Monday, 25 January 2021

Houses passes FAA Reauthorization

 

WASHINGTON – On Thursday the House of Representatives voted to pass HR 2881, the House Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization.


The bill requires airlines and airports to have emergency contingency plans to take care of passengers who are involved in long flight and tarmac delays, including plans on deplaning after a lengthy delay.


These plans must account for the provision of food, water, clean restrooms and medical care for passengers. The Department of Transportation can fine those who fail to develop or comply with these plans.


“Today, the House sent a clear message to the flying public: everyone has a right to be treated decently and fairly while on a plane or in an airport, especially during excessive delays,” Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), who authored the bill, said in a written statement.


“For too long, we’ve heard story after story of paying customers being subjected to uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe conditions when flights are delayed or canceled,” Thompson said. “Right now, airline passengers aren’t guaranteed access to clean drinking water, food, bathrooms or medical care. They can also be held on a plane for hours on end against their will.”


Thompson said he found those conditions unacceptable, which is why he introduced the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (HR 1303) in March. That bill requires airlines to provide passengers with the basic necessities during delays and allows passengers to get off the plane when delays became excessive.


Thursday's House vote on those key provisions in the FAA Reauthorization bill is a big step toward securing passenger rights, Thompson reported.


“The inclusion of passenger rights in the FAA Reauthorization bill is a big win,” Thompson stated. “However, we must make sure this legislation not only becomes law, but also does the job. We’ll be keeping a close watch on whether the airlines use this as opportunity to improve the way they treat passengers.”


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