Last month, the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights was included in and approved with the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. It’s a bill that’s been in the works for what seems like years and finally gives passengers some reasonable rights when it comes to air travel. The rules took effect yesterday.
What are they?
- Airlines are required to provide passengers with food, potable water, comfortable cabin temperatures and ventiation, and adequate restrooms while a plane is delayed on the ground for over two hours.
- Airlines are required to offer the option for passengers to deplane if they’ve been on the ground for more than three hours after the door has closed. This option would be offered every three hours if it continues to sit on the ground. Violations will be penalized, up to $27,500 per passenger.
- Airports and airlines would be required to develop contingency plans for delayed flights. These plans would have to be reviewed and approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT can fine airlines and airports that don’t submit plans.
- The DOT will create a consumer complaint hotline so passengers can call the agency about delays.
The only exception to the three hour rule is if the pilot believes there would be a risk to passenger safety or security. Also, the pilot can delay deplaning for up to 30 minutes past the three hour period if they believe the flight will depart within 30 minutes.
The Early Show has a segment on the subject:
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Airline executives call it a declaration of war… really? I don’t know about that.