USA

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USA: defamation lawsuit against TripAdvisor dismissed

TripAdvisor.com provides information on various hotels, resorts and restaurants worldwide. Visitors to TripAdvisor's website can review these businesses by responding to surveys or post comments about their personal experiences. Based on these reviews, TripAdvisor compiles and publishes rankings, categorizing the businesses listed. In 2011 a ranking of "dirtiest hotels" identified the Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, as the "dirtiest hotel in America".

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USA: court decides on passenger complaint against cruise ship operator

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a complaint filed by passengers against a cruise ship operator that alleges specific facts that, if proven, would sustain a finding of negligence is sufficient to withstand a motion for dismissal. In the instant case, plaintiffs alleged that an employee of the cruise ship operator encouraged them to go on a specific excursion during an island port call. They went on the excursion which included transportation on an open-air bus. The bus encountered the funeral service for a member of a local crime gang.

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USA: Federal Aviation Administration to reexamine passenger use of portable electronic devices on board aircraft

On August 28, 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a request for comments on current policy, guidance, and procedures that aircraft operators (ranging from pilots of general aviation aircraft up to and including air carrier certificate holders at the major airlines) use when determining if passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) may be allowed during any phase of flight on their aircraft.

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USA: DOT fines companies for violating Consumer Protection and Price Advertising Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined online travel agent Travelocity $180,000 for violating the Department’s rule on full-fare advertising by failing to include fuel surcharges and other fees in advertised airfares and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations.

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USA: Airlines lose appeal against DOT fare rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has upheld the Transportation Department’s full-fare advertising and fare refund rules that had been challenged by Allegiant, Spirit and Southwest. The rules that require airlines and travel sellers to quote full prices with all taxes and mandatory fees includedwent into effect last year. The airlines had challenged that provision on the grounds that there is nothing “inherently” deceptive about showing taxes separately, as is commonly done in most other industries.

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USA: new law to require airlines to seat families together?

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation that would prevent families from being separated because of airline fees for priority seats like aisles and windows. The bill, which has been dubbed the Families Flying Together Act of 2012, would direct the Department of Transportation to enforce the family seating requirement.

Source: The Hill; find article here>>.

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USA: Transportation Secretary queried on EU Emissions Trading System

At a June 6 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was questioned about whether the Administration would support legislation to prohibit American airlines from participating in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System. Secretary LaHood, while saying that he wasn’t prepared to take a position on the legislation, did say that he and other Administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have made their opposition to the EU plan clear.

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USA: DOT issues guidance on aviation consumer information-related requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued on April 19 a notice to provide guidance to airlines and U.S. travel agents regarding compliance with the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. One of the issues addressed in the guidance letter is the requirement that, effective April 14, airlines and travel agents disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines.

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New proposals to address crimes at sea

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that the United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to the proposal of the United Kingdom, CLIA, and the Philippines to develop guidelines to address concerns related to alleged serious crimes and persons missing at sea. All 24 delegations that spoke at the IMO meeting on April 18 expressed their appreciation for the proposal and supported it without exception.

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EU Parliament gives green light to air passenger data deal with the US

A new agreement on the transfer of EU air passengers' personal data to the US authorities was approved by the European Parliament on Thursday. The deal sets legal conditions and covers issues such as storage periods, use, data protection safeguards and administrative and judicial redress. The agreement will replace a provisional deal in place since 2007.

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