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New Airline Rules: More Delays for Passengers

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Buckle up: The government’s new airline rules for passengers finally came into effect this week, but passengers must wait until January of next year for several new consumer protections, including those that require airlines to incorporate all taxes and fees in advertised fares, ban airlines from making post-purchase price increases and those that require airlines to notify passengers of delays of over 30 minutes, as well as cancellations and diversions.

So why the delay? Steve Lott, spokesman for the airline industry group Air Transport Association in Washington D.C., says the industry requested the extension from the government. “The changes are complex for the computer systems that the airlines use and require extensive time and resources,” he tells Pay Dirt. “We made the request and the Department of Transportation agreed. Those changes cannot simply be made overnight.”

Consumer advocates are divided over the two-step implementation. George Hobica, creator of Airfarewatchdog.com, understands Lott’s rationale. “Anyone who works with software engineers knows that rebuilding data systems and websites takes time to do it right,” he says. “So I’m disappointed, but not surprised about this delay.” But Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, says airlines should have implemented all the new rules before the busy holiday season.

Among the new rules: airlines must refund baggage fees if bags are lost, increase compensation to passengers bumped from oversold flights, and give passengers greater protections from long tarmac delays. “The Department of Transportation’s new passenger protections will help ensure that air travelers receive the respect they deserve before, during and after their flight,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. Hanni is also happy with the progress. “Overall, we are thrilled with the new rules that went into effect,” she says.

However, as Pay Dirt reported in April, these rules fall short in some respects, too. For instance, there is still no compensation for long-term schedule changes or delayed bags, and airlines still overbook passengers. Airlines say that routing flights is a complex procedure that sometimes requires changes and, according to data from the Department of Transportation, there were only 1.1 involuntary bumpees per 10,000 passengers last year, down 11% on 2009.

Frequent flyers, are you happier now?

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    • By WebOsPublisher

      Merging and Unmerging Cells and macros to help with merging cells based
      on selections by rows,by columns,by groups
      Merge and Unmerge Cells
      Merge and Unmerge Cells
      Location: mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/merge.htm
      Code: mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/code/merge.txt
      Home page: mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm
      [View without Frames]
      Copyright (C)1997 – 2002 F. David McRitchie
      Introduction (#intro)
      Merging several columns of cell in rows is frequently necessary to
      design a spreadsheet form. The following macros are designed
      to help merge and unmerge cells in a selection. The major
      macro of importance would be MergeRxR below
      and UnMergeSelected. Merging
      here is referring to the cell container itself not the text within.
      During the testing of these
      macros some interesting observations were made on how cells are
      colored if you chose a column and color it — the merged cells are
      not included in a column selection unless all cells in the merge
      are selected.
      Another observation, if you are merging cells you will want to use
      cell borders (format, cells, borders), but if you unmerge cells you
      will lose the border in the newly revealed separations.
      Merge Macros (#macros)
      The major macro here is MergeRxR which will
      merge the cells for each selected area, but with a twist.
      A normal cell merge would merge cells for rows and columns.
      Code has been added to process each row within a selection
      as if an additional selection. This will make the
      selection process a lot faster as you need not worry about making
      separate selections for each row.
      MergeRxR_Join is a variation of MergeRxR that
      will JOIN the contents
      of the cells to be merged before merging.
      MergeCxC is a variation of MergeRxR that merges
      within the columns in the selected areas.
      The macro UnMergeSelected.
      is simply a macro for format, cells, alignment (tab), [off] Merge cells
      The macro SetUpG20 is simply a quick setup for MarkCells
      on the join.htm page.
      This page contains some VBA macros. If you need assistance to install
      or to use a macro please refer to Getting
      Started with Macros. For more depth see
      Install a Macro or User Defined Function
      on my Formula page.Speed and efficiency considerations can be seen in
      Proper, and other Text changes and in
      Slow Response.
      Merge Example (#example)
      Color has been included to show selection of separate ranges.
      The middle table shows the results of using MergeRxR macro so that
      columns and not rows are merged. The table on right shows
      the results of a standard Format, Cells, Alignment (tab), [x]Merge Cells
      ABCDEF
      1A1-1
      B1-1C1-1
      D1-1E1-1
      F1-1
      2A2B2C2D2
      E2F2
      3A3B3C3D3
      E3F3
      4A4-2
      B4-2C4-3
      D4-3E4-4
      F4-4
      5A5B5C5D5
      E5F5
      6A6B6-5
      C6-5D6-6
      E6-7F6-7
      7A7B7C7
      D7-6E7-7
      F7-7
      8A8-8
      B8-8C8D8-6
      E8F8
      9A9-8
      B9-8C9D9-6
      E9-9F9-9
      10A10-8
      B10-8C10D10-6
      E10-9F10-9
      ABCDEF
      1A1-1
      2A2B2C2D2
      E2F2
      3A3B3C3D3
      E3F3
      4A4-2
      C4-3
      E4-4
      5A5B5C5D5
      E5F5
      6A6
      B6-5D6-6
      E6-7
      7A7B7C7
      D7-6E7-7
      8A8-8
      C8D8-6E8F8
      9A9-8
      C9D9-6
      E9-9
      10A10-8
      C10D10-6
      E10-9
      ABCDEF
      1A1-1
      2A2B2C2D2
      E2F2
      3A3B3C3D3
      E3F3
      4A4-2
      C4-3
      E4-4
      5A5B5C5D5
      E5F5
      6A6
      B6-5
      D6-6
      E6-7
      7A7B7C7
      8
      A8-8C8E8
      F8
      9C9
      E9-9
      10C10
      Merge Macros – Code (#code)
      The macros code for the macros on this page can be found at
      mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/code/merge.txt
      This page contains some VBA
      macros. If you need assistance to install or to use a macro please
      refer to my GetStarted page for
      simpler instructions, or to my
      GetFormula page
      for more extensive information on macros.
      The icon Merge Across is similar to the macro MergeRxR, but MergeRxR will
      work with multiple selections which may make setting up a lot easier.
      Option Explicit
      ‘David McRitchie, mvps.org/dmcritchie/code/merge.txt 2002-05-31
      Sub MergeRxR()
      ‘– Merge cells in multiple selected areas Row by Row —
      ‘ limited to the usedrange (Ctrl+End)
      ‘ D.McRitchie, 2002-05-31 in merge.htm
      Dim rng As Range
      Dim rw As Range, ix As Long
      Set rng = Intersect(Selection, ActiveSheet.UsedRange)
      If rng Is Nothing Then
      MsgBox “nothing in usedrange to be merged”
      GoTo done
      End If
      Dim i As Long, j As Long
      For i = 1 To Selection.Areas.Count
      For j = 1 To Selection.Areas(i).Rows.Count
      Application.DisplayAlerts = False
      Selection.Areas(i).Rows(j).MergeCells = True
      Application.DisplayAlerts = True
      Next
      Next
      done:
      End Sub
      Sub MergeRxR_Join()
      ‘– Merge cells in multiple selected areas Row by Row —
      ‘ limited to the usedrange (Ctrl+End)
      ‘ JOIN contents of cells before merging
      ‘ D.McRitchie, 2002-05-31 in merge.htm
      Dim Str As String, ii As Long
      Str = “”
      Dim rng As Range
      Dim rw As Range, ix As Long
      Set rng = Intersect(Selection, ActiveSheet.UsedRange)
      If rng Is Nothing Then
      MsgBox “nothing in usedrange to be merged”
      GoTo done
      End If
      Dim i As Long, j As Long
      For i = 1 To Selection.Areas.Count
      For j = 1 To Selection.Areas(i).Rows.Count
      Application.DisplayAlerts = False
      Str = “” ‘… concatenate cells for this row in selection
      For ii = 1 To Selection.Areas(i).Rows(j).Columns.Count
      Str = Str & ” ” & Selection.Areas(i).Rows(j).Columns(ii)
      Next ii
      Str = Mid(Str, 2)
      Selection.Areas(i).Rows(j)(1) = Str
      Selection.Areas(i).Rows(j).MergeCells = True
      Application.DisplayAlerts = True
      Next
      Next
      done:
      End Sub
      Sub MergeCxC()
      ‘– Merge cells in multiple selected areas Column by Column —
      ‘ limited to the usedrange (Ctrl+End)
      ‘ D.McRitchie, 2002-05-31 in merge.htm
      Dim rng As Range
      Dim rw As Range, ix As Long
      Set rng = Intersect(Selection, ActiveSheet.UsedRange)
      If rng Is Nothing Then
      MsgBox “nothing in usedrange to be merged”
      GoTo done
      End If
      Dim i As Long, j As Long
      For i = 1 To Selection.Areas.Count
      For j = 1 To Selection.Areas(i).Columns.Count
      Application.DisplayAlerts = False
      Selection.Areas(i).Columns(j).MergeCells = True
      Application.DisplayAlerts = True
      Next
      Next
      done:
      End Sub
      Sub UnMergeSelected()
      ‘– same as format, cells, alignment (tab), (turn off) Merge Cells
      Selection.MergeCells = False
      End Sub
      Sub SetupG20()
      Cells.MergeCells = False
      Range(“A1:G20″).Select
      Application.Run “personal.xls!MarkCells” ‘see join.htm
      End Sub
      Additional comments on MergeRxR macro (#mergeRxR)
      The used range is cell A1 through the last cell (Ctrl+End).
      The used range can be identified as select A1 then extend with CTRL+SHIFT+END.
      If you start with an empty sheet there is nothing in the used range.
      This macro checks that the active cell is within the Used Range.
      Forget the macro for a moment. You merge cells vertically the same
      as merging horizontally. You can do both at the same time.
      In Excel 2000 at least, if you select multiple areas with the help
      of Ctrl each selection in the multiple selections will be processed
      separately when you merge cells
      Format, cells, Alignment (tab), [x] Merge Cells
      If merge cells is greyed out, it means there is a mixture of
      merged and unmerged cells, just hit it twice.
      If merge D2:F40 you will get one big block of merged cells.
      But if you wanted D2:F2, D3:F3, D4:F4, etc. to be merged
      independently you could select those ranges independently
      with help of Ctrl and then do your merge with the menus.
      The macro MergeRxR (Merge Row by Row) is designed to
      process merge cells in each selection per row, which is
      what most forms would need.
      MergeEmpty_A (#mergeempty_A)
      Sub MergeEmpty_A()
      ‘David McRitchie, 2004-05-27, programming
      With Cells
      .HorizontalAlignment = xlGeneral
      .VerticalAlignment = xlTop
      End With
      On Error GoTo done
      Cells(Rows.Count, 2).End(xlUp).Activate
      ActiveCell.Offset(0, -1).Activate
      backthere:
      Range(ActiveCell.Address, _
      ActiveCell.End(xlUp).Address).Select
      Selection.Merge
      ActiveCell.Offset(-1, 0).Activate
      GoTo backthere
      done:
      End Sub
      A1B1C1D1
      B2C2D2
      B3C3D3
      B4C4D4
      A5B5C5D5
      B6C6D6
      B7C7D7
      B8C8D8
      B9C9D9
      A10B10C10D10
      B11C11D11
      B12C12D12
      A1B1C1D1
      B2C2D2
      B3C3D3
      B4C4D4
      A5B5C5D5
      B6C6D6
      B7C7D7
      B8C8D8
      B9C9D9
      A10B10C10D10
      B11C11D11
      B12C12D12
      Merge icons (#builtin)
      Formatting icons (manually: Format, cells, alignment, horizontal and merge options)
      — Merge and Center — customize, commands, format
      — Merge Across — customize, commands, format
      — Merge Cells — customize, commands, format
      — Unmerge Cells — customize, commands, format
      Merging of cells interfers with sorting, filtering, copying,
      and pasting along with interferring with autofit of
      row height and column widths (see “Center Across Selection” below and Related Area).
      Problems with Merged Cells (#problems)
      Can’t sort merged cells
      Realigning row height can be a problem. (see Jim Rech’s solution in Related Area).
      Alternatives to Merging Cells (#alternatives)
      “Center Across Selection” (button was dropped in Excel 2000) available via
      Format, cells, alignment, horizontal: Center Across Selection without the Merge option
      is applied row by row on a selection and does not merge a block of cells.
      On the other hand, “Merge and Center” (same button as was dropped from Excel 2000)
      is a merge operation and will merge an entire block of cells into one entity
      and does interfere with sorting etc.
      Adjusting column widths may be an altertive to merged cells to avoid
      “This operation requires the merged cells to be identically sized.”
      There are no builtin shortcut keys for merge/unmerge.
      Related (#related)
      The macros on this page are based on
      my posting
      of 2002-05-31 in misc.
      Color Palette, the 56 palette colors in Excel
      Rearranging Data in Columns contains macros
      MarkCells and
      MarkSepAreas
      of interest in testing merging/unmerging columns. In fact
      code form MarkSepAreas was used to help with MergeRxR described on this page.
      Both Markcells and
      MarkSepAreas were used for the
      Example illustrations.
      Row Height Adjustments for Merged Cells, Automatic”, Jim Rech, programming, 1999/04/02
      Text joining, separation, and reformatting with adjacent cells content, SepTerm
      separates words after 1st word into cell to the right. SepLastTerm
      separates the last word into the cell to the right. Not to be confused with merging and unmerging
      cell borders (containers).
      Sorting merged cells:
      group:*excel* sort merged cells
      Wrapping, not working with Merged Cells, AutoFitMergedCellRowHeight macro, Jim Rech, reposted 2002-08-09. Problems with automatic adjustment of row height involving cells with wrapped text when there are merged cells present, originally posted 1999-04-02.
      2003-10-01
      This page was introduced on May 31, 2002.
      [My Excel Pages -- home]
      [INDEX to my site and the off-site pages I reference]
      [Site Search -- Excel]
      [Go Back]
      [Return to TOP]
      Please send your comments concerning this web page to: David McRitchie
      send email comments
      Copyright © 1997 – 2004, F. David McRitchie, All Rights Reserved

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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