The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the U.S. airlines trade group, has reacted sharply to the Travel Industry Association (TIA) study on air travel and customer service. The TIA survey argued that there is growing frustration among air travelers and that 41 million trips were avoided last year.
“Welcome to the picnic. The TIA survey reveals what ATA has been saying for years, that we have an aging air traffic control system that is in desperate need of replacement,” said ATA president and CEO James C. May. “We appreciate TIA’s involvement in finding ways to improve the passenger travel experience and we look forward to working with them on the various initiatives that we already have put before Congress, FAA and others.”
May added that if TIA wants to do something truly meaningful, they will join ATA in asking for immediate action on key initiatives to improve all aspects of air travel. These initiatives include: implementing new technologies to provide immediate system efficiency gains and helping the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration work on the full list of 77 initiatives that the ATA provided last fall.
The ATA would also urge resolution of the New York region airspace issues and accelerate airspace redesign to relieve pressure that delays in that region put on the rest of the system. Finally, the ATA welcomed help to urge Congress to fight sky-high oil prices while not imposing unfair environmental fees on airlines
“Just six months ago, TIA proposed raising revenue through a tax on passengers, an unsuitable solution to an already overtaxed industry,” said May. “We hope that we can work cooperatively with TIA to reduce, not raise, the cost of travel.” Visit www.airlines.org or www.tia.org.