New Airline Passengers Bill of Rights takes flight in 111th Congress


NAPA, CA – issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on news that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) today introduced the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights in the Senate. The bill will give airline passengers legal rights by preventing them from being held indefinitely on planes, ensuring passengers’ needs are met, and helping airlines coordinate with government agencies.

“We applaud Senator Boxer and Senator Snowe for introducing the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights in Congress to give passengers legal rights and ensure their well-being. For far too long, the airlines have put profits ahead of customer service and the basic human needs of the flying public. It is our hope that this bill will give passengers a legal voice when confronted with the horrific ordeal that tens of thousands of passengers have endured when held for many hours on airport tarmacs without food, water, and other essential human needs.

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Coalition representatives recently met with President-Elect Obama’s transportation transition team, and Senator Obama was a co-sponsor of the previous bill, so we are excited about the prospects for this new bill.

We encourage all members of Congress to join the efforts of Senator Boxer and Senator Snowe to ensure the passage of a comprehensive, enforceable Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights that would modernize and improve airline industry standards for customer service.”

The main provisions of the new bill are:

— Airlines to offer passengers the option of safely deplaning once they
have sat on the ground for three hours after the plane door has

— Airlines to provide passengers with food, potable water, comfortable
cabin temperature and ventilation, and adequate restrooms while a plane
is delayed on the ground.

— A consumer complaint hotline so that passengers can alert the agency
about delays.

— Airports and airlines to develop contingency plans to be reviewed and
approved by DOT, and fines for air carriers and airports that do not
submit or fail to comply with contingency plans.

CAPBOR has 24,000 members and is the largest non-profit airline passengers rights coalition.