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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of a Previously Approved Collection

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AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, this notice announces the Department of Transportation's (DOT) intention to request extension of a previously approved information collection.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received on or before November 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit a comment (identified by DOT Docket Number OST-95-177) by any of the following methods:

  • Web site: http://regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-001.
  • Hand Delivery: Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Wednesday and Federal Holidays.

Instructions: All comments must include the agency name and Docket Number OST-95-177. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://Start Printed Page 51548regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You should know that anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http://regulations.gov at any time or to Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Wednesday and Federal holidays.

If you wish to receive confirmation of receipt of your written comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped postcard with the following statement: “Comments on Docket OST-95-177”. The Docket Clerk will date stamp the postcard prior to returning it to you via the U.S. mail. Please note that due to delays in the delivery of U.S. mail to Federal offices in Washington, DC, we recommend that persons consider an alternative method (Internet, fax, or professional delivery service) to submit comments to the docket and ensure their timely receipt at U.S. DOT.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Aleta Best, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 493-0797.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Disclosure of Change-of-Gauge Services.

OMB Control Number: 2105-0538.

Expiration Date: November 30, 2008.

Type of Request: Extension of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: Change-of-gauge service is scheduled passenger air transportation for which the operating carrier uses one single flight number even though passengers do not travel in the same aircraft from origin to destination but must change planes at an intermediate stop. In addition to one-flight-to-one-flight change-of-gauge services, change-of-gauge services can also involve aircraft changes between multiple flights on one side of the change point and one single flight on the other side. As with one-for-one change-of-gauge services, the carrier assigns a single flight number for the passenger's entire itinerary even though the passenger changes planes, but in addition, the single flight to or from the exchange point itself has multiple numbers, one for each segment with which it connects and one for the local market in which it operates.

The Department recognizes various public benefits that can flow from change-of-gauge services, such as a lowered likelihood of missed connections. However, although change-of-gauge flights can offer valuable consumer benefits, they can be confusing and misleading unless consumers are given reasonable and timely notice that they will be required to change planes during their journey.

Section 41712 of Title 49 of the U.S. code authorizes the Department to decide if a U.S. air carrier or foreign air carrier or ticket agent (including travel agents) has engaged in unfair or deceptive practices. Under this authority, the Department has adopted various regulations and policies to prevent unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition. The Department requires as a matter of policy that customers be given notice of aircraft changes for change-of-gauge flights. (See Department Order 89-1-31, page 5.) The Department proposed to adopt the extant regulations, however, because it was not convinced that these rules and policies resulted in effective disclosure all of the time.

Respondents: All U.S. air carriers, foreign air carriers, computer reservations systems (CRSs), and travel agents doing business in the United States, and the traveling public.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: Annual reporting burden for this data collection is estimated at 113,644 hours for all travel agents and airline ticket agents and 113,644 hours for air travelers, based on 15 seconds per phone call and an average of 1.5 phone calls per trip, for the approximately 33% of change-of-gauge itineraries that involve personal contact. Most of this data collection (third party notification) is accomplished through highly automated computerized systems.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 16,000, excluding travelers.

Estimated Time per Response: At 15 seconds per call and an average of 1.5 calls per trip, a total of 22.5 seconds per respondent or traveler, for the approximately 33% of change-of-gauge itineraries that involve personal contact.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this collection of information (third party notification) is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including through the use of automated techniques or other forms of information technology.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Todd M. Homan,

Director, Office of Aviation Analysis.

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[FR Doc. E8-20371 Filed 9-2-08; 8:45 am]

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