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No More 'Flightmares'? Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Approved By Senate

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Photo by Mike Chen aka MetalMan (on break) via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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They called it a "flightmare"--passengers flying from LAX to JFK earlier this month on a Virgin Atlantic flight were left rationing Pringles and waiting for hours after a weather-related diversion. Grounded and unable to deplane and provided with only four potato chips each and some water, the 16-hour ordeal left passengers outraged.

Legislation passed yesterday, however, will help ensure this doesn't happen again. The Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, included in the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill approved 93-0 in the senate, means that travelers will not be "trapped" and denied access to food, water, and restrooms. Introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), this "Bill of Rights" has been in the works for several years. Says Boxer of yesterday's passage:

This is a great day for airline passengers all across the country. When this bill becomes law, it will ensure that passengers no longer have to live in fear of being trapped on planes for hours without food, water or functioning restrooms. Senator Snowe and I have fought for three years to pass this common-sense Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, and I am so pleased that travelers will finally get the permanent protections they deserve.

So what does The Airline Passenger Bill of Rights include?