Air Transport World

State law pits deregulation vs. public health.(Waypoints)

For advocates of New York's new passenger rights law, which took effect on Jan. 1 and enables the state to impose hefty fines against airlines, the passengers stranded on JetBlue Airways aircraft at JFK for up to 10 hr. during an ice storm last February were "held hostage" in conditions that lacked "basic human standards." These inhumane situations, which the law's advocates say occur far too frequently, allegedly put passengers at real risk of serious illness or injury.

For the Air Transport Assn., which has gone to federal court on behalf of US carriers in an effort (so far unsuccessful) to eliminate the law, the notion that passengers held aboard delayed aircraft are in imminent danger in terms of health or safety is fanciful. …

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