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Passenger Bill of Rights Gets Tossed

By Linda Tancs

A New York appellate court has invalidated the nation’s first passenger bill of rights passed in that state, declaring that it conflicts with federal law designed to establish airlines’ rights and obligations regarding service.  As travelers increasingly suffered the indignity of lengthy confinement on the tarmac sans food or drink, the idea of a passenger bill of rights gained ground around the nation among legislators.  These bills intended to guarantee delayed passengers certain amenities such as food, water, clean toilets and fresh air.  Now, unless Congress decides to legislate airline service in such circumstances, the treatment accorded New York’s bill doesn’t bode well for similar legislation proposed in states such as New Jersey and Washington.

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