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Passengers' group calls airline CEO's fuel appeal height of arrogance

eTN  Jul 14, 2008

NAPA VALLEY, California - today condemned airlines' efforts to recruit passengers to lobby Congress to curb oil speculation as the "height of arrogance." CAPBOR founder and former Stock Broker Kate Hanni, said, "We know from past experience that the airlines, who regularly strand passengers without food, water or sanitary facilities, have no sense of shame, but this appeal to the same public that they regularly abuse, to seek intervention on their behalf in the same free market that they cloak themselves in, gives new meaning to the word 'shameless.'"

"The major carriers were wrong, with the exception of Southwest Airlines, about where the oil prices were going and now they expect the passengers to bail them out, while opposing everything the passengers need," said Kate. Every airline except for Southwest gambled regarding oil prices, and they lost. Hedging was a dirt-cheap solution one year ago that was available to all of the airlines.

In an open letter to the public signed by 12 airline CEO's, the carriers are asking the public to support their call for a congressional curb on "oil speculation."

"We have been fighting for over a year now to get Congress to mandate humane treatment for stranded airline passengers. At every step our volunteers are met by armies of paid airline lobbyists and lawyers arguing that providing decent treatment for passengers would interfere with the operation of the free market. Now, when that same free market pinches the airlines, they are the first ones to run to the government for help," Ms. Hanni continued.

"The conversation that the public needs to have with its elected representatives is to urge them to support passengers' rights legislation now," Ms. Hanni said.

On Sunday over 1,000 recorded calls were received from stranded passengers claiming they had been on the tarmac for 4 hours or more without food, water and told not to get out of their seats. It's outrageous and any bailouts or help that Congress offers the airlines should include mandatory Passengers Rights Provisions as stated in HR: 6355.

The Coalition has 23,300 members. They are joined by the Consumer's Union, Public Citizen, Consumer Federation of America, U.S. PIRG, NSL, ACAP, IAM and NATCA.

Passengers' group calls airline CEO's fuel appeal height of arrogance

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