Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Amusing Explanation through Bureaucratic Citation

I am pleasantly surprised that the press have reported that a middle-eastern airline, Kuwait Airways, has been called out by the Department of Transportation for not servicing Israeli citizens.

However, DOT seems to have been pushed into doing this. In a letter to the airline company it is revealed at first DOT did not seem to see a problem with the discrimination till the complaint was petitioned for review to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Here is a snippet from the letter:

Mr. Gatt’s complaint alleged that KAC discriminated against him, an Israeli citizen traveling on an Israeli passport, in violation of 49 U.S.C. §40127(a) by preventing him from purchasing a ticket for travel on KAC from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Upon notice of our initial decision finding no unlawful discrimination in this matter, Mr. Gatt filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. We subsequently reopened our investigation and reconsidered the matter anew. As part of our reconsideration, we considered Mr. Gatt’s claim upon an alternative ground, i.e. 49 U.S.C. § 41310, which holds that, “[a]n air carrier or foreign air carrier may not subject a person, place, port, or type of traffic in foreign air transportation to unreasonable discrimination.” After a thorough review of the information provided by the parties, we find that KAC unreasonably discriminated against Mr. Gatt in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41310 by refusing to sell him a ticket on its flight from JFK to LHR.

So... why was 49 U.S.C. § 41310 missed? Let's get really silly because a lot more was missed and cited in the letter. There were so many citations I just could not read the letter and make any sense of it.

Here are all the regulations/laws/court cases/etc. cited in the letter other than the original "49 U.S.C. §40127(a)" that was found to not be violated.
  • 49 U.S.C. § 41310
  • section 41310, formerly 49 U.S.C. § 1374(b)
  • section 404(b) of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958
  • section 404(b) of the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938
  • section 3 of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA) of 1887
  • Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, sec. 3, 24 Stat. 379, 380 (1887)
  • Federal Aviation Act of 1958, Pub. L. No. 85-726, sec. 404(b), 72 Stat. 731, 760 (1958)
  • Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, Pub. L. No. 75-706, sec 404(b), 52 Stat. 973, 993 (1938)
  • Pearson v. Duane, 71 U.S. 605, 615 (1866)
  • Pittman v. Grayson, No. 93 Civ. 3974, 1997 WL 370331, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 2, 1997) (finding that airlines are common carriers), aff’d, 149 F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 818 (1999)
  • Mitchell v. U.S., 313 U.S. 80 (1941)
  • Fitzgerald v. Pan Am. World Airways, 229 F.2d 499 (2d Cir. 1956)
  • 49 U.S.C. § 1374(b)
  • 49 U.S.C. § 44902
  • Williams v. Trans World Airlines, 509 F.2d 942 (2d Cir. 1975)
  • 509 F.2d at 948 (holding T.W.A. acted reasonably in refusing passage to passenger who had been subject of F.B.I. warning)
  • Cordero v. Cia Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A.
  • 681 F.2d 669 (9th Cir.1982)
  • Title 49 of the U.S. Code and the orders, rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation - Permit to Foreign Air Carrier, KAC Corporation, Order 2011-3-30, (March 24, 2011) Docket DOT-OST-2010-0246
  • U.S. v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co., 333 U.S. 169, 175 (1948)
  • Fitzgerald, 229 F.2d 499
  • Sec. 3 of the U.S. Export Administration Act of 1979, Pub. L. 96-72, 93 Stat. 503
  • 50 App. U.S.C. 2402(5)(A)
  • 15 C.F.R. 760 (outlining Department of Commerce’s anti-boycott regulations)
  • 15 CFR 760.2 (a) (1)

THAT! All of that was missed upon first review of a complaint that a Kuwaiti airline with operations in the U.S. would not sell any Israeli citizen a ticket. Ignored until the case could have gone to a U.S. Court of Appeals.

The scary thing is that whole mess of citations was missed when they didn't care. What citations can be found to pursue a case against anyone the government wants to go after?

How many B***S*** regulations/laws/etc. are out there waiting for a bureaucrat with nothing to do but looks up B***S*** stuff to mess with the citizenry?

The airlines discriminated. DOT was lazy and didn't do its job until it was almost embarrassed and then it found heaps of reasons to go after the airline.

When an agency isn't lazy, they have heaps of reasons to come after you.

  • Department of Transportation 1, 2

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