Passengers Have Rights In NY

Everyone who pays airfares ought to know how the airlines are spending part of that money. They are paying lobbyists to argue that airlines should not have to provide you with food, water, fresh air and working toilets when they trap you on  the tarmac.

Despite this lobbying, the state of New York has a new law that will require the airlines to provide those necessities after three hours on the ground. No mention of how one is supposed to cope if those things aren’t available in the first three hours. No mention of a right to get off the damned plane, which the airlines argued is not an issue that states can regulate.

And of course the law applies only to New York airports and doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1.

It’s a step forward for passengers, but not really much of one.

Still, it’s too much for the airlines.  A spokesman for the Air Transport Association said it might challenge the law in court.

Let’s hope that the U.S. Congress takes an even stronger stand and passes a bill of rights that includes the crucial right to get off the plane. In fact, let’s do more than hope. Let’s sign the petition.

By the way, just a shout out to some of the reporters covering this story. Food, water and fresh air are not amenities. Can’t you call them necessities, or at least basic comforts or something? We’re not talking about Jacuzzis and wet bars here.


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