21 Responses

  1. Mark
    Mark at |

    Never did like Flyers Rights..I think their “solutions” are sometimes reactionary and over the top.

  2. JoshL
    JoshL at |

    Can you post a copy of the link to the donation page? It sounds sketchy. Maybe phishing/malware?

  3. Nic
    Nic at |

    Do you know Chris Elliott?

  4. Nic
    Nic at |

    If you thought any airline was going to go belly-up, would you have a different recommendation?

    After all the company is in Chapter 11, so the company has a much higher probability of liquidating. You may think otherwise, but probabilistically that is how it works.

  5. Stacey @VeryGoodPoints
    Stacey @VeryGoodPoints at |

    Worth noting that not only does the IRS not recognize FlyersRights.org as as 501c3 but they themselves note (in small print) on their “donate” page that “Contributions or gifts to FlyersRights.org are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes”

    I think they’re using mis-leading terminology when they say “donate”

  6. Eric
    Eric at |

    @Stacey– They’re a 501(c)(4) organization… basically, a non-profit that advocates for legislation. That’s why donations aren’t deductible.

  7. chemist661
    chemist661 at |

    Many infrequent travelers will read the hype and NOT check out what is “fact” & what is “fiction”.

    I had 180K TWA miles and they became AA miles. Over the years, I was able to use them on AA with little problem. AA is my primary airline and I have a large stash of miles with them. AA have some very uses of FF miles like the intl One World Awards in Business/First classes that are distnce based.

    Bottom line: I do NOT let FlyersRights.org worry me. I have been very pleased with AA and the current situation will be over with soon. Then FlyersRights.org will go on to the next agenda item. đŸ˜‰

  8. Bad Advice from a ‘Passenger Rights Group’ that Seems to Know Little About Air Travel - View from the Wing

    […] Aramean asks, “What to do when the industry’s largest consumer advocate is so […]

  9. aadvantagegeek
    aadvantagegeek at |

    Great post Seth.

  10. DaveS
    DaveS at |

    This organizations seems to be a fundraising tool of an individual who is not particularly knowledgeable, but has hit upon a method for capturing some discontent about inconveniences of air travel: “If you don’t like air travel today, donate to me, and I’ll put out news releases.” I think this “group”, if it really is one, can be ignored.

    While I disagree frequently with Chris Elliott and Charlie Leocha, they are knowledgeable in their fields of expertise (Elliott knows nothing about FF programs, but is an excellent ombudsman), and serious players in the discussion of passenger rights. Kate Hanni and FlyerRights don’t seem to have much credibility.

  11. Marshall Jackson
    Marshall Jackson at |

    Thank you for posting this! This organization and its leader have somehow been granted “credibility” in some circles. In my mind…not so much.

  12. Check that your seatbelt is securely fastened… - The Wandering Aramean

    […] What to do when the industry’s largest consumer advocate is so wrong […]

  13. Mark Mogel
    Mark Mogel at |

    Firstly, the premise that this has to do with the industry’s largest consumer advocate is incorrect on many levels — understandable though.

    If you look at the original press release in detail …

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-airlines-flight-cancellations-wreak-havoc-on-flying-public-says-flyersrightsorg-170564486.html

    … even without being a grammar Nazi, you will find a number of strange problems. Read it carefully — notice the syntax and punctuation issues. Hanni wrote it herself, partly plagiarizing an article that was published by Reuters …

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-27/news/sns-rt-us-americanairlines-pilotunionbre88q155-20120927_1_pilot-union-american-airlines-legal-action

    … and the rest in her own hand. Ask yourself why the nation’s “largest consumer advocate” would not only have to write her own press releases (despite an obvious inability to do so) and why there wasn’t someone available to edit it.

    The quote at the beginning of this blog is not what the original press release said. The original press release was and still is on PRNewswire:

    “Given the number of flight cancellations, coupled with AA’s bankruptcy proceedings and other critical issues, FlyersRights.org is recommends you book your flights on other air carriers if AA refuses to put you on an interline carrier at no extra charge. However, if you have stacked up the frequent flyer miles we recommend you immediately book your trip on AA or a code-share partner just to avoid the risk of losing those miles in the event AA shuts their doors.”

    Notice the run-on sentences, the phrase, “FlyersRights.org is recommends,” and the entire paragraph is set in quotes in the press release. Really?

    In the blog comments above, I see questions about the “organization” and its leader’s credibility. In your wildest dreams you can’t imagine how right you are.

    If anyone would like a free e-version of a book I wrote about all of this and more, drop me a line. I’m easy to find.

    (Offer limited to those who have already posted above.)

    BTW — the organization’s financials have the same credibility as everything else. Bernie Madoff would be proud. The whole thing is a scandal on an almost unimaginable scale — I know — I helped make it happen.

  14. Kate Hanni
    Kate Hanni at |

    This story is laughable. Not only did the gentleman above leave our group before the airline passenger bill of rights was passed (and then try to take credit for its passage, he has accused myself and the organization of crimes before Congress.

    He claims I mis-appropriated funds, when in fact as our tax-returns reflect my husband and I put 54k into the organization to keep it afloat.

    He claims that he did not get expense reimbursements, when in fact he received more in reimbursements than any other member. (Can prove this with our very well kept records)

    He claims on his blogspot currently that Guidestar doesn’t show us as a non-profit. Guidstar is not a requirement for non-profits and it’s a hassle to set up. We have our tax returns posted on our website for ALL to see which is actually more than the IRS requires. They only require that we make them available so we have gone the extra mile in posting them to be totally transparent.

    He claims we received “industry money” from CoBus. A Bald faced lie.

    He claims that I lied about our membership numbers, but he wasn’t on our BOD and he never had anything to do with our Board Resolutions which show how we quantify “what is a member”.

    He is just a pitiful, angry man who is trying to make a dime on our coat-tails.

    And To “Stacy at Very Good Points” we have two donation pages as required by law for donations. We have a C-4 page which does not offer a tax write-off but allows us to advocate, and C-3 page for donations which does offer a tax write-off but only allows limited donations to be used for advocacy, the rest is mandated to be used for education. We have a toll free hotline and a team of dedicated volunteers that handle anyone who needs help with an airline issue. I might add that for all of your criticism of our stand on the AA BK, none of you seems to recognize the good work we have done which tells me you have an agenda and bias that precedes your thoughts on this issue.

    I have had pilots call with issues their own kids were having on other airlines and helped those folks get their kids home safe and sound. We have incredible relationships with the DOT and can help folks 24/7 with their air travel needs.

    Someday one of you might have an air travel related issue and have nowhere to turn to get help. Do you really want to have NO one to turn to? FlyersRights.org is here for you too! For free. 24/7.

  15. Kate Hanni
    Kate Hanni at |

    Oh and one more thing. I did not write that press release or any release in 2012.

    These criticisms don’t withstand the smell test.