Airlines should disclose ticket change and cancellation fees seat sizes consumer panel

Airlines should disclose ticket change and cancellation fees, seat sizes, consumer panel says by Joan Lowy, The Associated Press Posted Sep 1, 2015 1:45 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Airlines should clearly disclose the cost of change and cancellation fees, as well as the size of the plane’s seats, before a passenger buys a ticket, a federal panel said Tuesday.Hotels should also be required to include any mandatory fees in their room rates, the Transportation Department’s Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protections recommended.Some hotels have begun adding mandatory resort and other fees to bills even though customers say they weren’t informed of them when they booked their rooms. The panel’s recommendation on hotels was directed to the Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating such so called drip pricing.Likewise, the four-member panel heard testimony that passengers must search to find the cost of change or cancellation fees that airlines hide in a ticket’s fine print. The fees can run hundreds of dollars, especially on international flights. The Transportation Department should require the fees be spelled out clearly so that passengers are informed before a ticket purchase, the panel said.The panel also recommended that the Transportation Department permit airlines to choose whether to allow passengers to make wireless voice calls from planes during flights.Airlines have also shrunk the distance between a seat and the one in front by as much as 6 inches in recent years. It used to be that 34 inches between the seats was standard for economy class seats. But now 31 inches is typical and some airlines have wedged in so many seats that there is as little as 28 inches of room.The width of seats is typically 18 inches but has been reduced in some cases to 17 inches, and there are indications some airlines may shrink them even more, said Charlie Leocha, head of Travelers United, the consumer advocate on the panel.Seat shrinkage has raised concern that passengers may get blood clots if they sit for a long time without the ability to move around, and that passengers may not be able to quickly evacuate a plane in an emergency.The Federal Aviation Administration requires that aircraft makers demonstrate that all passengers on an airliner can be evacuated within 90 seconds with half the emergency exits blocked in order for the plane to be certified. There have been no evacuation tests of airliners with seats 28 inches apart, Leocha said.The panel recommended the FAA conduct more realistic evacuation tests, including of planes with seats as close as 28 inches apart.Leocha said he was disappointed the panel didn’t recommend the FAA issue regulations establishing a minimum amount of personal space that must be allotted per passenger. There are already regulations that set a minimum amount of space that pets on planes must be allotted, he noted.Panel member Dave Berg, an attorney with Airlines for America, a trade group for major airlines, said he objected to the notion that the government should establish a minimum amount of space per passenger. Difference between seat sizes “goes to the heart and soul” of airline competition, and it would be inappropriate for the government to interfere in such competition by a deregulated industry, he said.The FAA is not required to act on the recommendations. The airline passengers advocacy group FlyersRights has filed a petition asking the FAA to establish a minimum amount of personal space per passenger.___Online:Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protections http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/ACACP___Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy FILE – In this June 13, 2011 file photo, a fee sign is seen at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia. Airlines should clearly disclose the cost of change and cancellation fees, as well as the size of the plane’s seats, before a passenger buys a ticket, a federal panel said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) read more

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Trailer Park Boys to be brand ambassadors for NB marijuana producer

Trailer Park Boys to be brand ambassadors for N.B. marijuana producer by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 24, 2016 11:20 am MDT Last Updated Nov 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONCTON, N.B. – Some of Canada’s most notorious dope-smoking louts will be brand ambassadors for a New Brunswick marijuana producer.OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (TSX:OGI) says TV’s Trailer Park Boys have chosen the Moncton company as their exclusive Canadian cannabis producer, business partner and brand developer.OrganiGram, a licensed producer of medical marijuana, says it will work with the Trailer Park Boys’ production company to develop branding and packaging targeted toward recreational users.“This relationship solidifies one of our strategic building blocks as we plan for the legalization of recreational use in Canada,” Ray Gracewood, chief commercial officer at OrganiGram, said in a release.The company did not reveal the financial value of the five-year deal.Louis Thomas, president of Sonic Entertainment Group, said they felt OrganiGram was a good partner from their first meeting.“We had been monitoring closely to best understand how we might be able to enter the cannabis space in Canada,” Thomas said in the release. Sonic represented TPB Productions Limited — the Nova Scotia company controlled by the three actors who play the Trailer Park Boys and own the copyright — in the transaction.The federal government has promised to introduce marijuana legislation next spring, and a committee report on the process is expected at the end this month.“We remain firmly committed to producing and supplying world-class cannabis for our increasing patient base; and we plan on maintaining that commitment in the future at OrganiGram,” said Gracewood. “But we also need to be strategic about the opportunities that will be afforded to us with the advent of recreational use in Canada.” The Trailer Park Boys John Paul Tremblay, as Julian, left, Mike Smith, as Bubbles, centre, and Robb Wells, as Ricky, right, pose for a photograph in Toronto on Thursday, November 27, 2008. Some of Canada’s most notorious dope-smoking louts will be brand ambassadors for a New Brunswick marijuana producer. OrganiGram Holdings Inc. says TV’s Trailer Park Boys have chosen the Moncton company as their exclusive Canadian cannabis producer, business partner and brand developer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette read more

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