LOS ANGELES, CA (August 20, 2008) – As the US airline industry attempts to use “oil speculators” to draw attention away from the chronically low passenger satisfaction rates and an array of new fees, a new online source, www.TheAirlineOilSpin.com was launched today to encourage the public to see through the industry’s spin on the issue.

The site is a project of the Reaching Higher Coalition, a growing alliance of community groups, passenger rights organizations, clergy, elected leaders, and airport workers who are committed to improving standards in the US airline industry. TheAirlineOilSpin.com will function as an information source and forum to discuss and learn about the airline industry’s role in exacerbating their oil-related dilemmas, while at the same time benefiting from massive public subsidies.

While the airline industry has promoted multiple pieces of legislation that would place limits on some types of oil speculation, many of the bills supported by the industry include loopholes that allow the airlines themselves to continue speculating. At the same time, the industry has benefited from more than $8.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies since 2001, according to a recent report, Shortchanged(1), while passenger satisfaction levels and job quality standards for airline service workers have remained low.

The site also discusses the ways in which the airlines have failed to prepare for increasing oil prices by continuing to fly older, less fuel efficient planes, unlike many of their competitors in other parts of the world.

In the coming days, the site will ask visitors to send a message to Congressional Leaders, urging them to tie additional support for the airline industry to improved standards for airline passengers and workers.

“J.D. Power and Associates reported that airline passenger service is at a 3-year low, and it is no wonder when airlines are creating a ‘race to the bottom’ for front-line service workers who perform critical safety, security and service roles,” said Lily Wang with the Reaching Higher Coalition. “Whether we’re talking about carrying their legislation or doling out more subsidies, Congress shouldn’t be doing any more favors for an airline industry that appears to show such contempt for the American public.”

TheAirlineOilSpin.com will provide news and commentary on the airline industry’s position on oil speculation and what the industry has failed to do to minimize the effects of high-fuel costs on passengers and industry workers. Information about the site will be sent to subscribers and contributors of www.HowWasYourFlight.com, an online source for passengers aimed at raising awareness and improving standards within the airline industry.