! It is in fact a phrase which comes from the requirement in foot races to place one's toe on the line or mark
before starting the race. The phrase came to have the more general meaning
of `conform to rules.' It first appears in print in The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan, from 1813."
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 10:31 AM
  #7  
s.fowler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Thanks Martha!
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 10:52 AM
  #8  
April
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I love this place.
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 11:08 AM
  #9  
s.fowler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Yeah... me too A thread on crappy airline treatment segues into word orgins without losing a beat! Thanks "youse guys". [Yeah even you Tony ]
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 01:09 PM
  #10  
kam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sorry, guys, I know you're having fun, but back to the issue at hand--one we've all been barking and complaining about for so many posts. You can contact your representative easily by email in about the same time it takes to post on this forum. Go to www.house.gov/house/memberwww.html for a directory of emails of the congressmen. Ask them to support a strong Passengers' Bill of Rights.
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 10:07 PM
  #11  
April
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm not American, Kam.
 
Jun 30th, 1999, 01:59 AM
  #12  
Tony Hughes
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I believe 'toe the line' is a nautical reference, the 'line' being the column of vessles that sailed one behind the other as was the fashion in the 16th/17th century England.
 
Jun 30th, 1999, 04:17 AM
  #13  
ilisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
To those Americans who plan on writing to their congresspeople via email - if you want a response, remember that email is still considered a formal communication on the Hill. Therefore, phrase your letter accordingly and please, please include your mailing address. Don't be as informal in your email as you normally would. They are still more likely to respond to you through a letter, and not email. I am not trying to be condescending. I am a lobbyist by profession, and staffers on the Hill have told me that while they prefer to get email from their constituents, it is often difficult to respond to because people are way too informal, and forget to include an address. Additionally, Congress is due to go on recess in August, so you may want to set up a meeting with your members of Congress in their district offices to discuss in more detail the Passenger Bill of Rights.
 
Jun 30th, 1999, 10:04 AM
  #14  
cp
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks Ilisa !
I was just about to underscore the importance of including your address if you intend to e-mail anyone.

Also, please be specific in outlining what you think the airlines should be held to (in terms of how they make their fares available, minimum size requirements for seating, how you wish to be treated in the event that your plane gets stuck on the tarmac for hours).
Letter writing does make a difference, just remember last year when over 230,000 letters and e-mails were sent to the USDA. This caused them to completely change the way they were about to deal with organic food labeling.
 
Jun 30th, 1999, 11:50 AM
  #15  
zorah
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Kam: You'll be glad to know at least one of us actually did write her C'person. However, recommend to other Americans so inclined that they start at www.house.gov, click on "websites" option and work from there to find the name and e-address of their rep. (shameful one doesn't always know for sure -- site asks for zipcode, tells you who and how to email them). The html form you gave causes some servers a problem -- took me a little finagling.

To non-Americans: you stand to gain, too, if the US starts to ask for better conditions of its carriers, so forgive us for the parochial discussion. But by the same token, Stellarossa and Kim, what would be the comparable avenue of petition for your own country's carriers?

PS: writing IATA won't do it -- their administration is composed of carrier executives who -- QED -- are currently the problem.
 
Jul 1st, 1999, 05:25 AM
  #16  
Don
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This site claims to fwd. your complaints to the appropriate people: www.passengerrights.com
 
Jul 1st, 1999, 06:37 AM
  #17  
Tricia
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I thought it was "tow the line" being a nautical phrase and referring to the ropes. That each person had to pull their own weight- instead of one person doing all the work. Hmm... think the phrase is on the internet?
 
Jul 1st, 1999, 06:40 AM
  #18  
martha
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The phrase is on the internet, but so ae threats about the "Good Times" virus, international conspiracies,etc.
The thing to bear in mind is that the phrase refers to obedience (Putting your toes where they belong/doing what you're told), not productivity.
 
Jul 6th, 1999, 10:19 PM
  #19  
cass
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
up.
 
Jul 7th, 1999, 03:41 PM
  #20  
Peggy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the information. I will get in touch with my congressman. The airlines need to remember that many leisure travelers are also frequent business travelers, and we can affect their bread and butter.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:43 PM.