David J. Danto


Travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




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Will More Resources Help The FAA?– May 2024


The US congress and president have enacted new legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years, a move hailed as crucial for the future of aviation safety and consumer protection. This legislation promises to inject more resources into the FAA, enhance safety standards, and improve consumer rights.  Regrettably, I have my doubts.

For this initiative to be truly effective, it is essential that the FAA utilizes these resources to enforce stricter regulations and prevent airlines from compromising safety and service standards, as has happened waaaaayyyyy too often in the past.

The reauthorization has a bunch of good things in its hundreds of pages.  It includes provisions to streamline job pathways for veterans, support women in aviation, and improve flight attendant training.  It also enhances the FAA's approach to mental health and medical evaluations, aiming to modernize and make these processes more efficient.

The key aspects of it however are meant to address safety and consumer support.  Passengers have been screaming for more protections from greedy airlines, and this legislation honestly only scratches the surface.  The bill mandates clear standards for refunds in case of flight cancellations or significant delays, and prohibits airlines from charging fees for families to sit together. Additionally, it triples the civil penalties for airlines that violate consumer rights and requires airlines to provide 24/7 access to customer service agents​.  OK, but all that is something that we used to call pishing in the ocean” back where I grew up. 

While getting the FAA more people is definitely a step forward, its success hinges on the FAA's commitment to robustly enforce new and existing rules. In the past, there have been legitimate criticisms that the FAA has not always held airlines accountable for lapses in safety and service.  Ensuring that the increased funding translates into tangible improvements will be key to restoring public trust in the aviation system​ – a trust that is on very shaky ground now.

I’d like to hope this will make at least some things better, but with the FAA also this week saying ‘carry on, we trust you now’ to United, it shows they are still letting the fox guard the henhouse – and we are the hens.



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In other sad news, outgoing Boeing CEO David Calhoun was awarded a nearly $33 million pay package by their board and investors. That is a 45% raise from Calhoun's $22.6 million payday in 2022.  Despite having a track record of poor performance spanning over fifteen years, including the unnecessary deaths of two planeloads of crews and passengers, and overseeing the loss of over $190 million in shareholder value in the past year alone, Calhoun gets a pay increase and an additional $45 million in potential pay, partially vesting upon his "retirement."  I sure hope there's a lady Defarge somewhere meticulously knitting the names of these CEOs into something we can reference later.



This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2024 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!