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NEWS DIGEST

DOT 134-12

News Digest

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 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. 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. 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 can be found online at http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/guidance-aviation-rules-and-statutes, 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 through its web-based complaint system at www.dot.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint, by voice-mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511. Contact for news media:  Bill Mosley, (202) 366-4570.

Sylacauga, Ala., Receives $1.59 Million Rail Line Relocation Grant to Improve Downtown Mobility.  The Federal Railroad Administration has provided the city of Sylacauga, Ala., a $1.59 million Rail Line Relocation Grant to relocate East Alabama Railway and Norfolk Southern Railway interchange tracks away from the downtown area.  The railroads operate four trains through the area daily, resulting in road delays of 20-30 minutes for each train, disrupting local traffic patterns at critical peak hours of the day, hindering emergency responses and raising vehicle exhaust levels, which affect a senior citizens center and high school.  The relocation will also include upgrading track through the City of Sylacauga to improve railroad safety for heavier car loads serving industries in the city.  The East Alabama Railway will contribute $858,338 toward the cost of the project.  Contact: Kevin Thompson, (202) 493-6024.

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Friday, November 30, 2012