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Airline Passengers Bill of Rights Shut Down by Feds

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New York's Bill of Passengers Rights was an example for California's own bill | Photo by jetalone via Flickr

A New York state law proposed to offer airline passengers trapped aboard grounded planes at airports a baseline of humane treatment (e.g. water, air, bathroom facilities) was struck down by the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today. The New York Airline Passenger Bill of Rights was enacted after some high-profile incidents that had passengers stuck aboard delayed flights for hours, with overflowing toilets and no food or drink.

Plans were afoot for a similar bill here in California, but the court wrote that "if New York's view regarding the scope of its regulatory authority carried the day, another state could be free to enact a law prohibiting the service of soda on flights departing from its airports, while another could require allergen-free food options on its outbound flights, unraveling the centralized federal framework for air travel."

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The Court of Appeals ruled, however, that since airline travel is primarily an interstate affair already regulated by the federal government, it would be inappropriate for states to begin enacting a patchwork of laws of their own making. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer: the ball is officially in your court.

Earlier: Recent incidents at LAX

Partially syndicated by Jen Chung/Gothamist