Consumers Cautioned on Air Tours to College Bowl Games.
The U.S. Department of Transportation today reminded air travelers going to this season’s college football bowl games that a company marketing an air tour package that includes game tickets must have the tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before advertising the tour. If a game ticket is not specifically mentioned in newspaper advertisements or other solicitation material or listed as a tour feature, the ticket is probably not included, the Department cautioned. If an advertisement does not state whether or not a game ticket is included, consumers should ask about it. If a travel agent or other tour representative states that a game ticket is included, the consumer should require at the time of purchase that the game ticket be presented or a written confirmation for the ticket be provided. In addition, if the tour involves a public charter flight, the organizer of the charter program must have a contract with an airline for the charter flights and obtained authority from the Department for the charter program before advertising the trip. The Department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings has issued a notice specifically directed to colleges and other organizations wishing to arrange charter flights to football bowl games, NCAA basketball playoff games, or other special events. The notice, which was issued in December 2006 explains the requirements to be followed by colleges or other organizations that plan to charter flights to these events. People may file complaints about college bowl tours that advertise tickets but do not provide them or other violations of the Department’s rules on special event tours by contacting the Enforcement Office’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division by voice-mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511.
Federal Funds Available for Small U.S. Shipyards.
The U.S. Maritime Administration today announced that $9.98 million in federal funding is now available to help enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of qualified small U.S. shipyard. The grants are available for capital and related improvements projects that foster efficiency, and competitive operations; quality ship construction, repair and reconfiguration; and employee training projects. Grants are limited to no more than 75 percent of the estimated improvement costs. Application packages must be received by 5 p.m. on January 17, 2012. Additional information is available by contacting the Maritime Administration, Office of Shipyards and Marine Engineering, Room W21-318, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington DC 20590, (202) 366-5737.