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Renita Jablonski: Today, the New York airports are busy with not only the holiday travelers, but with a new measure to enforce. As Jill Barshay reports, the state’s the first place in the country to enact an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights.
Jill Barshay: Now, if you’re trapped on a plane at JFK, the airline has to give you food, water, and a clean toilet.
Kate Hanni: New Yorkers just won’t tolerate this kind of thing.
That’s Kate Hanni. She started the Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights a year ago. Her 22,000-member group lobbied for the New York law.
Hanni: It’s one tough piece of legislation that finally has some consequences attached if the airlines do not provide basic human needs to airline passengers after three hours on the tarmac.
Airlines are protesting the law in court. But for now, they have to pay $1,000 per passenger for violations.
The new rules apply only in New York. If you’re grounded elsewhere, you’re out of luck. Several states are working to copy New York this year. Hanni’s also pressing for tougher federal legislation to cover all 50 states. She wants to require airlines to let us off the plane. For now, that bill is stuck in Washington.
In New York, I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.
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