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Passenger Rights Stakeholder Hearing

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 from 8:00 AM to 12:45 PM (EDT)

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Examining a Market Failure?

September 22, 2009 - Washington, DC

On Tuesday morning, September 22, 2009 consumer groups and travel industry organizations will conduct a Stakeholder Hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building regarding airline passenger rights. The purpose of the hearing is to examine passenger safety-related problems such as extended ground delays. Desired outcomes from the hearing include a better understanding of passenger safety problems; best practices from the EU in the area of passenger rights regulations; and  the potential efficacy of proposed Congressional solutions. Experts representing all sides in this debate have been invited to participate in this hearing.



Kate Hanni, Executive Director, 
Hearing genesis, purpose, objectives, sponsors

Keynote Addresses
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (Invited)

Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) (Invited)

Airline Industry Passenger Service
Robert L. Crandall, Former Chairman and CEO, American Airlines 

Travel Industry Views of Congressional Intervention
Kevin Mitchell, Chairman, Business Travel Coalition 

Hearing Proceedings
Jerome Greer Chandler, Veteran and Award-Winning Aviation Journalist 
Review process; Introduce Questioners and Panel One


Link Christin, Adjunct Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law 
Luke Thomas, Founder, LTVenntures; CEO, The Vennture Group 
Dave Carroll, Songwriter / Performing Artist
Shawn O’Brien, MD, St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center
Leslie Yourra, Business Owner and Mother
Jay Boehmer, Senior Editor, Business Travel News 
Colin Tooze, Vice President, Government Affairs, American Society of Travel Agents 
Jennifer Michels, Deputy Editor, Aviation Daily  
William McGee, Contributor, Consumer Reports  Witnesses


Kate Hanni, Executive Director, 
Dr. Amy Cohn, Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan 
George F. Doughty, Executive Director, Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority 
Scott Nason, Aviation and Travel Industry Consultant, SDN TT&H Consulting, LLC 
James M. Crites, Executive Vice President of Operations, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 
Dr. Frederick J Foreman, Chief Executive Officer, Mathematical Modeling, Inc.

Wrap Up

This passenger-safety issue first reached prominence in 1999 after a snowstorm stranded aircraft for up to eight hours at Detroit Metro Airport. The airline industry avoided passenger rights legislation at that time by agreeing to a voluntary customer service initiative, which was soon largely cast off in the aftermath of the industry’s troubles following September 11, 2001. More recently, extended ground delays in Texas and New York in 2006 and 2007 respectively led to a new round of Congressional hearings and increased calls for passenger rights legislation and a single industry standard regarding extended ground delays. Such legislative prescriptions are currently included in FAA reauthorization bills in the House and in the Senate, whose version would allow passengers to disembark after three hours delay, should a captain decide it is reasonable and safe to do so.

In addition to audience members attending the hearing, stakeholders will comprise “Witnesses” and “Questioners.” Witness panels will include passengers and airline, airport and association executives as well as functional-area experts from acadème and industry. Witnesses will present 5-minute statements. After all statements have been presented, Questioners will address their queries to each of the Witnesses. Questioners will include corporate travel managers, airport executives and functional area experts as well as members of the press, to provide an extra measure of impartiality.

While attendance is free of charge, registration is necessary at and seating is limited.

For additional information, see BTC Sept. 8 Statement at

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When & Where

Washington, DC

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 from 8:00 AM to 12:45 PM (EDT)

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About is an umbrella organization that comprises consumer and travel industry groups from around the world interested in airline passenger issues. Its mission is to elevate public policy debate, harmonize standards where practicable and shorten timeframes for emplacing coherent, well-vetted passenger policies at both the industry and government levels. 

  Contact the Organizer

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