If you have ever spent more than 3 hours waiting on a tarmac, trapped in a huge metal contraption with screaming babies, no food, overflowing toilets and stale air, you will definitely view the Airlines as the Monster of the Century.
Unbelievably, an airline industry trade group has filed a notice of appeal in its challenge to New York state’s new law requiring better treatment of passengers sitting on grounded aircraft.
What does this have to do with paralegals? Probably nothing. What does this have to do with the rights of every traveler whether on business or pleasure? Everything.
The Air Transit Association of America filed a notice to appeal last week’s ruling by Northern District of New York Judge Lawrence E. Kahn. He ruled in Air Transport Association of America v. Cuomo that the pro-passenger law is not pre-empted by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, as the airline industry group contended.
Let’s see if I understand this properly: The law, which goes into effect on Tuesday, will require airlines to provide water, fresh air and working toilets to travelers stuck for longer than three hours on delayed flights. It allows the attorney general to seek civil fines of up to $1,000 per passenger per violation.
So, the airlines want to fly with passengers who have no water, unsanitary conditions, air that you can’t breathe and 300+ people with no where to go to the bathroom. You have a closed container full of elderly people, little children, people with medical conditions, anxiety-ridden folks and oh, yes, how about those stressed out pilots who have to fly the plane after sitting on the runway for 9 hours? Hmmmmm……I think for that, I’ll take the train.