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New York bill may be right for passengers, but it’s no Passenger Bill of Rights

The New York Senate last week passed a bill which is being referred to as a Passenger Bill of Rights.

In the interest of accuracy, this should be referred to as a Bill of Right, singular.

The bill, if approved by New York’s Assembly, will simply mandate that airlines provide passengers with the basics—water, fresh air, working toilets—when they’re stranded on the tarmac for three or more hours. Hardly a quantum leap forward for consumer rights.

On a positive note, the bill would create an Office of Airline Consumer Advocate, giving disgruntled air travelers a central source for filing and tracking airline complaints.

Overall, this looks like a step in the right direction. But a truly comprehensive Passenger Bill of Rights is a different animal altogether.

Let’s save the rather exalted label—Airline Passenger Bill of Rights—for a bill that lives up to its name.

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