Agency Information Collection; Activity Under OMB Review; Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space--BTS Form 251

Agency Information Collection; Activity Under OMB Review; Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space--BTS Form 251

Federal Register Notice
December 24, 2003
Volume 68, Number 247

AGENCY: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for extension of currently approved collections. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on September 22, 2003 (68 FR 55085-55086).

DATES: Written comments should be submitted by January 23, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bernie Stankus, Office of Airline Information, K-14, Room 4125, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001, Telephone Number (202) 366-4387, Fax Number (202) 366-3383, or e-mail bernard.stankus@bts.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

Title: Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

OMB Control Number: 2138-0018.

Forms: BTS Form 251.

Affected Public: U.S. and foreign air carriers that provide scheduled passenger service with aircraft having over 60 seats.

Abstract: BTS Form 251 is a one-page report on the number of passengers denied boarding voluntarily and involuntarily, whether the bumped passengers were provided alternate transportation and/or compensation, and the amount of the payment. U.S. and foreign air carriers that operate scheduled passenger service with large aircraft (over 60 seats) must submit Form 251. However, carriers do not report data from inbound international flights because the protections of Part 250 Oversales do not apply to these flights. The report allows the Department to monitor the effectiveness of its oversales rule and take enforcement action when necessary. The involuntary denied-boarding rate has decreased over the years from 4.38 per 10,000 passengers in 1980 to 0.89 for the nine months ended September 2003. The improvement has been made in a period when load factors and passenger enplanements have risen. These statistics demonstrate the effectiveness of the "volunteer provision." The publishing of the air carriers´ individual denied boarding rates has negated the need for more intrusive regulation. The rate of denied boarding can be examined as a continuing fitness factor. This rate provides an insight into a carrier's policy of treating passengers and its compliance disposition. A rapid sustained increase in the rate of denied boarding often is an indicator of operational difficulty. Because the rate of denied boarding is released quarterly, travelers and travel agents can select carriers with low bumping incidents when booking a trip. This information is made available to the public in the Air Travel Consumer Report and on the Web at http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer. The Air Travel Consumer Report is also sent to newspapers, magazines, and trade journals. Without Form 251, determining the effectiveness of the Department's oversales rule, would be impossible.

Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 2,200 hours.

Address: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725-17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention BTS Desk Officer.

Comments are invited on: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department concerning consumer protection. Comments should address whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (44 U.S.C. 3501 note), requires a statistical agency to clearly identify information it collects for non-statistical purposes. BTS hereby notifies the respondents and the public that BTS uses the information it collects under this OMB approval for non-statistical purposes including, but not limited to, publication of both respondent's identity and its data, submission of the information to agencies outside BTS for review, analysis and possible use in regulatory and other administrative matters.

Issued in Washington, DC, on December 17, 2003.

Donald W. Bright,
Assistant Director, Office of Airline Information.

[FR Doc. 03-31727 Filed 12-23-03; 8:45 am]

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