Monday, 25 April 2011

Regulation Room project and airline passenger rights

We told you about Regulation Room when it was in beta testing in 2009.   The positive effects that the project is having can be seen in the final version of the Dept. of Transportation’s recent airline passenger rights rule study, where DOT refers to the Regulation Room project throughout the final set of rules. The Preamble mentions that the Regulation Room website contributed a summary of the public discussion of the proposed rule(s)  and that DOT’s research partnership with the Cornell project is meant to advance public participation in the rulemaking process.
Not only does DOT discuss Regulation Room comments almost every topic covered by the rules, but on the topic of Full Fare Advertising, Regulation Room comments directly influenced the DOT decision to make a policy change on advertising disclosures (Regulation Room commenters felt that current airfare advertising amounted to, in the commenters quoted words, “a bait and switch” tactic; airline companies commented that they did not want this policy change). Regulation Room sees this as an example of its success at helping ordinary people get their voice heard by an agency and the agency following the ordinary commenters wishes over business interests.
The final Airline Passenger Rights rule is available here.

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