Urge Congress to Support a Bill of Rights for Airlines Passengers
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If you are reading this petition, chances are, you've had a bad experience with the airlines. Unfortunately, you're not alone.
In 2015, my family and I were removed from an American Airlines flight to make room for 11 non-revenue passengers. We received no compensation.
Without money for a hotel room, we slept on cots near a boarding gate and remained grounded in the airport until our flight left the next morning -- 10 hours later.
I wish I could say mine is an isolated incident, but it's not. Through no fault of their own, passengers are regularly stranded in terminals.
Challenging the system can be a losing battle, yet, one man courageously fought to avoid this predicament.
Earlier this year, a doctor attempting to travel from Chicago to Kentucky, was forcibly removed from sold-out United Flight 3411 to make way for commuting employees. Bloodied, battered and bruised, the physician pled to remain on board before being unceremoniously dragged down the aisle in front of a plane full of horrified passengers. His crime? Insistence.
Current law allows airlines free reign to determine what's "fair" when boarding and/or removing passengers from a flight.
This arbitrary standard is too broad. Self-regulation leaves consumers at the mercy of a system that is known to: 1. Deny customers seats in order to transport non-revenue passengers; 2. Resort to physical abuse to assert its authority; and 3. Imprudently determine if (and when) customers receive involuntarily denied boarding compensation.
Granting carriers this discretion is the equivalent of allowing a fox to guard a hen house. At some point, customers become prey.
There is a federal regulation outlining what compensation is due passengers if they are involuntarily denied boarding however, if the airlines falsely claim passengers are late to avoid paying compensation, passengers have limited recourse to challenge this bias system.
On June 22, 2017, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) co-sponsored legislation with Edward J. Markey (D-MA) to protect passenger rights. Notable features of S.1418: A bill to establish protections for passengers in air transportation, will include: 1. Limiting the amount of force used to remove a passenger from a flight; 2. Specifying the minimum compensation payable to passengers involuntarily denied boarding; and 3. Creating a viable pathway for passengers to sue the airlines for deceptive practices.
We cannot "legislate morality" but, we can advocate for a law that restrains the airlines from taking unfair advantage of paying customers. Please sign this petition then contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support Senator Blumenthal's airlines passenger bill of rights.
Airlines should not have more rights than the passengers they carry.
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