The Spectacle Blog

And If You Believe That…

By on 2.21.07 | 2:33PM

Whenever you hear the terms "reasonable," "fair," and "decency" regarding government regulation, you can be pretty sure that said regulation will be anything but. It's all right there in the Washington Post's endorsement of the silly "Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights":

Meanwhile, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced a passengers' bill of rights on Saturday and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) plans to do the same next week. Both bills require airlines to allow travelers to get off planes after three hours of delay. That's more reasonable than what JetBlue is offering. And Mr. Thompson's bill goes a step further to mandate frequent updates on the cause and timing of delays.

Kate Hanni, who founded the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights after being trapped in Austin on an American Airlines jet with no food, water or access to a bathroom for eight hours in December, wants a mandated 150 percent refund for passengers who are bumped or whose flights are canceled or postponed. The congressional bills wisely avoid saddling the very competitive and not-very-profitable airline industry with potentially crippling penalties. Neither should the government be micromanaging airline customer service. But setting minimal standards of decency seems like a fair approach.

I particularly like this line: " The congressional bills wisely avoid saddling the very competitive and not-very-profitable airline industry with potentially crippling penalties." SURE THEY DO! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!! And even if this legislation is relatively mild, you can be sure that the social engineers like Boxer will be back to engage in more micromanaging later on.

I also wonder what's going to happen to safety if the government mandates a 150 percent refund for folks on flights that are cancelled or bumped. Won't that put more pressure on airlines to get their planes off the ground in far from ideal circumstances? You can't take advantage of a 150 percent refund if your plane has crashed and you are 100 percent dead.

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