Airline fines have fallen to historic lows. Here’s what that means.

The government is on track to issue the lowest number of airline fines in history this year. Federal regulators insist they’re just doing their job and that the numbers represent an ebb in airline violations. But consumer advocates say it’s nothing short of a dereliction of duty.

The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Transportation Department (DOT), which enforces federal consumer protection regulations, has issued seven aviation enforcement orders totaling $2.2 million in civil penalties in 2019. The previous low for enforcement actions, set in 2000, was nine.

The DOT set a decade low for the dollar amount of fines last year, when it issued 16 enforcement orders totaling just $1.8 million in fines.
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Should you say “yes” to automatic tipping?

Automatic tipping is everywhere, and it’s time to do something about it.

I saw it at a pizza restaurant in Provo, Utah, recently. When I paid for my order, the electronic payment system asked if I wanted to tip 10% (cheapskate!), 15% (better!) or the correct amount, 20%. No, the touchpad didn’t actually comment on the choices, but the incorrect selection was clear: the “no tip” box that wasn’t highlighted.

It was a takeout order, for goodness sake.
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