Summary: H.R.780 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.780. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (02/23/1999)

Passenger Entitlement and Competition Enhancement Act of 1999 - Title I: Passenger Protections - Amends Federal aviation law to require an air carrier to ensure access to necessary services and conditions, including food, water, restroom facilities, and emergency medical services for all passengers boarded on a flight. Requires: (1) each air carrier to submit to the an emergency plan to the Secretary of Transportation; and (2) the Secretary to suspend the authority of the air carrier if it fails to submit a plan.

Requires an air carrier to provide notice of any potential or actual significant delays in the departure or arrival of a flight to each passenger. Makes such carrier liable to each airline passenger for any excessive departure or arrival delay of the aircraft (more than two or three hours). Prohibits an air carrier from limiting its liability for provable direct or consequential damages resulting from the disappearance of, damage to, or delay in delivery of a passenger's personal property (including luggage), in its custody to an amount less than $2,500 per passenger.

Requires an air carrier to provide, at a minimum, to a passenger who is denied boarding involuntarily from an oversold flight on which the passenger has a confirmed seat: (1) alternative transportation to the passenger's final destination; and (2) if the scheduled arrival time of the alternative transportation is not within two hours of the passenger's originally scheduled arrival time, a refund or voucher for air transportation equal in value to the amount paid by the passenger for the original flight.

(Sec. 102) Sets forth a civil penalty for violations of this Act.

(Sec. 103) Directs the Secretary by rule to: (1) issue a statement that outlines consumer rights of air passengers, including passenger rights contained in this Act; and (2) require an air carrier to provide conspicuously the statement to each passenger of the carrier.

Title II: Air Carrier Competition - Directs the Secretary to allocate slots (arrival and departure spaces) at each slot-controlled airport for assignment to new entrant air carriers (carriers currently not holding slots) and limited incumbent carriers (carriers holding less than 12 slots at a particular airport). Outlines application procedures for the receipt of such slots at high density airports. Authorizes the Secretary to withdraw an auctionable slot from a major air carrier if it is determined that the slot is being used by the air carrier in an inconsistent manner.

(Sec. 201) Directs the Secretary to withdraw from major carriers at each airport a specified percentage of slots for auction to qualified applicants through competitive bidding, as long as the auctioned slot will or is likely to increase competition among carriers. Allows only new entrant and limited incumbent air carriers to participate in such auctions. Requires deposits in an auction trust fund.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a public inquiry and submit to Congress a report evaluating the competitive bidding process used. Provides special rules, including rule governing the resale or reversion of purchased slots.

(Sec. 202) Sets forth a maximum civil penalty of $10,000 for any air carrier to engage in an unfair method of competition with respect to air transportation on any route, or any other regulation issued by the Department of Transportation.

(Sec. 203) Directs the Secretary to submit to Congress, and make available to the public, a quarterly report: (1) containing a ranking of the ten domestic routes with the highest and lowest average costs to the passenger; and (2) ranking the large hub airports by market concentration using the Herfindahl-Hirschmann Index as a measure and identifying the market share of each airline operating at each airport.

(Sec. 204) Directs the Secretary to study and report to Congress on the ability of and proposals for new entrant carriers, and carriers with less than fiver percent of the departures at a major hub airport, to obtain permanent gates and other airport facilities on terms substantially equivalent to those provided to incumbent carriers.