Dear FlyersRights:

It is good to hear of your work.  As an example, a few years ago, I took on Delta Airlines in regard to legroom between seats. What started my campaign was the filling of exit rows with seats. My back and forth with Delta went on for a few months. Finally, I received a letter from Delta telling me that they were not going to increase space between rows. I was informed that they were legal.

In agreement with your logic, when passengers have had enough, and the pocket book of the airlines has been hurt, they will change. I just simply avoid air travel. In reality, if you are driving 500 miles or less, you probably are just as well off driving.

Keep up the work.

Dear FlyersRights:

What is your opinion of the FAA bill banning cell phone calls? Do you agree that fear of loud talking had nothing to do with flight safety and has no place in this bill even though it’s in there? Talk about vested interest, this came straight from the flight attendants union.

Our stance has been they could be permitted if they do not disturb other passengers and are not a safety hazard.

It might mean having a soundproof phone booth or a mask that muffles voice as used by court reporters.

Paul Hudson, president

Dear FlyersRights:

I travel with an Emotional Support dog that is about 12 pounds and I talk to her for the entire trip. She is not an Emotional Support dog just to get away without paying the extra fees. I would not mind paying the fee if I could keep her in my lap instead of under a seat like a piece of luggage.

Like everything else, people will take a mile if you give them an inch. Because of these people, the question of Emotional Support animals is becoming a more heated subject.  Before I sit down, I ask my seat companions if they are allergic or do not like dogs. If there is a problem, I ask for a different seat.  At the end of the trip, I have had several comments that they didn’t even know a dog was on board.

Perhaps a “reference” letter from some of the airline personnel could be an optional requirement as opposed to the very expensive insurance you suggested.

It just boils down to common sense and common courtesy.


Dear FlyersRights,

No doubt providing more space to egress will speed up the exit (otherwise, why would exit rows have more legroom, amrite?).

Give us 33″ pitch when three or more seats are together, 32″ otherwise.

It is my belief that the U.S. government is no longer interested in helping individual people. Only large corporations who provide money to the politicians in power receive consideration. This includes all agencies of the U.S., such as DOT and FAA. Regulations are now for the benefit of these corporations to the detriment of individuals.

Therefore, we need to fight the only way we can, which is to stop using the services of the corporations that treat the public as their cash cows.

Stop flying.

I have substantially reduced my air travel for a number of years now.

I think that FlyersRights should organize a one-day boycott of ALL airlines as a start. Let’s see what the impact will be. If not enough, then a week of no flying.

Even the courts have given up on individual rights. The only way to impact corporations is to stop using their overpriced, inadequate products.


Dear FlyersRights:

De we have any lobbyists yet?  It would seem to me with 60,000 members, we could begin to do something. I would certainly contribute more if you had this.


Dear FlyersRights,

Hi, I went to the FAA per your advice, don’t see where to navigate once I get to the FAA page? Or should I just write my useless representatives?

Do you plan any further action to compel the water boys at the FAA to initiate real-time evacuations, or do we just wait for a horrible accident and hand-wringing recriminations?


Dear FlyersRights:

The Shrinking Seat Syndrome is contagious. It’s not just U.S. domestic airlines that are cramming us into sardine cans, but other international airlines are doing the same, and they don’t have the regulatory entities to manage it.

It should go to the U.N.

Living in the MIddle East, flying is the only way out! Recently, in June, I flew from Amman to Beirut. I chose to go business class – just over an hour’s flight.  But the price was twice economy. The seat was comfortable. The food was good – not the boxed sandwich in economy. The other plus was the extra 23 kg we could carry. Two weeks later I flew an overnight from Amman to Dubai (same airline) but this time economy. OMG. The seat did not recline. The armrest would not recede after raising. It was narrow – I’m broad – I couldn’t stretch my legs and got a serous cramp just before descent! I was in pain. The food was an insult: a shoe box with a bun and literally one slice of cheese. On the return I opted for the beef. LOL. So sheer we had to look for it.

I am convinced there are “rated” destinations.  Amman is a C class.  Air France, British Airways (code shares with American), Delta  (code shares with Royal Jordanian) send their stiff-backed reruns.  Business is simply a table set between the two seats, don’t recline and are not worth the doubled fare for business. Yet the flights are always full.

Flying U.S. domestic, you come to expect this, but not international. We aren’t going JetBlue or Ryan Express.

No matter the price we are captive sardines. You complain, you get bumped without space to wiggle, just squirm. You keep your mouth shut and suffer. We, the flying public, are unable to boycott or protest. Time is money, and we are money to the airlines.

One solution to the tight seat punishment is to flood the aisles with movers – you have to move to keep our blood running. Scenario: Plane reaches cruising altitude. Passengers in Seat A, odd rows, get up, face the rear, walk single file to the rear, reverse and walk to the front to take their seats. Then those in Seat A, even rows, do the same. This is repeated throughout the flight, each passenger in a seat, odd/even rows taking their turn for the “stroll.” If need be, they can stop at the toilet on their way.

Might cause a bit of turbulence. At least they can’t be thrown off mid-flight.

The airline industry is a major racket. Money first, passenger last.

Let this be chapter 1.

Crank up your wings,


Dear FlyersRights:

Hi there, I was flying from London to Boston, and my flight was canceled due to mechanical issues. The alternative flight was scheduled for 3-4 days later. I needed to get home as soon as possible, so I booked a ticket on my own for the next day. I was told I would be reimbursed for this and I wasn’t. Is such an alternative route home considered reasonable?


Yes, it should be, and under the Montreal Convention of 1999 art.19 and/or EU rules, you could be entitled to up to $5,500 in delay compensation. See

Mechanical issues, unlike weather delays, are considered to be within airline control. The airline, to avoid compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses and any lost earnings, has the burden of proving it took all reasonable steps to avoid the delay or it was impossible for them to do so – a high burden.  Claim can be filed directly or using a service or attorney. A delay court case must be filed in the U.S. within two years of the incident.

Our hotline director may have some additional suggestions.

Paul Hudson, president

PS: If this info has been helpful please consider a donation to or membership in a nonprofit organization that is funded solely by voluntary 

donations. See website or mail to 4411 Bee Ridge Rd., #274, Sarasota, FL 34233.

Dear FlyersRights:

I think it’s a no-brainer to leave Republicans out of this question altogether. There seems to be an obvious animosity to the concept that the general welfare of the public should be of the slightest importance to them.
Progressive Democrats might be a fertile field. For example, California Sen. Kamala Harris and California senatorial candidate Kevin de Leon are very likely to be persuaded to introduce practical legislation. One reasonable proposal would be that governmental legislators on committees overseeing transportation issues must be required to travel a certain number of miles per year in economy class as long as they retain those appointments. Otherwise, they have no credibility regarding their knowledge of those conditions. Heck, I would be willing to bet that Bernie Sanders would volunteer to do this if appropriate publicity would be given to his gesture.

After the November elections, there may well be a significant number of really progressive representatives in the House, in the style of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who would enthusiastically support efforts to address the horror of domestic air travel for those who are not particularly wealthy.

Don’t give up. It is only the pathetic crowd who are currently holding power in whom we have no hope of redress. If there is a “Blue Wave” in November, please catch it!

Devoted FR member,

D I-would-rather-drive-my-Tesla-across-the-country T

Dear FlyersRights,

I sent the email below to Matthew Hampton at the DOT’s Office of Inspector General, requesting a reply. I did not receive one. No surprise.


To: <>
Subject: Flight Safety
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2018 16:09:40 -0700

Dear Mr. Hampton,

I’m a travel writer and I firmly believe that it would be
impossible to evacuate a typical airliner in 90 seconds due to
the ever-shrinking space between seats. I myself am petite at
5’3″ and 120 pounds. The small seats are OK for me although not
for the majority of passengers. The bigger problem is trying to
exit any row due to the shrinking pitch. It is difficult enough
if there is nobody in a seat between you and the aisle. If there
is someone there who can’t move (heart attack, smoke inhalation,
or another reason) then it is impossible to get around him. The
only way would be to climb over him and then jump into the
aisle, causing injury to those already there in addition to
yourself. I also can’t see how a full airliner can get everyone
down the aisles and out the exits in 90 seconds. There are just
too many passengers crammed onto each flight. Can you tell me if
you usually fly first class and therefore avoid the potentially
fatal problem of too little pitch? I’d really like to know. For
the majority of us who cannot afford first class, our lives are
in jeopardy every time we fly. I remember the 1960s and 1970s
when first class cost only a little more than coach and was an
option. Also, the pitch in coach was bigger so safety was not
the issue. Please understand that your decisions and those of
your colleagues might well lead to unnecessary deaths and
injuries. I look forward to hearing your response and really,
how often do you fly first class versus coach?