March 25, 2008
Goodbye Airlines Bill of Rights
Via the AP, Appeals Court Rejects Airline Law.
The New York law set out to protect airline passengers was thrown out today by a federal appeals court. The law requires airlines to provide food, water, clean toilets and fresh air to passengers in a plane delayed on the ground for more than three hours.
Why was it rejected? Simply because it was conflicting with a federal law governing the price, route or service of an air carrier.
The court did like the law but said that it had to be done at the federal level, not the state level. The court said:
If New York's view regarding the scope of its regulatory authority carried the day, another state could be free to enact a law prohibiting the service of soda on flights departing from its airports, while another could require allergen-free food options on its outbound flights, unraveling the centralized federal framework for air travel.
I still think each airline has their own terms of service. Many airlines have their own "bill of rights." Here is Contiental's as a PDF document.