[Update: Sign The Petition!] If You And I Bail Out The Airlines, Hotels, And Boeing, What Should We Ask For In Return?

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Update: I created a Whitehouse.gov petition for a traveler’s bill of rights here. Please take a minute to sign it and send to your friends and family!

The petition is limited to just 800 characters, but you can read the explanation of the demands below:  


Originally posted on 3/18:

US Airlines are seeking more than $50 billion in bailouts and they’ll likely get it:

 

But that’s not all.

Boeing wants $60 billion and hotels want a $250 billion bailout.

Those bailouts come from the taxpayers pockets. That’s you and me.

It’s fair to say that COVID-19 was an unpredictable once in a century event, but it’s still surprising that a travel industry that went through 9/11 and the Great Recession in the past 20 years didn’t do a better job preparing for the next major disruption.

AA CEO Doug Parker famously said in 2017 that he didn’t think American would ever lose money again. That’s why American spent more than 100% of their free cash flow over this past decade, spending $12.5 billion on buybacks of its own stock. Other airlines were not far behind as the industry spent a whopping 96% of their free cash flow over the past decade on stock repurchasing!

That type of head in the sand thinking is why so many airlines are in big trouble.

Luckily for them, mergers and acquisitions have made the airlines into monstrosities that are too big to fail. No matter how poorly they plan, they’ll still be bailed out.

The same goes for Boeing and the major hotel chains.

Mergers have decimated consumer benefits, while ensuring that the travel behemoths never go out of business.

Go ahead President Trump and bail them out. But ask consumers what they want in return for bailing them out.

The free market would normally sort most of this out, and things were just fine before airlines and hotels gobbled up the competition. However consolidation has emboldened the travel industry to devalue and strip away consumer benefits without consequence.

Here are some ideas off the top of my head, in no particular order, that should be conditions for accepting tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailout money:

  1. No more basic economy fares. These didn’t lower fares as promised, they just added restrictions and took away even more dignity from economy passengers.
  2. Families with kids under 13 need to be seated together. Airlines are upselling more and more of their seats. Families with kids should always be seated together in advance and not made to embarrassingly scramble on the plane. And traveling companions shouldn’t need to spend extra to sit together.
  3. Mileage programs should have published award charts. Airline and hotel mileage programs still have award charts, but Delta, United, and Hilton for example hide them from consumers to keep them in the dark. They should be forced to publish them.
  4. Devaluations should be announced at least 6 months in advance. Some programs treat their miles like the bank of Zimbabwe. If airlines and hotels want our help, they should treat consumers with respect and let us know what they plan on devaluing our mileage balances well in advance.
  5. Resort fees and destinations fees should be banned. Hotels want a bailout? They should have to agree to not charge hidden resort fees. Worse yet are the city hotels charging a destination fee. Be up front with your pricing and fair to consumers.
  6. Fuel surcharges and carrier imposed surcharges should be banned. These charges are to avoid paying taxes and add costs onto mileage award tickets that were once advertised as free awards.
  7. Stop shrinking airline seats. Airline seats are getting narrower even as passengers are getting wider. The distance between seats keeps shrinking. Is it time to regulate a minimum seat width and pitch?
  8. Stop shrinking airline bathrooms. Boeing’s 737MAX airplanes were unpopular even before consumers realized they were poorly engineered death traps, because Boeing and the airlines configured them to be horribly uncomfortable. Slimmer seats with less legroom then ever. And teeny tiny bathrooms where you can’t maneuver or wash your hands without getting soaked. Just like MCAS didn’t have to be designed to fail, the configuration of these planes don’t have to be designed by wannabe Torquemada engineers. Fix the problem just like you’re fixing MCAS!
  9. Give passengers back a free bag. Once upon a time everyone got 3 free bags, then is became 2, then 1, then none, and then the cost of bags started skyrocketing. In turn, people started bringing more and bigger carry-ons, which actually delays boarding-which ironically costs the airlines money. You want bailout money? Bring some humanity back and give everyone a free checked bag and a free carry-on bag.
  10. Change/Cancellation fees should be capped at a percentage of the fare. Many change fees today exceed the cost of a ticket, rendering tickets worthless if you need to make a change. And yet airlines can change the rules on the fly and make us wait 12 months to get a refund if they make changes to our flights. Airlines should agree to cap change and cancellations fees at a reasonable percentage of the fare paid, such as a $150 change fee with a cap of 30% of the actual cost of a ticket.
  11. Add Passenger Rights Regulations. Europe’s EU261 requires cash payments for delayed flights, cancelled flights, overbooked flights, downgrades, lost or delayed baggage, and more. US airlines can get away doing nothing in many of these cases. This should be rectified.
  12. Remove Deregulation Act Protections for airlines. The airlines can do pretty much whatever they want because the deregulation act prevents consumers from suing them in most cases. It’s time for these protections to be rolled back as airlines have abused consumer knowing they can’t be held accountable. United for example has blatantly lied about written lifetime million miler benefits, SilverWings lifetime membership benefits, and lifetime club benefits, but they can get away with it due to the deregulation act.
  13. Remove airport slot controls. Many airports limit the number of takeoff and landing slots. This inhibits normal competition and makes it hard for new airlines to launch.
  14. Require airlines to provide refunds when they cancel flights. Airlines are currently refusing to offer refunds on flights that they cancelled. They should be required to offer refunds when they cancel or change flights.

Do you want to see conditions added to a bailout? Click here for the contact information of your elected representatives and let them know!

What conditions would you want in exchange for bailing out the travel industry?

Leave a Reply

237 Comments On "[Update: Sign The Petition!] If You And I Bail Out The Airlines, Hotels, And Boeing, What Should We Ask For In Return?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Harry

Don’t bail them out

Mark

I couldn’t agree more, Dan perfectly said.

bigissy

dang those sound great

Anon

I agree Dan please talk to the president Im sure him or his son in law already follow you

Dan is the man

Spot on, and a great read. Thanks for sticking up for the consumer.

EXP Flyer

EU 261 equivalent

rangersin4

Want on time departures or partial refunds if not! No excuses! Space out the departures and cap the airline gate fees racket!

Nikel

Let them fail. The hard assets will still be there. Let a new company form. They don’t deserve a penny

Yitz

Cant argue a bit or agree more!

dandealer

That would be the problem; let them fail so all investors lose out then they reorganize in bankruptcy w/o any consequences

History Buff

Many good points. I don’t think airlines should be bailed out at all. Let them declare bankruptcy and start over. Overall they are clueless in what consumers should expect. Maybe new management is what they need, not a bushel of our money with no strings attached.

MoG

@dan, Brilliant!

(This was predicted… and I love that Trump calls it the Chinese virus)

Shilodude

+1

Ali

Boo. You do know there has been a recent increase in hate crimes on random Asian-Americans, right?

Abe

@Dan most importantly if an airline cancels a flight they should reimburse customer similar to European laws.

Adam

Great Article!!! Yes we should ask for most of your list as we will be sporting the bill and increasing value for the shareholders with our tax dollars

Jack out of the box

Dan, you can bail them out with your miles/points.

HW

More like, he should bail them out with his money so his points don’t go obsolete

HW

“I’m not saying all of these ideas should be implemented”

Well I say most certainly do, do everything listed! It’s outrageous!

SG

Allow selling of points

+1

Ma man

Yossi170

Maybe write up a sample letter to send to our politicians, I bet more ppl will send it that way

the big x

or a petittion that people could sign

Helen

Totally agree with all of it!!! Even if only some of it would be implemented, the traveling world will be in a much better place.

Eli

I actually strongly disagree with most of your suggestions. I think anything that is included “for free” is really just absorbed in the price, causing price increases.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch!
Charging “À la carte” allows the no-frills passengers to get a better deal.
(I typically fly alone, with nothing more than a backpack. I (like MANY others) have no need for baggage allowance, snacks, seat selection, etc)
My 2 cents.

Usher

Hey Dan,
why don’t you open an airline with all these things you mentioned. we (still) live in a free country and private airlines should operate how they want. don’t like it, don’t use them.
having said that, they shouldn’t get any bailout money. they should be responsible for their mistakes and mismanagement. every company should have cash aside for a rainy day.
if they need to go thru bankruptcy and/or being bought out. so be it.

Nunu

Airlines control slots at airports especially when its their hub, limited amount of slots

Very hard to open brand new airline

Bostener

You really think the airline industry is a free market???

Hermolis for all

BETTER KSML!

Crackerjack

Sent the president a link hope he joins def

Cook

I am glad banning basic economy scored first place on your list (even if you ordered them randomly 🙂
Basic economy is downright dehumanizing. (especially as passengers could be paying near full fare and still be classed basic.)

Crackerjack

DDF

Lisa H Bogart

No more stock buy-backs!

willie

keep Dreaming

Shmuel

Definitely agree. If they are taking our money, they need to give us something in return.

S

How do these bailouts work – they get straight cash payments from the government?
Why can’t the government at least give it as a loan, so when the company is back up and booming in a few months/years, they have to pay it back.

the big x

why can’t it be a tax break for them?

Ponovezh

It is given as a loan. GM paid back the entire loan when they were bailed out by Obama, plus more.

abey

more room for competition is the most important thing imo, these airlines are not afraid to go bust because no one can compete thanks to slot restrictions and many other anti competitive measures

Bostener

Airlines and hotels have the money for expansive lobbyists and lawyers so they get to make the rules, they literally own the law makers.

We consumers don’t have that power.

Hindy

If the airlines and hotels receive mega buck. What about the mom and pop travel agencies?

farmbochur

Ironic how the last decade of airline buybacks is so close to the $50B bail out request. Basically a transfer of cash from tax payers to stock holders.

YesThatsMe

I would not be surprised if Buffett picks up 2 airlines now…

Elli

I heard he already said he’s investing 50b in delta..

abey

And no offense @dan but your list is heavily weighted towards miles and benefits which is not what is wrong with this industry, they are not a right. merely a benefit introduced to gain customers, dont like it ? dont take it.
What we do need is to make the playing field more even in many ways, and by extension the more competition will force the airlines to treat costumers fairly

Eric

Sent this to both of my Senators!

eds183

Make any loans senior to all other debt and restrict any stock buybacks until every red penny is paid back.

Oh.. and most of the stuff you said above.. 🙂

Bostener

How can do that to the current debt holders? Very unfair to them. Probably illegal to ilegal too.

Bostener

How can you do that to the current debt holders? Very unfair to them. Probably illegal ilegal too.

Yaakov Lopin
Ricster

Totally agree. I need 1 billion myself..

nathan

Dan,

You are spot on in this article. Airlines should not get a bailout unless they realize why they are still in business. Its because of us the consumers whose tax dollars will be used to save them. Your conditions in order to save them should be built in before and money comes their way.The bailout saves jobs but at the same time there is no fiscal responsibility if you always know in the back of your mind the government will help.

Yosef

With all your ideas the price of a ticket will triple. You know that.

BothofUs2

Agree with your 12 items Dan, very well put. Especially like the airline seat size minimums and EU 261 like regulations.

aviv

Maybe once and for all they will allow a transfer/sale of a ticket to another person in case you can’t fly?? Never understood that rule…

Mike

Bump. I’m on on this one

Pointer

Spot on!

I do disagree with #3.
Airlines have the right to have whatever crappy loyalty program they see fit, we can then vote with our wallets. Loyalty programs are not a right.

Dan\'s the Man

Any change/cancellation fees should also apply to the airline. If they change and/or cancel a flight they should have to refund (or even pay out if the fee is more than the original ticket) just like they expect the passengers to do.

Sammy J

I think Dan mentioned the most compelling reason that the airline and hotel industries should not be bailed out. They have consolidated to such a degree of monopolies that their bankruptcy is the only way to really return consumer rights and dignity to this sector, these guys need to be humbled!

The second but equally important point is that US taxpayers do not need to pay for their greedy stock buyback initiatives. They were greedy, it blew up in their faces and now they have to eat it!

Great article Dan and thanks so much for posting the kids activities, it should be a zechus for you and your family!

knowitall

@Dan spot on. Expanding on #11, I would like to see an interline agreement between the big 4 so passengers can get to their destinations quickly during IRROPS.

Freecountry

I say NO BAIL OUTS! The reason they are irresponsible with their spending is because they know that if they ever were in trouble they’d be bailed out. Stop bailing them out and they’ll learn!

Freecountry

If my business fails I don’t get bailed out l, they shouldn’t either. That’s simply not fair!

David

I agree, but what will me and you have out of this if they don’t get?

AlizaB

Realistically lazy. If you formulate an actual letter to forward or cut and paste, a lot more people will take action.

Joey

+1

Does someone want to write up a sample letter and post it here for people to send to their politician?

Thanks

Bwnfox

What form will the bailout take? It should be in the form of equity or a loan which would be repaid. This is similar to the auto industry bailout. Kind of on the fence as to whether I trust the government to take on any positions on the boards of these airlines which would allow them to push for some of these changes.

gemarakop

they should nit be bailed out there will be an industry because someone/s will buy their assets and hire their workers.

Shmoogrr

@Dan, how about you begin a change.org petition?

David

I don’t think they should be bailed out. Once they inevitably collapse, someone else will be there to pick up the scraps and start a “new American airlines” or a “new Delta.” If you want to impose these suggestions on the airlines, they would find some other way to charge their customers. Greed is greed. What this industry needs is new management who understand business and consumer loyalty. Thanks for all your updates during this time

LG

The only way this will have a chance to make a difference is if there is a petition, and I’m sure it will go viral.
Dan, can you please start a petition, no one can write it up better than you.

DonZ

Preferred shares held in the appropriate government trust; paying a 6-8% annual dividend. This is what Buffet typically expects for offering this ‘bailout service’. This would be a government ‘takeover’ of private industry, but could be balanced by a requirement of these preferred shares to be bought back by the company over the next 20 years.

BC

1, EU 261 type of rule
2, Limits on diminished legroom
3, Limits on adding seats across beyond original model. ie, 3-4-3 on 777 is a no no.
4, Mandates regarding size of lavoratory.
5, Mandate airlines reissue shares on the market TODAY equal to number of shares bought back in the last 3 years.
6, Clawback bonuses that were based on share price raised by buybacks. No mercy on Delta which squandered 2 months pay on bonuses recently.
7, No bonuses till 24 months after all loans repaid.

I do not advocate for free seat selection or free baggage, it is a cost and many passengers do not avail of this. I do recommend fair treatment of carry on bags. If they fit the rules then no airline employee should have the right to ban them unless they were on board and proven no room. Although not a US airline, LH has been caught refusing carry on baggage that fit their rules.

Cook

I can attest to the varacity of your last sentence.

Nathan

Amazing!

Sam

Tag senator Chuck Schumer. He usually goes hard on the aviation industry.

qsman

If the airlines are not bailed out, I would postulate we will no longer have fares such as $259 r/t to TLV, $19 fares on JetBlue along with the plethora of price mistakes that Dan & co post for us. The entire DD community will have nothing to do but buy things from Amazon (along with constant reviews on how to change S&S delivery dates)

Traffic to the DD site will drop from 500 quintilian hits per day to just under 500 since we can’t fly anywhere anyhow.

If and when the fare deals do come back, everyone will forget all the past learned lessons and call airlines to confirm price mistakes, be confused about booking infants, question when booking TLV-JFK-Antarctica if they can not fly the last leg, etc etc.

So I say BAIL THEM OUT 🙂

Gaby

No bail out whatsoever. And all your good points should come with lucrative loans

Jiminy Cricket

SEATS not sardine chutes. Give us seats and honesty and enough air to breathe in the cabin

Doovid

Boeing is not in the same boat as the airlines. Even if the airlines get a bailout, Boeing killed themselves. Nothing to do with the Covid.

Achshell

Dan, you can bail them out with your points alone

Leo

#13 Allow name changes. If they have my money there should be a way for them to allow this if i want to transfer this ticket to someone else.

Ynot

Name changes is a TSA safety rule as far as I heard

MoG

it should be enough to give 24 hour notice of name change

M

Tsa don’t control airline reservations.
In the airport everything it’s bcs 9/11
The bagg fee also it’s bcs 9/11

And fuel surcharge also bcs of fuel hike in 2008 when it went up to 160 a barrel.

Its been under 50 usd for a good 10 years we are still paying.

sasha

Cant them apply for low interest loan first.

What about pay cut for the upper levels?

Something to start with before talking about bail out.

Dont see the managements do something before asking for a handout.

Look at Singapore. Voluntary pay cut for SQ management staff starting from the top down. Even the government is taking pay cut starting from the top.

Steve

Dan don’t forget abt the airlines chucking people off flights for no good reason Dr. Dao etc.,and many cases with jewish passengers

Srulky

Onshore Customer Service

I think WN, B6, and maybe DL will be okay.
As for everyone else: KARMA BABY!

Tonymike

No to Bailouts. The airline industry made 100 BILLION dollars on ancillary fees in the last 10 years as well as spend BILLIONS on stock/share buybacks. The shareholders made the money and now they have to pay upon the risk that they took and not at taxpayer expense. Where does it end? You forgot the native american casinos want 18 Billion as well and the cruise lines. What is hollywood going to ask for a bailout after a movie flops? This is not capitalism. It is socialism for private profits and capitalism for losses.

Congress is so disgusted with this that there is a bill to stop the ancillary fees but even it does not go far enough. Check the Forbid Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act of 2016 and should be reintroduced.

If they get a penny of taxpayer money, it should be with the conditions of no ancillary fees for 5 years, no share buybacks forever (it was illegal until clinton got into office), no change fees as well. Southwest does most of this and they are making money.

If we bail them out, this will be the end of the american empire.

Levi

Interesting question. My two cents: almost all of the measures you list would reduce airline competition, profitability and innovation, likely increasing prices.

Additionally, if you want ppl to invest in future, you need to provide governmental support today via some kind of bailout. If not, and if you do the above items that decrease profitability, then although there used to be value in the assets, who would buy them only to operate at lower margins, made still lower due to no leverage? Additionally, if you dknt provide support even to a strategically important industry such as airlines, then creditors will no longer fund companies, likely causing a seizing up of credit conditions and another financial crisis.

Additionally, if you allow bankruptcy, not only will all labor contracts be renegotiated likely causing retrenchment for the airlines, but also all third party contracts too: so expect downsizing among GDSs, baggage handlers etc.

So what should be done? Increased regulation to avoid the recurrence in future: that means

1) requiring better liquidity to be able to withstand a longer time without revenues – ie more cash kn hand. That would be in favor of creditors too who are necessary to keep happy, but penalize existing shareholders because cash drag reduces margins.

2) second, create a maximum allowable leverage (debt) – this in other words means less future buybacks and dividends, which in the past was funded by debt. It would also mean the airlines would be stronger in future and have more unencumbered assets to realize cash from banks in event of crisis

3) most importantly, any bailout must be in the form of equity ie the government takes ownership of a piece of the airline in equal measure to its bailout size at today’s share price. This means that if there is a quick snap back in conditions and everything looks chunky sorry again, the airlines dnnt simply pay back the money with 3% interest: instead the taxpayer has a full share in the recovery and existing shareholders effectively have sold a pro rate share at the reduced price – effectively giving back the dividends and buybacks.

Levi

First reasonable answer here. Well done, sir

Levi

Very reasonable. Well thought out.

Sara

How about a credit every year, for say 5 years, good for 1 up to 1 rt, coast to coast, ….. Good for any airline. And yes – give us back the bags.

petition
Moshe

Umm, shouldn’t the question be, why isn’t the government bailing us out? Why is always socialism for corporations but not for citizens?

Ah

Dan – you are 100 percent right. Can we start a petition with this article? If all your readers sign on it… We will be in the right start. PLEASE??

Phyllis Bernstein

Love your list. As I was reading it and thought about what to add, I saw you already had it on list. Who are you sending this to? Can we copy and paste to our elected officials?

Michael

The initial question is worded very poorly. We should think of the tens or hundreds of thousands of employees who are the backbone of these industries rather than immediately trying to extract some sick quid pro quo in return for livelihoods. This isn’t a time for joyous airing of grievances or grave dancing.

yuneeq

What about the 330 million people that are bailing them out, are we permitted to think on their behalf?

Michael

If you want to sacrifice tens of thousands of employee families to “stick it to” a few handfuls of executives with generational wealth who will be fine regardless, well…congrats.

JohnB

Love all your ideas! How can we make this happen?

shmelke

We should ask for leg room on all planes

Michael

And let’s tell the truth. The US government got paid back in full plus interest from the 2008 financial “bailout”. Truth is more powerful than fear.

Moshe

And all the executives at AIG got Huge bonuses because of taxpayers, but the taxpayers did not.

Michael

Taxpayers got paid back in full plus interest. If your taxes didn’t skyrocket, then you shouldn’t have been shocked you didn’t get a huge personal payment check.

Stephen KatZ

No industry — not airlines, not hotels, not cruise ships — should be bailed out. They can stay in business by borrowing at rock-bottom rates, using their assets as collateral. Taxpayer money should be used to bail out people, not corporations.

Michael

Who exactly do you think make up corporations? 5 c-suite level billionaires? Or tens of thousands of working people with families?

Rod

I understand the bailout – the bailout helps the millions upon millions of American who rely on the airlines.

I want something in return: for at least the next 10 years (including any new airlines), no baggage fee in excess of $20, no less than 35″/89 cm of legroom in coach, no charge for
carry-on, no more than $50 change fee, and no more than $10 for a seat assignment.

Carl

Since this administration is advocating SOCIALISM, I don’t expect we’ll get anything . . like a return to free modification of tickets, free checked bag . . in return.

Rod

Carl, I’m afraid you are right.

r m

Dan, you nailed it as usual. Can I copy your article to start a petition on Change.org or the White house website?

Achshell

Require at least 1 daily flight from N12 (Lakewood NJ airport) direct to TLV. As well as a free shuttle flight every 30 minutes taking off from Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn to JFK (Rd clousure will be required during take off and landing)

Texas Totty

I’ll add one: Parking fees for hotels. They could really set you back (especially on award nights).
At least they should charge similar prices to nearby lots and garages.

Yitz

Heres a letter version of this article that i put together to send to our elected officials. LETS DO THIS

To whom this may concern:
It came to my attention that the airline and hospitality industries are requesting a federal bailout in light of the effect coronavirus had on their operations. I humbly suggest that some or all of the following reforms are introduced as conditions to give back to we the people for supplying our tax money for the bailout:
1) NO MORE BASIC ECONOMY FARES. These didn’t lower fares as promised, they just added restrictions and took away even more dignity from economy passengers.
2) FAMILIES WITH KIDS AGE 13 AND UNDER MUST BE SEATED TOGETHER. Airlines are upselling more and more of their seats. Families with kids should always be seated together in advance and not made to embarrassingly scramble on the plane. And traveling companions shouldn’t need to spend extra to sit together.
3) MILEAGE PROGRAMS SHOULD HAVE PUBLISHED AWARD CHARTS. Airline and hotel mileage programs still have award charts, but Delta, United, and Hilton for example hide them from consumers to keep them in the dark. They should be forced to publish them.
4) DEVALUATIONS SHOULD BE ANNOUNCED AT LEAST 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE. Some programs treat their miles like the bank of Zimbabwe. If airlines and hotels want our help, they should treat consumers with respect and let us know what they plan on devaluing our mileage balances well in advance.
5) RESORT FEES AND DESTINATIONS FEES SHOULD BE BANNED. Hotels want a bailout? They should have to agree to not charge hidden resort fees. Worse yet are the city hotels charging a destination fee. Be up front with your pricing and fair to consumers.
6) FUEL SURCHARGES AND CARRIER IMPOSED SURCHARGES SHOULD BE BANNED. These charges are to avoid paying taxes and add costs onto mileage award tickets that were once advertised as free awards.
7) STOP SHRINKING AIRLINE SEATS. Airline seats are getting narrower even as passengers are getting wider. The distance between seats keeps shrinking. Is it time to regulate a minimum seat width and pitch?
8) STOP SHRINKING AIRLINE BATHROOMS. Boeing’s 737MAX airplanes were unpopular even before consumers realized they were poorly engineered death traps, because Boeing and the airlines configured them to be horribly uncomfortable. Slimmer seats with less legroom then ever. And teeny tiny bathrooms where you can’t maneuver or wash your hands without getting soaked. Just like MCAS didn’t have to be designed to fail, the configuration of these planes don’t have to be designed by wannabe Torquemada engineers. Fix the problem just like you’re fixing MCAS!
9) GIVE PASSENGERS BACK A FREE BAG. Once upon a time everyone got 3 free bags, then is became 2, then 1, then none, and then the cost of bags started skyrocketing. In turn, people started bringing more and bigger carry-ons, which actually delays boarding-which ironically costs the airlines money. You want bailout money? Bring some humanity back and give everyone a free checked bag and a free carry-on bag.
10) CHANGE/CANCELLATION FEES SHOULD BE CAPPED AT A PERCENTAGE OF THE FARE. Many change fees today exceed the cost of a ticket, rendering tickets worthless if you need to make a change. And yet airlines can change the rules on the fly and make us wait 12 months to get a refund if they make changes to our flights. Airlines should agree to cap change and cancellations fees at a reasonable percentage of the fare paid, such as a $150 change fee with a cap of 30% of the actual cost of a ticket.
11) ADD PASSENGER RIGHTS REGULATIONS. Europe’s EU261 requires cash payments for delayed flights, cancelled flights, overbooked flights, downgrades, lost or delayed baggage, and more. US airlines can get away doing nothing in many of these cases. This should be rectified.
12) REMOVE DEREGULATION ACT PROTECTIONS FOR AIRLINES. The airlines can do pretty much whatever they want because the deregulation act prevents consumers from suing them in most cases. It’s time for these protections to be rolled back as airlines have abused consumer knowing they can’t be held accountable. United for example has blatantly lied about written lifetime million miler benefits, SilverWings lifetime membership benefits, and lifetime club benefits, but they can get away with it due to the deregulation act.
Thank you for considering my suggestion and may we all get through this difficult period in good health of body and spirit.

Sheep

i think on balance the government supports these readers rather than the readers pay taxes, so your opinion shouldn’t matter

Motti

There was a talk in the media that the airlines make more money from the credit cards than from the flights. Having routes is just a היכי תמצא to have a credit card with their logo.

Shilodude

Rock on Dan! Can we PLEASE PLEAEE start a petition?? Change.com??

Holly

When we the tax payers are allowing any business to set prices, make us pay for the fuel when they didn’t Lock prices and continue to add costs because they can, they don’t have to account for paying the CEO 11.7 million and buy own stock that lose money then nothing changes and they are to blame for not having 2 weeks of reserves to pay employees. Easy to get more money so a bad business never goes bankrupt. We’re all enabling bad behavior every time they cry poor me spent it and lost it now bail me out as a spoiled child is rewarded so they get what they want. Learning is to fail that’s better then abusing those paying for less and are putting our health at risk. I have tons of free tickets but not worth the pain to fly on American

Maifriend

No free money to airlines/hotel chains = no tax cuts, only loans should be granted with tax payers owing a stake. No stock buy back ever. Keep the money for the next disaster even if it means piling up cash. No bonuses for top execs until they repay the loans with interests. All corporate profits go towards repaying loans.

Deborah

Full refund on any cancellation because of Coronavirus. SW not doing this as of today, even for senior citizens.

cbsfan1908@yahoo.com

Yasher Koach! Send this to the White House, David Friedman, Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner or anyone else with access to the President’s ear. How about lower or no CC annual fees on these branded CC.

MoG

Nikki Haley resigns from Boeing board because she opposes a federal bailout.

“I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position.”

Nachmen

Signed! Thanks Dan

chff

Signed – Thanks!

Sruly

Signed. Thanks @Dan!

Joe

Dan,
Why is your petition not updating? I signed. My wife signed. Still says only 1 person signed.

Jz

Your millions of mileage points will go with the airlines that goes bankrupt. Food for thought

bigissy

I think your petition is broken. ive signed and verified and still showing that no one has signed

Irina

Signed!

Another Dan

Signed

Soly

I agree with dan theyre are getting very petty and its pissing me off theyre so cheap these days charging you for everything soon theyll impose a bathroom fee !!!!!

Lisa

We signed and it doesn’t show up. Why?

Emes vort

I just think everyone on this blog should keep their mouths shut while businesses are going through such terrible times as everyone here is a moocher

gemarakop

They irresponsibly spent all their cash and their now coming to US to fund them we can ask for whatever we want in exchange for OURs and our children’s money.

Andrew

While I agree to your list of demands when it comes to airlines I believe that cruise companies should not get a penny. They are all incorporated in other countries, they all fly foreign flags, pay no taxes to the US, have mostly foreign crew, don’t follow US labor laws and also are not an essential service such as an airline. They are merely a luxury category. No bailouts whatsoever for them.

Chaim

Signed

gemarakop

signed Why does it say only 1 signed?

Seth

Don’t bail them out, buy them. The American people can reap all future benefits in an annual dividend.

neverflyUkraine

signed!

Yankel

If you would like to put all these restrictions on airlines be prepared for them to need to be bailed out many more times.

Soly

Its funny how you have 158 comments here and only 1 signed the petition which was me

El Capitan

Many people signed. There’s an issue with the website. It won’t update

Mike

It’s funny how there is 158 comments here but you don’t read them where people say the signed the petition but it’s not showing up.

jeff

you claim airline execs put there head in sand not preparing more responsibly just in case such a rainy day~I think you answered the question with your other comments ab knowing they will get more CHARITY so why not use your money for buybacks etc.to the fullest extent and allow feds to support!! dosent take a genius! max profit matters!

AdamH

Hope it works!

Airline Employee

Dan I hope your petetion doesn’t cost thousands of people their jobs.

M

Why to bail them out,!

Why they feel untitled to our taxes…

Its a private business like any other.

And I think they are abusing the system with their numbers.
Is this a donation or a long term free loan?..

Let them sell share.

BigAl

Signed! Dan thanks for all the great work

Chaim Weiss

I know a few people that signed and it shows one signature. Not sure why

iahphx

I don’t really expect a “deals blogger” or his readers to understand Wall Street finance but, in case you’re interested, it would not actually have been possible for any of the major US airlines to “have enough cash” to survive the likely outcome of this pandemic. For all the blather about “financial irresponsibility,” the US airlines have been remarkably responsible with keeping huge sums of money in cash since 9/11. Before 9/11, having a billion in cash was considered a lot of reserves. Now, big USA airlines keep 7 or 8 times that. It was all designed to make them capable of withstanding a catastrophic event like 9/11. The problem is that the current situation is at least 5 or 10 times as bad as 9/11. Demand is immediately going to zero for an indefinite time. No capital-intensive intensive industry could ever plan for such a doomsday scenario; honestly, the only things worse I could imagine are widespread nuclear war or alien invasion.
But wait, you say. What if instead of keeping $7 or $8 billion in cash, they had halted all their stock buybacks and dividends and instead kept, say, $40 billion. Just in case of a worldwide nuclear war (or the world’s greatest pandemic). The problem is that in a free market economy, this could never work for a publicly traded company. Airline stock valuations are notoriously low because of the perceived risks of the business. The capitalization of many US airlines has not been much more than their cash on hand, and investors don’t highly value excess cash sitting around for some highly unlikely 100-year-event. If American, for example, had kept $40 billion in cash sitting in a bank account, a corporate raider or “shareholder activist” would have undoubtedly seized control of the business, “looted” this excess cash, and left the company with even fewer reserves. That’s what happens in capitalism. Preposterous amounts of excess cash in a business is inefficient and unsustainable. Thinking otherwise is simply naive.
End of the economics lesson. You can now go back to listing your pie-in-the-sky “consumer demands.”

gemarakop

Or In a capitalist structure you first ask warren buffet if he would buy $50 billion worth of convertible preferred shares and not for freebies from the government. Oh wait!!!?? where did he get that money why diddn’t he spend it on overpriced share buybacks or risk losing his company???

Levi

Mr Buffett has said many times that he is supportive of buybacks. It seems that your point hinges on Mr Buffets opinion so thought you uought to know that it isn’t what you think it is

gemarakop

If you read Mr. Buffets letters you would know he is of the opinion that he can create more than the worth of a dollar for every dollar he invests. He also wrote that he would not put himself in the position that he would need to depend on others generosity. Furthermore you would know that he is in the opinion that share buybacks are only worth it if the shares are cheap. If you every read anything from Benjamin graham (considered one of buffets mentors) you would know that he writes explicitly against company mangers who don’t give dividends and instead destroy the value of their stockholders shares. Furthermore my comment had nothing to do with his opinion and more to do with borrowing money from him just like 2008 and the recent oxy preferred shares issue.

Andy

As a financial advisor I always recommend a six month emergency fund to everyone. The airlines maintained about a two week emergency fund. They couldn’t have even survived another 9/11 event today. And as far as preposterous amounts of cash being unsustainable, go tell that to Apple, Microsoft, Berkshire, and the endowment funds of multiple Ivy League universities. All of these institutions have crazy amounts of money sitting in the bank and they do very well, despite outside pressure to spend more of it.

Cliff

They will get all this free money to keep them in business. When this is all over we won’t get any deals. It will be a win win for them and a loss for the consumer. If they don’t get as much they will still make their money back at the end of this crisis.

Levi

Why a loss for the consumer? Would you prefer they go bankrupt and you stayed home? I think what you really mean is that you’d like to benefit in some way here, even though you’re not really a counterparty here. Let me ask another question, why are we so worried about the 50billion airline bailout but not as much about the 250billion hotel bailout? Aren’t there some free room nights that you guys want?

Gaby

Doesn’t take my signature
Something’s wrong

Ali

I am in favor of bailing out the airlines and hotels, as long as they pay taxes.

I am not in favor of bailing out the cruise industry, they are registered abroad to avoid taxes. Furthermore, I think Carnival (Princess) should be held criminally liable for each cruise ship they sailed after the first coronavirus-impacted (Diamond Princess) one. At least two more (including one in the water now) have had COVID-19 outbreaks. They put profit before people. People died because they were on those cruises. That is not okay.

M

Carnival shouldnt responsible of the people stupidity

They put fun and vacation before their life.

Levi

Very good point. They’re all registered in Liberia. I would say to let Liberia bail them out. But there is no sense to make this short term liquidity issue cause mass layoffs for ANY industry. The fed can create unlimited money- let’s do that just this year.

wondering

Even if the airlines have to agree to all these conditions, I am sure they will find other ways to treat us bad. They’ve proven pretty good at that until now. And even if not, they will for sure increase fares dramatically if they have to make such changes.

weiss

send it also to other bloggers

Thankful

Thank you Dan! I signed the petition.

Sal2011

@dan love the optimism and the requirements but sadly pretty sure this is a go fight city hall situation.. we are not likely to see these changes not that I wouldn’t love to… and yea I’ll sign the petition

Joseph

Thanks dan just signed

fjdo

Sticky this to the top please!!!!

Yitzchok Brandys

+1

El Capitan

+1000

Yan

@Dan, I agree 100%. One more line has to be added, name change fees. If it is a TSA rule how could they change for a fee? I once changed my wife’s name on in the airport (travel agent misspelled) and ElAl charged me $250

Chuchum Ainer

I’m still not fully understanding the need to bail them out, or in other words, why the airlines are too big to fail.

Many of them have already once gone through chapter 11.

Will there not be companies ready to gobble them up? Warren Buffett seems interested in buying delta anyway. Are jetblue and southwest also about to fail? I’m sure they’d love the chance to cheaply buy some more routes, slots and planes. Maybe Southwest will go back to EWR.

It seems the bailout will happen though. So I guess these consumerist policies are the best we can push for.

Buruch

What’s the rationale to allow them to devalue miles at all?
I think most importantly, once you buy a ticket, you can gift or sell it to whomever you want. You own it. Same for points. If the TSA wants, they can put in a time limit.

Mordechai Y Rozwaski

Where do i sign the petition??

Freecountry

Why should we demand no basic economy, it’s a way for people to get cheaper tickets. No one is forcing anyone to but basic economy it’s ban option for those who are willing to do with less. The Truth is just get the airline CC and most restrictions aren’t applicable.

yesitsme

Read:
No more basic economy fares. These didn’t lower fares as promised, they just added restrictions and took away even more dignity from economy passengers.

Freecountry

How can you say these don’t lower fares?without it we’d pay economy fares

OD

what happens if we don’t get the required amount of signatures we are way short

yair

Seats should be freely transferrable. Not clear to me why if I bought a seat I shouldn’t be able to buy and sell that seat on the secondary market.

renorich

Signed it!

> Needs 99,052 signatures by April 23, 2020

Pr

They should nationalize the airlines (not that different than all these regulations you are suggesting). Another option is give employees of the airlines more control. Strong unions and reps on the board. Punish the CEOs and Board directors.

BC

Sure, give the whole airline to employees. Thus you have Delta on the ropes just after blowing most of its profits the last three years on bonuses to employees. Most employees got two months just in the past year. Those 2 months pay would keep all employees getting paid till May with no bailout.

Moshe

Thank you @dan for forward thinking in how yo use the situation for consumer advantages (really rights, like you write).

mf

@DAN
what do you gain for requesting US airlines not to charge fuel surcharges on award tickets when they anyways don’t. the problem is foreign carriers like Lufthansa and Austrian, the request should be to make a law like brazil that any award ticket originating in brazil is not allowed to have fuel surcharges

am I right?

YM

@Dan, how many readers do you have daily on the blog? Trying to figure out the numbers for the petition..

YM

This article send to imply that the airlines are getting even worse now not better..
Cutting out food and drink on flights.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/03/25/business/us-airline-in-flight-changes/index.html

Levi

Haha! This is awesome. So you think they should continue to operate their meals while they are in process of going bankrupt. Maybe you’d like your meal delivered to your home?

With respect, this is emblematic of how the demands of the people on this thread are wide of the mark. The purpose of this bill is not to help customers, it’s to help businesses, employees and the economy. It’s not a time for “whataboutery”

YM

It’s bad enough I have to eat airplane meals on the plane, now you want me to eat them at home as well?? No thanks, I definitely don’t want them delivered to my home. The beverages on the other hand, now that’s a different story. I could definitely do with a pallet or two of soda cans especially now in quarantine..

Levi

Well said 🙂

username

Came here to post this. FromAA
For the safety of our customers and flight attendants, we’re temporarily suspending food and beverage service on flights under 2,200 miles (typically less than 4½ hours). Limited beverages will be available upon request. On flights over 2,200 miles (typically longer than 4½ hours), we will continue to offer a streamlined food and beverage service.

B

Airline CEOs recently promised to stop stock buybacks and paying dividends in exchange for help from the federal government.

Jb

I would add that you have longer then 24 hours to cancel a ticket once you book

DAVID

Don’t bail them out

jew

Unless we get other bloggers to post this I don’t see us getting even the minimum 100k signatures

Myi

Well written post, just seeing this now!
Put together very well, and I see there’s many who disagree! Yeh such a petition will be quite hard to achieve!

Unless people actually make a move and read and pass on to another 5 people!

wpDiscuz