Airline Accountability: Second Look
February 19, 2017
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  • USA TODAY’s recent article “Aviation leaders hope Trump curbs foreign competitors, privatizes air traffic” unfortunately misses some key points.

    It is important to note that the commercial airlines are the main proponents of privatization of air traffic control because if successful, they get to run the system for their own benefit. Our air traffic control system was built by the government and paid for by taxpayers — privatizing it would hand it over to the airlines for free.

    In an airline-controlled system, airlines (without any accountability to anyone) would be free to make decisions on issues such as increasing fees and taxes, and any number of things which directly affect consumers. More than 20,000 passenger complaints were filed against the airlines in 2015. Airlines are notorious for treating their passengers like cattle. For instance, my family and I were delayed on a tarmac for several hours without food or water.

    Congress has done well to protect passengers to date. It needs to strengthen consumer protections for airline passengers, not weaken them. Giving the airlines control of the system would be a big step in the wrong direction.

    Kate Hanni, Fliers Rights; Sarasota, Fla.