Hassles of air travel

January 11, 2008 5:42:33 PM PST
Long waits on the tarmac, no leg room, how you can help make a positive change in the way passengers are treated during plane travel.

Imagine being stuck on a plane tarmac for hours. What if you have a baby traveling with you? What are your rights as a passenger? We're going to look at how you can help make a positive change in the way you are treated during air travel. Joining us today is the founder and executive director of the Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights, Kate Hanni.

About Kate Hanni:
Kate Hanni is one of the most passionate and dedicated national figures fighting for safeguards and protections to airline passenger's today. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights (CAPBOR), the fastest growing airline passengers' coalition in the country. Whether in State Capitols or in the Halls of the U.S. Congress, Ms. Hanni has brought the need to enact legal rights and protections for the flying public to the national forefront.

Kate, her family and thousands of airline passengers were stranded on the tarmac of Austin Airport onboard 124 American Airlines flights during the Christmas holidays, December 29th, 2006. For close to ten hours, Kate and the rest of the passengers were given no food, no water, no medical attention and no basic services such as working toilettes. Unable to deplane and sitting on the tarmac at Austin airport, Kate and other passengers decided to turn anger and frustration into advocacy by creating this Coalition. "Our goal is to ensure that no other airline passenger has to experience what we went through," is the common message of the Coalition as they travel the country seeking support from the general public, travelers, partner organizations and public officials.

Over the last six months, CAPBOR has grown from 100 members to more than 21,500 + Consumer Groups Pilots and Flight Attendants. On June 13, 2007, the Coalition announced the launch of a new 24 hour HOTLINE (1-877-flyers-6) for airline passengers to report their experiences. During the first day of operation, the CAPBOR Hotline received more than 920 calls from angry and frustrated passengers in less than a 3 ½ hour period. On average, the CAPBOR Hotline receives close to 100 calls per day with personal accounts of horrific experiences including passengers trapped on planes, under the most unacceptable and appalling conditions.

Kate has taken her mission on behalf of the flying public to the national airwaves. She recorded a song for Stranded Passengers called "We've Gotta Get Out of this Plane". She is a frequent guest on national television, cable and radio shows. She is a regular guest on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, ABC, Fox News and the major broadcast networks. Kate has been profiled on the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning and ABC's Nightline, and Rachel Ray among countless others. Newspaper profiles include: USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Washington Post...and the beat goes on.

Kate Hanni has been a real estate Broker for 17 years. She is also a professional musician in a Motown Band called the Toasted Heads. Kate plays 12 instruments. She is a licensed Stock Broker, mother of two boys 12 and 22 years old, a Licensed Real Estate Broker. Kate's husband is the first North American in History to earn the coveted Master of Wine Credentials. Kate was named one of the top 25 most influential people per Nielson Business Meetings In April of 2007, Nov. 20, 2007 named in 33 most influential per Travel Weekly: next to Al Gore and Richard Branson and the Shiek of Dubai.

More on the Coalition can be found by going to: www.flyersrights.com

Coalition 24 hour Hotline:
1-877-flyers-6 or 1 (877) 359-3776.