Bill of rights for airline passengers

March 3, 2008 3:37:06 PM PST
One group is calling for a bill of rights for airline passengers.The Coalition for an Airline Passengers Bill of Rights brought its complaints to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia International has one of the worst track records for stranding passengers. At least, that's what consumer advocates say. They tell Action News, PHL ties with Dallas, Fort Worth International as the third worst in the country. They say it's high time legislators do something to protect air travelers.

Action News heard complaint after complaint from air travelers who called the consumer hotline set up by the coalition for an airline passengers' bill of rights.

"We get some of the most horrifying stories from the Philadelphia airport that I've ever heard," Kate Hanni of CAPBOR said.

A passenger took cell phone video from a Philadelphia to Charlotte flight. The passenger was stranded onboard for more than six hours.

All passengers who spoke to Action News say it is beyond frustrating.

"Because you're just confined and you have no idea when you're going to be taking off," Fran Murnaghan of Newtown Square, Pa. said.

So on Monday, the Coalition for an Airline Passengers Bill of Rights rallied support at Independence Mall.

They called on local consumers to contact their state legislators to pass House Bill 2055, Pennsylvania's airline passengers' rights bill.

"Because the bill in Pennsylvania allows for people to get off of the airplanes after three hours and it allows for their essential needs," Hanni said.

Essential needs include food, water, and electricity for lights and fresh air. The bill also allows the state attorney general to penalize airlines as much as $1000 per violation or $1000 per passenger.

The Coalition for an Airline Passengers Bill of Rights does have a hotline you can call if you're stranded on the tarmac. It's 1-877-FLYERS-6.

New York has passed a similar bill of rights, but the airline industry is appealing.

PA House Bill 2055 OR PA House Bill 2055

Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights

Air Transport Association of America (industry trade organization)