REGULATION

Should airlines be re-regulated?

The days of a freewheeling, lightly regulated airline industry, in which a carrier can charge whatever fees and fares it pleases, may be nearing an end.

A confluence of events is pressuring government regulators to take action that, depending on your point of view, will make air travel less expensive or interfere with a free market, driving ticket prices higher.
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Will a new law force cruise lines to better report onboard crime?

Brian Jackson/Shutterstock
Brian Jackson/Shutterstock
The remarkable thing about the proposed Cruise Passenger Protection Act is that on its face, it looks entirely unremarkable. The law would require cruise lines to publicly report all alleged crimes on a ship and to disclose their passenger contracts in plain English.

But dive into the bill, and it delivers a little shock to both passengers and the cruise industry. For travelers, it’s the surprise that, thanks to a legal loophole, cruise lines and the federal government currently don’t do what the new law would require, including publicly reporting every alleged and significant crime committed aboard cruise ships. It’s also a troubling reminder that at sea, you don’t have the same rights as on land.
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Is it time to regulate frequent flier programs?

Henryk/Shutterstock
Henryk/Shutterstock

Peter Bauer is mad.

His wife, Susan, a loyal United Mileage Plus member, can’t seem to redeem her hard-earned points for what she’d been promised: “free” flights — or “free” anything, for that matter.

“She has about 142,000 miles, all of which are from actual air travel — not goodwill or credit card charge or other miles,” says Bauer, a management consultant from Portland, Ore. “She has looked into turning those miles into a plane ticket or tickets many times but it has never worked out because she always comes up against a blackout period or other lack of availability.”
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