How Flying Will Change in 2012 as a Result of the FAA Reauthorization Bill

How Flying Will Change in 2012 as a Result of the FAA Reauthorization BillThe FAA Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012, more commonly known as the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill, has been finalized in congress. It changes air travel in a number of positive ways, providing you with additional rights during your flight. Here's what you need to know.

Food and water will always be accessible on the airplane. Previously it was required to make food and water available after two hours, but there are no longer limitations. If you are stranded on the tarmac, the airline will be required to have food and water ready.

Medical treatment will always be available to passengers who need it. Previously airlines were only required to provide medical treatment after two hours.

A Department of Transportation consumer hotline will be established so passengers can call toll-free with problems. This hotline will be published on the internet, prominently displayed by carriers on ticket counter signs, and printed on e-ticket confirmations.

Carriers will be required to post the maximum child safety seat size for every type of aircraft they operate to allow passengers to determine which safety seats will function on their flight.

Musical instruments will be treated the same as regular carry-on luggage so long as they meet the standard carry-on guidelines. Airlines will not be allowed to charge you a fee for bringing a musical instrument on to the plane.

A Department of Transportation Advisory Committee will be created in the interest of protecting the consumer flying experience. It will be made up of members of air carriers, airport operators, non-profit interest groups, and members of state and local governments.

Airlines will be required to refer passengers to a Department of Transportation web page that outlines insecticide use. When flying to some countries, the airplane cabin may need to be sprayed to prevent bug infestation. This list will be made available so passengers can determine if they are allergic to any spray that may be used on the aircraft.

Additionally, congress will be looking at ways to encourage airlines to be more generous with active members of military, the Comptroller General will study baggage fees and how baggage service can improve, and airline/airport contingency plans will be put into place. Currently congress needs to put the bill to a vote for final passage, but they've finally reached an agreement on the contents and it should pass within a week.

Photo by Ilja Mašík (Shutterstock).

FAA Bill Passes! | Flyer's Rights

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