Charlie Leocha discusses cockpit safety on Fox Business

March 27, 2015
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USTravel Survey: Flying Hassles Keep Travelers at Home

New Data from USTravel Association Finds 38 Million Trips Avoided in 2013, Costing U.S. Economy $35.7 Billion

Security lines and checked-bag fees are among the well-publicized headaches of air travel, but passengers’ No. 1 concern is flight delays and cancellations, according to a survey conducted by the independent firm ResearchNow for the U.S. Travel Association.

An economic analysis of the survey results found that air travel hassles are taking their toll on the broader economy. Passengers’ frustration with the flying experience resulted in 38 million avoided domestic plane trips in 2013. Although air travel has steadily increased since the recession, 38 million trips is a loss equal to eight percent of current air travel demand.

That suppressed activity had a significant downstream effect on travel-related businesses and the overall economy, including spending losses of:

• $9.5 billion on airfare
• $5.8 billion on hotels
• $5.7 billion on recreation
• $3.4 billion on food services
• $2.8 billion on car rentals

The analysis found that cancellations and delays cost passengers themselves $8.5 billion in time lost, missed connections, and missed travel activity. The total hit to the U.S. economy: $35.7 billion.

“Whether it be for business or leisure, travel activity is indisputably terrific medicine for the U.S. economy,” said

Charlie Leocha on CNBC talks fuel costs vs. airfares

Wednesday March 25, 2015

Maryland moves toward a misguided tax increase

New tax will make travel in Maryland less competitive and will strike its own citizens The Maryland State Senate voted today to raise taxes on visitors, locals and travel agents. In a move that some might refer to as a tourism self-inflicted wound, the upper house of the Maryland General Assembly struck at the growth of travel and tourism in the state. The vote on Senate Bill 190 will resonate negatively throughout the state’s tourism infrastructure if the bill becomes law.

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    Unleashing the world of unmanned aircraft systems responsibly

Unleashing the world of unmanned aircraft systems responsibly

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, are coming. They are already here. The only problem is that your government seems to be surprised by them. The industry has been growing exponentially, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had its head in the sand. We are not ready for this technology and our regulatory minds are thinking about this 21st Century innovation with a 20th Century mind.

By |March 8th, 2015|UAVs|0 Comments|

Do we need to pay more taxes to support airports? No.

The FAA reauthorization bill is coming up for a vote in about 200 more days. Between now and then, there are a lot of issues that will be considered and that will impact airline passengers, airlines and airports significantly for the next half-decade. The bill includes everything from reform of the air traffic control system to new rules of the air for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and for airport funding and airline prices. It also includes taxes. Big taxes.

Everyone involved with the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill, airports, chambers of commerce, immigration and customs and the agriculture department wants to increase taxes and fees that they collect from passengers.

Currently, consumers pay more taxes for the pleasure of flying than for almost any other activity in the country. Every passenger on a one-stop, round-trip flight has to fork over $11.20 for the TSA Security Fee. Passengers then pay $4.50 for each boarding — adding up to $18 for a connecting round-trip flight. In addition, every passenger has to pay the 7.5 percent transportation excise tax that is included in the airfare.

In other words, passengers are paying $29.20 before they even start paying airfare. That airfare is taxed a further 7.5 percent.

Ralph Nader writes to United Airlines CEO Smisek, again

February 24, 2015

Jeff Smisek, CEO
United Airlines, Inc.
PO Box 06649
Chicago, IL 60606-0649

Dear Mr. Smisek,

I have not yet heard from you regarding my letter of February 13, 2015, but your employees who have read it are coming forward to describe their deteriorating working conditions. These are loyal UAL workers on the front lines, dealing with your aircrafts and your passengers, some with tenures of 20 to 30 years.

Given what the workers have given up over the years during the low point of UAL’s economic travails, it is disturbing, to say the least, for them to be saying these are the worst labor conditions they can remember. They are not only noting the demotion of many full-time workers to part-time, but also bringing to attention the outsourcing of jobs to vendors that hire low-paid and low-skilled employees, at a time of record-breaking profits for UAL. The workers are saying that they “just do not have the necessary manpower to provide our customers the service that they are paying for and deserve.”

More than customer inconvenience, their remarks raise concerns about safety risks. One comment reads: “It truly hurts that the company that I have invested a good part of my life in, is

By |February 24th, 2015|Airline|0 Comments|
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    Delta’s deceptive, limited, misleading and gutted baggage non-guarantee

Delta’s deceptive, limited, misleading and gutted baggage non-guarantee

Delta Air Lines has released its “Bags On Time” initiative. This is a textbook example of how not to show an airline is focused on basic customer service. The airline heralds its program with this uninspiring introduction. And, later adds more restrictions.

We’re committed to providing you with reliable and on-time baggage service every time you fly. That’s
why we’re backing your bags with a guarantee: if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20
minutes or less after any domestic flight through March 31, 2015, you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus
miles. Just complete the below form within three days of your flight’s arrival.

Note that you must be a SkyMiles member at the time of travel to be eligible and requests for multiple
flights must be submitted separately. Please allow up to two weeks after submitting your request for your
bonus miles to appear in your account.

AAhh! This a customer service program that gives passengers a true feeling of relief. This program is perfect example of how not to introduce a service guarantee.

• It applies only for about five weeks, until March 31. (it won’t influence most advance-purchase passengers)
• It only applies to SkyMiles program members (if you are not

By |February 22nd, 2015|Airline|0 Comments|
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    Charlie Leocha speaks about fuel surcharges and oil prices on Fox Business Channel

Charlie Leocha speaks about fuel surcharges and oil prices on Fox Business Channel

On February 6, 2014, Charlie Leocha, Chairman, Travelers United, spoke about dropping gasoline prices and stubborn airfares that refuse to drop.

Watch the latest video at

By |February 11th, 2015|Airline|0 Comments|
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    Emirates Airlines responds to US Airlines efforts to curtail Open Skies Treaties

Emirates Airlines responds to US Airlines efforts to curtail Open Skies Treaties

US network carriers — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines — not satisfied with their near monopoly position domestically or with their airline alliance antitrust immunity are attempting to stop competition from the Gulf Carriers — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.

Last week, the CEOs of these domestic airlines took their battle to eliminate competition to the White House in an attempt to stop competition.

Travelers United fully supports open competition in all aspects of aviation. Consolidation in the US airline industry and antitrust immunity grants to airline alliances have created dangerous degradation of competition in the United States. This juggernaut of anti-competitive and anti-consumer airline actions must stop.

Here is a response from Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, supporting the view of open competition and the benefits of Open Skies Treaties.

It is clear that the global economy in the 21st century, in its many facets, is underpinned by the theories of macro-economic liberalism, so championed by the United States in the post second world war era, and that in the absence of free trade agreements, emerging markets would have stalled in their development and many other western countries would have remained in economic backwaters.

For the United States