A Dream Worth Dreaming!

The US airline, Jetblue, has recently issued a passenger's "bill of rights" that includes:
  • Travel vouchers will be awarded to fliers with an amount scaled to the time of their delay.
  • Travelers are entitled to a full refund if their flight is canceled within 12 hours of its departure.
  • Passengers are to be deplaned if a flight has been grounded for five hours.

Furthermore, the "much asteemed" Chicago City Council, having tackled the "evils" of foie gras (still bitter about this) are moving on to the "friendly skies" and have put forth a plan to make any airlines who want to fly into Chicago abide by a passenger's bill of rights.

How far are we from having a national passenger's bill of rights passed by Congress? Is it even thinkable in China?

Having flown a lot in China and the US (though not so much in recent years), I can say it is absolute hell to fly domestically in China, far worse than anything in the US. First, when you aren't talking about the "big 3", airports are far from the gleaming facilities they are in the US. Departure times are basically taken as suggestions rather than a schedule. There was a period when I flew to Shenyang on a regular basis and every flight I took out of that airport would start boarding at or after the time the flight was actually scheduled to leave.

The worst, though, has to be flying from Beijing to Hohhot. Now, I absolutely hate flying and would have been more than happy to take the convenient and reasonably priced train, but time constraints forced me to the air. The flight was delayed 8 hours and it got so bad that they actually rounded us passengers up on a bus and took us to an airport restaurant for a meal. During that meal, I heard from passengers who flew the route on a regular basis and they were saying the typical delay was 4-8 hours, though one recently experienced a 12 hour delay after having just flown in from Europe. I'm not sure if things have improved since then (this is a few years ago), but I would still advise taking the train for this route.

No comments: