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Fri, May 22, 2009

FlyersRights Claims Only 'Modest Gains' in House FAA Reauthorization

Predicts/Hopes Senate Version Will Set Binding Limits on Tarmac Delays

FlyersRights.org Executive Director Kate Hanni (pictured right) is politely lauding the "modest gains for airline passengers" contained in the FAA Reauthorization bill (H.R. 915) that passed through the House of Representatives, Thursday, but predicted that the "final version that goes to the President will ultimately contain the critical element consumers want most - a binding, enforceable limit on the amount of time passengers can be held in aircraft waiting on the tarmac."

Among consumer advances in the House bill, Hanni said, are provisions requiring airlines to provide food, water, temperature controls and working lavatories to passengers whose flights are delayed on the nation's tarmacs.

"It's a measure of the airlines' contempt for their passengers that it takes an Act of Congress to force them to give their customers basic human necessities like food, water and working toilets during tarmac delays that now last upwards of 9 hours," Hanni noted.

"Under the House version, the airlines themselves get to decide how long passengers must sit on the tarmac. That's just not acceptable, and we're optimistic that once the Senate takes up the bill, President Obama will get the chance to sign a measure he himself sponsored as a Senator - a uniform, binding, industry-wide three-hour limit on tarmac delays."

FlyersRights.org is a consumer organization representing airline passengers, and was formed after Hanni was stranded on the tarmac at the Austin airport in 2006.

FMI: www.FlyersRights.org

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