Fare Compare's Rick Seaney has published an Top Ten Secrets of Air Travel Insiders here
Number 10 was a shameless plug for FareCompare - no surprises. However the one that caught my eye was Tip Number 9 - Forget Rule 240. Rule 240 are the filings that each US carrier makes with the DOT stating the rights of a consumer if a US flight is cancelled or diverted. I did a post on Rule 240 in August quoting a travel lawyer that urged all consumers to carry a copy of an airlines Rule 240 filing on every flight just in case you need to show it to a grumpy customer service staff member.
Seaney says this is bad advice. He says that Rule 240 is no longer a government rule and hasn't been one for 30 years. Has a quote from the FAA to say that it is the airlines own conditions of carriage that is now the definitive statement of what you can expect from an airline that bumps or dumps you. That means - you are subject to the kindness of the US airline industry. God help us all. Seaney has a good list of links to carriage conditions for most airlines