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Senator Fuschillo Urges Federal Court To Uphold NYS Airline Passengers’ Bill Of Rights

 

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. today urged federal appeals judges to uphold New York State’s new “Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights” Law which began protecting the rights of passengers that use New York airports on January 1, 2008.  The Air Transport Association of American, Inc. (ATA), which represents the major airlines, is, for the second time, challenging the law which protects the rights of airline passengers.

     Senator Fuschillo (8th District), Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, who authored the passengers rights’ bill, said, “New York’s Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights is a common sense law that ensure that stranded airline passengers are treated with respect.  I urge the federal judges to uphold this law so that air travelers at New York airports will continue to be protected.”

     On December 20, 2007, U.S. District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn dismissed a suit brought by the ATA seeking to prevent the passengers’ rights law from going in effect.   Yesterday (March 5), a federal appeals court panel comprised of three judges heard arguments in an appeal brought by the ATA.   The judges have not yet announced a decision on the case.  

     New York’s Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights requires all airlines at New York airports to provide snacks and water, fresh air and power, and working restrooms for passengers on planes for more than three hours.  The law also established an Office of Airline Consumer Advocate within the New York State Consumer Protection Board which provides the flying public with a New York State-based consumer advocate to help coordinate with appropriate airline industry officials, federal agencies and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the event an airline delay incident occurs.  After investigating each incident, the Airline Consumer Advocate can refer any violation of the law to the New York State Attorney General’s Office who can seek a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per passenger per violation by an airline.    


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