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October Airline Service Improved from Previous Year in all Major Categories

WASHINGTON – In October, airlines improved their on-time performance while posting a lower rate of canceled flights and mishandled baggage than the same period in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report released today.   In addition, airlines reported no long tarmac delays or chronically late flights for two consecutive months or more, and consumers filed fewer complaints with DOT about airline service.

News Digest (DOT 101-13)

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.

With DOT assistance, JFK Eternal Flame arrives in Ireland

Under normal circumstances, transporting a lighted torch aboard a commercial aircraft is not permitted. It's the kind of thing DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have serious concerns with for obvious safety reasons.

But sharing the JFK Eternal Flame with Ireland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s first-ever visit to Ireland by a U.S. president is not a normal circumstance.

Photo of flame leaving JFK Airport for Ireland

DOT Seeks Student Proposals for Innovations in Aviation and Aerospace

As part of a comprehensive effort by the Obama administration to involve more of the country’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math studies, known as STEM, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today requested proposals for its "Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science and Engineering" Award from college and high school students for unique innovations in aviation and aerospace.

Notice of Department of Transportation Requirements Regarding Flights to College Bowl Games and other Special Events

This notice is to provide guidance to colleges and other organizations wishing to arrange charter flights, including flights to football bowl games, NCAA basketball playoff games, or other special events. The notice is also intended to provide information regarding the economic licensing and operational certification of air carriers by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

It is important that colleges and other entities are fully aware of this information since they often charter aircraft to travel to events and we wish to avoid instances of organizations (1) contracting with entities that hold no DOT economic authority; (2) unknowingly chartering aircraft from entities that are not subject to the most stringent safety standards and oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a DOT operating administration; or (3) reselling seats on a charter flight without their first having obtained proper authority to do so.

The Role Of Air Charters Brokers In Arranging Air Transportation

The purpose of this notice is to provide guidance regarding the lawful role of air charter brokers (i.e., entities, including persons, that link prospective charter customers with direct air carriers) in the provision of air transportation.1 This guidance will be used by the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) in its compliance and enforcement activities associated with 49 U.S.C. §§ 41101 and 41301, which establish the certificate and permit requirements for U.S. and foreign air carriers, respectively, and 49 U.S.C. § 41712, which prohibits unfair and deceptive practices.

Airlines Report One Tarmac Delay Longer than Three Hours On Domestic Flights, One Longer Than Four Hours on International Flights in November

Airlines reported only one tarmac delay of more than three hours on domestic flights and one tarmac delay of more than four hours on international flights in November, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report.