Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bill of Rights for Air Passengers

There was yet another in a long line of news articles this week over the ongoing efforts to get Congress to pass an airline passengers' bill of rights. These bits of legislation, in case you haven't heard, are designed to address such things as passengers being forced to sit on airliners for hours on end due to airport delays, etc. On this issue, the version presently being debated in a Senate committee limits those wait time to THREE HOURS, and the airlines are, as usual, complaining that this limit would cause even more delays.

If you've flown much at all, you know the feeling of being treated more like a commodity than a person. The treatment within the terminals is only heightened when passengers are crammed inaside an aluminum tube with other coughing passengers, bad body odor, crying babies, and generally obnoxious other human beings. Yet passengers who might complain too vociferously, much less try to get off the plane, are subject to Federal security laws and arrest for misconduct aboard an airplane.

Three horrific stories have provided much of the impetus behind these bills. First, in 1999, a Northwest flight was heldon the tarmac for over eight hours, with no water, no working toilets, no food, and no honest answers about what was going on.

Read it all here.

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