Time magazine has an article about the state of the passenger’s bill of rights that is currently attached to the FAA authorization bill and is making its way through the Senate.
According to Time, the Senate has added a loophole for the airlines that will allow airlines to keep passengers on planes more than 4 hours.
If the airlines file “contingency plans” to the DOT that explain how they will handle future delays, the airlines would not be required to deplane passengers after four hours on the tarmac (though they would still have to ensure sanitary conditions on the planes).”This new wording does seem to negate the original purpose of the Bill of Rights, [which was] to make sure passengers aren’t stranded on tarmacs,” says John Gentzel, press secretary for Senator Snowe.
The clostrophobe inside us is rooting for the Passenger’s Bill of Rights. The rest of the Time article is really nothing new, more harping on JetBlue and American Airlines and heaping helpings of self-congratulation concerning all the successful “negative publicity” that the mainstream media has heaped upon the now-prostrate airlines.
Will airlines toe the line just because Time and CNN will write mean things about them if they screw up? Time seems to think so. We’re less sure. —MEGHANN MARCO