North America

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USA: new law to require airlines to seat families together?

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation that would prevent families from being separated because of airline fees for priority seats like aisles and windows. The bill, which has been dubbed the Families Flying Together Act of 2012, would direct the Department of Transportation to enforce the family seating requirement.

Source: The Hill; find article here>>.

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USA: Transportation Secretary queried on EU Emissions Trading System

At a June 6 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was questioned about whether the Administration would support legislation to prohibit American airlines from participating in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System. Secretary LaHood, while saying that he wasn’t prepared to take a position on the legislation, did say that he and other Administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have made their opposition to the EU plan clear.

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USA: DOT issues guidance on aviation consumer information-related requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued on April 19 a notice to provide guidance to airlines and U.S. travel agents regarding compliance with the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. One of the issues addressed in the guidance letter is the requirement that, effective April 14, airlines and travel agents disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines.

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Canada: Supreme Court decides on jurisdiciton over foreign companies

Two cases, consoldiated on appeal, both involved personal injury claims by Canadian citizens arising from accidents they suffered during their holidays in Cuba. One of the defendants, Club Resorts Ltd., was the company that managed the two hotels where the accidents took place. Club Resorts argued that Ontario lacked jurisdiction over the actions, or in the alternative, that the doctrine of forum non conveniens should apply. The motion judges in both cases dismissed this argument and held that the Ontario courts had jurisdiction. The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld both decisions.

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USA: DOT fines ticket agent and Qantas for advertising violations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined ticket agent Unister USA, also known as, USD 30,000 for violating the Department’s rules on fare advertising and disclosure of code-share flights.

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USA: DHS report says X-ray scanners at airports are safe

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that full-body X-ray scanning machines at airport security checkpoints use an "extremely low dose" of radiation which is safe for passengers. The report refers to a Johns Hopkins University assesment of 2010 which said that a passenger would have to be screened 47 times a day for a year to exceed yearly limits of radiation set by the American National Standards Institute.

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USA: Appelate court affirms foreign nationals' standing to challenge a "no-fly list" inclusion

Rahinah Ibrahim, a Malaysian national and university professor, was legally in the United States as a Ph.D. student at Stanford University from 2001 - 2005.  In early 2005, she attempted to travel to a Stanfordsponsored conference in Malaysia where she was to present her doctoral research. Alledgedly mistakenly placed on the “No-Fly List”, she was prevented from flying and was detained in a holding cell for two hours at the San Francisco airport. She was then allowed to fly to Malaysia the next day, but she was prevented from returning to the United States after the conference.

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USA: Appelate court confirms limitation of liability clauses in airline's "Conditions of Carriage"

On September 26, 2008, appellants purchased two round-trip airline tickets from American Airline’s website. The y received an “E-Ticket Confirmation” which in the bottom line of the message stated: “A summary of Terms and Conditions of travel is available by selecting the Conditions of Carriage button below.” The referenced Conditions of Carriage clearly state that the ticket and the Conditions of Carriage “constitute the contract.”

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Canada: body height is not a disability

Malcolm Johnson filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) against Air Canada with respect to additional fees charged for economy class seats that afford extra leg room. Mr. Johnson submitted that, due to his height, he could not sit in a “regular seat” without endangering his health due to restricted circulation in his legs from cramped seating.

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USA: DOT fines Spirit Airlines over handling of disability complaints and Finnair for violating price advertising rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Spirit Airlines USD 100,000 for failing to appropriately record and respond to complaints about the carrier’s treatment of passengers with disabilities, violating DOT’s rules implementing the Air Carrier Access Act which prohibits discrimination in air travel on the basis of disability.