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Notice

Agency Information Collection; Request for Comments; Clearance and Renewal of a Previously Approved Collection; Disclosure of Change-of-Gauge Services

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AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary (OST).

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) this notice announces that the Information Collection Request, abstracted below, is being forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget for renewal and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected cost burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on September 9, 2008 [FR Vol. 73, pages 51547—51548]. No comments were received.

DATES:

Written comments on this notice should be received on or before [December 15, 2008 and submitted to the attention of the DOT/OST Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503 with the associated OMB Approval Number 2105-0538 and Dockets OST-95-177.

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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: December 31, 2008.

Type of Review: Renewal and Approval of a previously approved collection.

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.

Number of Respondents: 16,000, excluding air travelers

Number of Responses: 18,200,000

Total Annual Burden: 227,288 hours

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.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Department's estimate of burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collection; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, by the use of electronic means, including the use of automated collection techniques Start Printed Page 67247or 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. E8-26962 Filed 11-12-08; 8:45 am]

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