Thursday, March 18, 2010

US Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

Video: CBS Travel editor Peter Greenberg discusses the new three hour rule for holding planes on the tarmac and the Virgin America flight that held passengers for 16 hours.

It is expected that new rules regarding how the passengers are going to be compensated and how airlines have to behave in case of undue delays are expected soon, possibly by the end of April. As you can understand from this video, it is expected that while airlines passengers may welcome the legislation, airlines are not likely to be amused.

According to a recent report in USA Today, "The rule also requires airlines to provide adequate food and water for passengers within two hours during a delay, as well as operable lavatories and, if necessary, medical care."

But from April 29, the video says, if the Airline does not take care of you, like feeding and hydrating you, and do not return you to the gate after three hours, they have to pay $27,500 per passenger. It is definitely going to improve the situation and mitigate the suffering of the passengers who some times wait without any facilities for hours together.

That said, there is hope that the passengers won’t be stranded on the tarmac indefinitely. This comes amidst stories of passengers who waited indefinitely, only to be told later impassionedly that their flights are cancelled.

However, there are reports of airlines saying that the new rule will only prompt more cancellations it is profitable for them to cancel flights rather than pay $27,500 per passenger as fine. So, the so-called "Passenger Bill of Rights" that is going on the Senate this week is going to cause quite a bit of flutter! Happy flying till then!

No comments: