Leno introduces airline passenger 'Bill of Rights'
By Caitlin Cassady
February 13, 2008
A San Francisco assemblyman introduced legislation today at San
Francisco International Airport that would require airlines to
provide things like adequate food and water, fresh air and sanitary
restrooms for passengers who are stranded on planes for at least
Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, announced the introduction
of the Airline Passenger 'Bill of Rights' while flanked by passengers
who have been stranded for hours on planes, members of the Coalition
for an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights and medical experts.
Leno said travelers "should not have to relinquish access
to basic human needs when they board an airplane."
Kate Hanni, founder of the coalition, originally lobbied Congress
to pass a bill stating that airlines have to adequately provide
for passengers who get stuck on planes, like she and her family
were in December 2006. When she met with resistance from Congress
she went to the state level, asking legislators to pass similar
Airlines need to change these unsafe practices, she said. "There
have been deaths due to strandings."
Hanni's son Landon described this morning the 13 hours he and
his family spent on a plane as "absolutely horrible."
Assembly Bill 1943 is modeled after legislation that was passed
in 2007 in New York.
"I hope this bill will end the disrespect and abuse by the
airlines," Leno said.