[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 82 (Friday, April 27, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 25105-25106]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10179]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

14 CFR Parts 234 and 241

RIN 2139-AA13
[Docket No. DOT-RITA-2011-0001]


Reporting of Ancillary Airline Passenger Revenues

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary (OST), Department of Transportation 
(DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting.

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SUMMARY: This document announces a public meeting on a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued on July 15, 2011. The NPRM proposed 
changes regarding reporting of airline ancillary passenger revenues, 
computation of mishandled baggage rates, and collection of separate 
statistics for mishandled wheelchairs and scooters used by passengers 
with disabilities. During the public meeting, DOT staff will provide a 
summary of the proposals in the NPRM and seek input on costs and 
benefits associated with the implementation of the proposals.

DATES: Meeting Date and Time: The public meeting is scheduled for May 
17, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., 
Eastern Time.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the Oklahoma City Conference 
Room (located on the lobby level of the West Building) at the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC. Attendance is open to the public; however, since access to the U.S. 
DOT headquarters building is controlled for security purposes, any 
member of the general public who plans to attend this meeting must 
notify the Department contacts noted below at least ten (10) calendar 
days prior to the meeting.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles E. Smith, Trial Attorney, 
Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and 
Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9342 (phone), 202-366-7152 (fax), 
Charles.Smith@dot.gov. You may also contact Blane A. Workie, Deputy 
Assistant General Counsel, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for 
Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-
366-9342 (phone), 202-366-7152 (fax), Blane.Workie@dot.gov. TTY users 
may reach these individuals via the Federal Relay Service toll-free at 
800-877-8339. You may obtain copies of this notice in an accessible 
format by contacting the above named individuals.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 15, 2011, the Department of 
Transportation (DOT or Department) published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing to collect airline 
ancillary revenue information in a more detailed manner, change the way 
mishandled baggage rates are computed from mishandled baggage reports 
per unit of domestic enplanements to mishandled bags per unit of 
checked bags, and fill a data gap by collecting separate statistics on 
mishandled wheelchairs and scooters used by passengers with 
disabilities. See 76 FR 41726. You may review comments to this NPRM at 
www.regulations.gov, docket no. DOT-RITA-2011-0001. The Department is 
holding the public meeting primarily for the purpose of obtaining 
additional information about current industry practices for processing 
and accounting for baggage and wheelchairs. This information is 
critical to determining the cost associated with the proposal to change 
the manner in which the mishandled baggage rate is calculated and the 
proposal to report on the number of mishandled wheelchairs/scooters. We 
are also interested in learning more about the costs associated with 
the proposal to report airline ancillary fee revenue. Interested 
persons may provide oral comments at the meeting. The Department will 
also accept written materials at the public meeting. We will place, in 
the public docket for this rulemaking, any materials received at the 
meeting, as well as a summary of the meeting.
    Below are examples of questions that the Department intends to pose 
at the public meeting.

1. Reporting of Ancillary Fee Revenue

     What is the current industry practice regarding ancillary 
fee revenue reporting for the Form 41 financial data? The Department 
would like to understand the process and logistics of how ancillary 
revenues are collected and transferred into reporting formats. It would 
also be helpful to know the amount of staff time required to develop 
the quarterly and semi-annual Form 41 reports.
     How would the aforementioned systems and processes be 
adapted for carriers to comply with the proposed reporting requirement?
     What new systems and processes would be necessary for 
carriers to comply with the proposed reporting requirement?
     What other resource requirements, e.g. additional 
personnel and training, would be necessary for carriers to comply with 
the proposed reporting requirement? What would be the dollar cost of 
providing those resources?
     The Department assumes that, as a matter of good business 
practice, airlines already collect the ancillary fee revenue identified 
in the proposed reporting requirement. Under this assumption, the costs 
of compliance with the new reporting requirement are estimated to be 
the necessary one-time programming costs to adapt existing computer 
systems (about 40 hours of programming for each carrier to capture the 
ancillary revenue items), in addition to any recurring annual expenses 
(e.g. staff time) for developing the additional reports. Are there 
airlines that don't already gather information about the ancillary fee 
revenue identified in the NPRM?
     How much lead time is necessary to implement the proposed 
reporting requirement?
     Is there any other information that the Department should 
consider regarding the reporting of ancillary fee revenue?

2. The Metric Used To Calculate Mishandled Baggage

     What is the current industry practice regarding processing 
and accounting for checked bags that are checked at the check-in 
counter, at the self-service bag drop, at the gate, or at the jet 
bridge? The Department would like to understand the entire process from 
what happens on the ground and the associated data systems when 
passengers check a bag, to what happens on the ground and the 
associated data systems when passengers claim the bag upon arrival, 
whether that is at the baggage carousel or at the gate or jet bridge.
     What are the existing processes and data systems 
associated with reporting mishandled bags? The Department would like to 
understand the reporting process from the time the passenger

[[Page 25106]]

makes a report to the time the airline provides its mishandled baggage 
data to DOT.
     How could the aforementioned systems and processes be 
adapted to accommodate the proposed reporting requirement?
     What new systems and processes would be necessary for 
carriers to comply with the proposed reporting requirement?
     What other resource requirements, e.g. additional 
personnel and training, would be necessary for carriers to comply with 
the proposed reporting requirement?
     What would be the dollar cost of adjustments to existing 
systems and processes, new systems and processes, and other resource 
requirements?
     The Department assumes that, as a matter of good business 
practice, airlines already gather and maintain information on the total 
number of counter-checked bags, gate-checked bags, and valet bags 
transported in the aircraft compartment. Under this assumption, the 
costs of compliance would include the adaption of the current reporting 
systems and processes (or, if they do not exist, the development and 
implementation of new systems and processes) that gather existing data 
for the new reporting requirements, in addition to any recurring annual 
expenses (e.g. staff time) for developing such reports. We are 
interested in learning if our assumption about current industry 
practice is inaccurate.
     How much lead time is necessary to implement the proposed 
reporting requirement?
     Is there any other information that the Department should 
consider regarding the metric used to calculate mishandled baggage 
rates?

3. The Reporting of Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters

     What is the current industry practice regarding processing 
and accounting for wheelchairs and scooters that are checked at the 
check-in counter, at the self-service bag drop, at the gate, or at the 
aircraft door? Are they accounted for separately from other baggage? 
The Department would like to understand the entire process from what 
happens on the ground and the associated data systems when passengers 
check their wheelchairs or scooters, to what happens on the ground and 
the associated data systems when passengers claim the assistive device 
upon arrival whether that is at the baggage carousel, the gate or jet 
bridge.
     What are the existing processes and data systems 
associated with reporting mishandled wheelchairs and scooters 
transported in the cargo hold?
     How could the aforementioned systems and processes be 
adapted to accommodate the proposed reporting requirement?
     What new systems and processes would be necessary for 
carriers to comply with the proposed reporting requirement?
     What other resource requirements, e.g. additional 
personnel and training, would be necessary for carriers to comply with 
the proposed reporting requirement?
     What would be the dollar cost of adjustments to existing 
systems and processes, new systems and processes, and other resource 
requirements?
     The Department assumes that, as a matter of good business 
practice, airlines already gather and maintain information on damage, 
delay, and loss of wheelchairs and scooters transported in the aircraft 
cargo compartment. Under this assumption, the costs of compliance would 
include the adaption of the current reporting systems and processes 
(or, if they do not exist, the development and implementation of new 
systems and processes) that gather existing data for the new reporting 
requirements, in addition to any recurring annual expenses (e.g. staff 
time) for developing such reports. We are interested in learning if our 
assumption about current industry practice is inaccurate.
     How much lead time is necessary to implement the proposed 
reporting requirement?
     Is there any other information that the Department should 
consider regarding the reporting of mishandled wheelchairs and 
scooters?

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2012.
Pat Hu,
Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
[FR Doc. 2012-10179 Filed 4-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-HY-P