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New York’s Airline Passenger Rights Law Overturned

March 26, 2008 01:18 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
As of Tuesday, airlines operating in New York state are no longer legally obliged to provide food, water and clean toilets to passengers on delayed planes.

30-Second Summary

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The law was passed after thousands of JetBlue Airlines passengers were stranded aboard nine aircrafts for up to 10 hours during a Valentine’s Day ice storm last year.

The customers complained there was a lack of food and water and the toilets had overflowed.

Although the state adopted the passenger rights law in August of last year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said yesterday that it “interferes with federal law governing the price, route or service of an air carrier,” The Washington Post reports.

The court said that although the law was well-intentioned, only the federal government has the authority to pass such regulations.

The New York law was the first of its kind in the country, but JetBlue actually took it upon itself to craft a customer Bill of Rights shortly after the Valentine’s Day incident. The proposal was aimed at mending damaged customer relations and promised to compensate passengers for flight disruptions.

Proponents of the New York law have expressed disappointment over the court’s decision to overturn it, saying they plan to appeal.

Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, the prime sponsor of New York Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, said that the ruling "is a disappointment to anyone who has suffered at the hands of airlines that care more about profits than their customers."

Headline Link: ‘Court Overturns Air Passenger Rights Law’

Opinion & Analysis: The pros and cons of a passenger rights law

Background: New York’s law and the JetBlue meltdown

Reference: New York’s Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

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