August 18 - Passenger Rights Stakeholder Hearing Planned For September in Washington

A persistent market failure will be examined

Radnor, PA and Napa, CA, August 18, 2009--Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and today announced that on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 consumer groups and travel industry organizations will conduct a Stakeholder Hearing in Washington, DC regarding airline passenger rights. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the extended ground delay problem.

Desired outcomes from the hearing include a better understanding of (1) passenger health and safety problems; (2) best practices from the EU in the area of passenger rights regulations; and (3) the potential efficacy of proposed Congressional solutions.

Passenger rights language is 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.

Experts representing all sides in this debate have been invited to participate in this hearing. Confirmed Hearing participants include:

· Robert L. Crandall, Former Chairman and CEO, American Airlines

· Link Christin, Airline Customer

· Dr. Amy Cohn, Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan

· Dr. Frederick J Foreman, Chief Executive Officer, Mathematical Modeling, Inc.

· George F. Doughty, Executive Director, Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority

· Jerome Greer Chandler, Aviation Journalist

· Dr. Shawn Obrien, Airline Customer

· Kate Hanni, Executive Director,

· John Hughes, Aviation Reporter, Bloomberg News

· Kevin Mitchell, Chairman, Business Travel Coalition

· Jennifer Michels, Deputy Editor, Aviation Daily

· Colin Tooze, Vice President, Government Affairs, American Society of Travel Agents

· William McGee, Author, Consumer Reports

· Jay Boehmer, Senior Editor, Business Travel News

· Leslie Yourra, Airline Customer

(Note: Additional airline / travel industry associations and airport, airline and press officials have been invited to participate.)

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.

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