Greedy airlines lobby Congress to make flying even more miserable

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According to the Los Angeles Times, airlines want most consumer protection laws repealed. Among the rules airlines are targeting is the “tarmac rule” that requires carriers to let fliers off planes during extensive delays. Above, an American Airlines flight.

The so-called “tarmac delay rule” — adopted in 2009 after a series of incidents in which passengers were trapped in planes for hours — was just one of dozens that either airlines or an industry trade group targeted in response to the request.

“The airlines are pretty clear that they want every consumer protection law repealed or not enforced,” said Paul Hudson, president of Flyersrights.org, a nonprofit group with more than 60,000 members. “I’m concerned that they would try to repeal the few consumer-protection regulations that are out there.”

Beyond the tarmac rule, other popular regulations that could be changed include one that requires airlines to advertise fares that include all fees and taxes. Another mandates that passengers be informed about how to file a service complaint with the department.

The deregulation push comes as the industry is basking in profit. Airlines reported a combined $17.6 billion in profit last year, a dramatic improvement from the nine years after the 9/11 terrorist strikes when the entire U.S. airline industry lost a combined $65 billion.

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