Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune (R-SD) has introduced S. 1085, the Informed Air Traveler Act of 2007, legislation that would ensure travelers are better informed about airline performance when booking travel, in light of increased flight delays and cancellations in recent years.

"Whether it's a firsthand experience or hearing a friend or family member's account, we can all relate to the stress and inconvenience caused by delayed and cancelled flights, and in recent years, it only seems to have gotten worse. In the past year, thousands of travelers have spent uncomfortable nights on airport floors, or hours stuck on tarmacs, when they should be enjoying family vacations or attending important business meetings," Thune said.

"While some reasons for flight delays and cancellations cannot be avoided or solved easily, such as dangerous weather or flying conditions, there are certain steps we can take to help travelers avoid delays. My legislation would require airlines to publish important performance statistics, such as the percentage of on-time departures and delays for each passenger flight, on their web sites so travelers can make informed decisions about an airline's track record.

"At the same time, better informing travelers before they purchase airfare could increase airline competition, as airlines will have a greater incentive to improve their on-time performance if they know their customers will have this information and will be making purchasing decisions based on it.

"I hope my colleagues in the Senate will give this bill the all clear as soon as possible, so more Americans can take to the skies on time and better informed."

The Informed Air Traveler Act of 2007 would require airlines to publish relevant performance statistics for all passenger flights, as reported by Department of Transportation for the previous 12 months, for each airline ticket that is purchased on the Internet, at the ticket counter or over the phone, including:
  • Percentage of on-time departures

  • Average departure delay

  • Percentage of flights cancelled

  • Number of flights with taxi-out times over 2 hours

The bill would also flag and ensure customers are notified of flights that are "chronically delayed" and "chronically cancelled" before customers purchase tickets on the web or over the phone. "Chronically delayed" is defined as a flight that has failed to arrive on time at least 40 percent of the time during the most recent 3-month period. "Chronically cancelled" is defined as a flight in which at least 30 percent of scheduled departures have been canceled during the most recent 3-month period.