March 10, 1999


"Our Fair Treatment Initiative doesn't tell airlines what to do. Instead, it empowers passengers with all the information they need to make good decisions. These decisions will then drive the market and in turn, drive competition between airlines, which ultimately will result in better customer service for everyone."

Vice President Al Gore
March 10, 1999

Today, Vice President Al Gore announces a new plan to give airline passengers better resources for the 21st Century. This new plan will help ensure fair treatment for airline passengers, full disclosure of essential information, real compensation for unfair treatment, and the resources to implement the initiative.

Ensuring Fair Treatment For Airline Passengers. The Clinton-Gore initiative will help passengers who encounter changing travel conditions and problems with their flights. Airlines will be required to develop policies on notifying passengers about flight delays, cancellations and diversions; providing food, water and restroom facilities during ground delays; and evacuation procedures during extended ground delays. The policies will be filed with the Department of Transportation, which will place them on the Internet:

Providing Full Disclosure To Passengers. The Clinton-Gore Plan also contains provisions to allow:

Real Compensation For Airline Passengers. The Clinton-Gore plan will give passengers real compensation for errors made by airlines, including: compensation for mishandled baggage will be doubled to $2,500; and maximum compensation for being bumped from a flight will be doubled to $800.

Resources to Implement the Initiative. The Department of Transportation will seek funding to add enforcement staff to ensure that passengers are treated fairly. To ensure that passengers are given fair treatment, full disclosure and real compensation, the legislation requires airlines to train employees and agents to carry out consumer response plans and to commit sufficient resources for the plan.

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