December 11th, 2007
12:53 PM ET

Airlines blocking passenger Bill of Rights?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Apparently the airlines would rather you wait…and wait…and wait…for as long as it takes. And no whining.

"USA Today" reports that the airlines are going to try to block a law that would punish them for stranding passengers on airplanes without certain necessities.

That's right. The airline's main trade group is going to federal court next week to contest New York State’s airline passenger bill of rights.

The law, which would be the first of its kind and is set to take effect January first, would require airlines to provide food, water, electricity and waste removal when a flight leaving from a New York airport waits more than three hours to take off.

It allows New York to fine the airlines up to one-thousand dollars per passenger if they don't comply.

But the "Air Transport Association" wants to stop the law from taking effect. They say only federal authorities can regulate airline service. Their lawyers argue that airlines would be hurt if other legislatures pass laws that vary from state to state.

Come on. Remember last year when some flights were delayed up to ten hours and beyond, and passengers just had to sit there? There was a lot of complaining, but the airlines haven't improved much. In fact, they've gotten worse. The Bureau of Transportation reports the number of flights waiting more than three hours to take off from U.S. airports is up about 25 percent since this time last year.

Here’s my question to you: What’s the message when no Republican candidate gets a 50% approval rating from his own party?

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Alan from San Angelo, TX

    Hmmm, they're happy to send this passenger a bill. I guess I have the right to pay it in return for record poor service. It's such a good deal, on my next trip I'm driving 1,500 miles instead of flying.

    December 11, 2007 at 1:27 pm |
  2. Patricia

    Look, I don't see why the Airlines are afraid passengers will use their bill of rights. Americans haven't protected the real "Bill of Rights" for the last 7 years!!!!

    December 11, 2007 at 2:27 pm |
  3. Pam from Virginia Beach


    December 11, 2007 at 3:12 pm |
  4. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Jack lets say you buy an airline ticket for 6 months from now. Do you know what the weather is going to be that day? Do you know what the weather is like or where the plane you are scheduled on is coming in from? That’s just 2 variables that the airlines have no control over. Ok, you get to Dallas on your flight but there are no gates for your aircraft to taxi to because the flights are backed up and one of the towers is shut down due to an electrical power failure so your aircraft can not taxi. Who is to blame? The airlines? No, that is called mother nature and your Bill of rights just got highjacked by her. You are however now entitled to a free plane ticket according to the passengers bill of rights.
    Same thing if your flight is delayed taking off. If your flight is cleared to taxi the doors are shut and your seated and pushed back your gate is now gone because another plane is going to pull up to it. You get halfway to the departure runway and now another plane is being cleared to land because it is low on fuel. Emergency equipment is pulled out just in case and you wait. Mean while the plane you are on now has to return to a deicing station because it has been longer then 30 minutes since it was deiced and it is below 30 degrees outside the clock marches on and now your entitled to a free plane trip according to the passengers bill of rights.
    If I were an airline I would be fighting this legislation also. What surely will happen if this legislation passes is all air fares will go through the roof and fewer flights will be scheduled to compensate for mother nature.

    December 11, 2007 at 3:25 pm |
  5. David Cissner,San Bernardino,CA.

    The airlines only care about profit! The most sheep(passengers) that they can cram on an airliner with the fewest amount of employees,the happier they are. The airlines make Greyhound look like luxury travel. I remember when you could walk into an airport,buy a ticket,walk onto a plane and get first-class service.a meal,peanuts and free drinks. Was that really the 1960's!

    December 11, 2007 at 3:26 pm |
  6. David A. Morse

    It means the airlines don't care about the passengers. The truth can be NO clearer! We are NOTHING but cattle to them. This has nothing to do with federal jurisdiction! That's just so much cow cookies!

    December 11, 2007 at 3:59 pm |
  7. former airline employee


    I worked for an "American Airline" for sever years. When mgmnt hears passenger bill of rights all they really hear is increased cost and an excuse to try to raise tkt prices.

    Resigned Airline Employee, and proud of it!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:39 pm |
  8. Jim Collins

    The airlines are not different then the cell phone companies,credit card companies, mortgage companies, the mass media, or any other company that the great republican revolution has freed from their shackles of government regulation. They don't give a damn for the public, just the bottom line. Of course when the face economic hardship, the republican revolution is there to bail them out. The poor slobs who have to foot the bill on the other hand when they have trouble are left to whiter on the vine.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm |
  9. NaSh

    If I understand it correctly, the airlines aren't fighting against a passenger bill of rights. They're fighting against legislation being enforced by individual states as opposed to a federal agency (i.e. FAA).

    The potential for varying state legislations creating issues, and potential fines and the like, which would inevitably be passed onto the passengers is almost inevitable.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:44 pm |
  10. Tom

    You know what? No matter what happens the patrons of the airlines will continue to pay the high rates and line up for the abuse. It's the american way. American consumers refuse to take action for change and they get what they deserve. Consumers tired of the abuse should stop using the service. If this was another country the public would be in the streets demanding justice from their government.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:01 pm |
  11. MW

    I think the idea of the airplanes providing basic necessities to their passengers during long waits is good, but you know how airline service is... who wants peanuts on the ground too? 😉

    I think some type of penalty (in the customer's favor, not the state's) is good for making airlines conform more to the acceptable guidelines for the business, but a $1,000 fine per costumer for violations may be excessive. But ultimately to make a business comply with a regulation, you have to hit it where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

    Also, do these airline CEO's ever fly on their own company's public flights? I have a hard time imagining them waiting in an airport for 10 hours.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:09 pm |
  12. Brandie R.

    Airlines charge fees for EVERYTHING...God forbid you need to change your flight, BAM! Add another $50-100 PLUS any difference in cost of the flight. Tell me...How is it that the SAME flight from one day to the next can have such drastic cost differentials?

    I have sat on a plane for 3 hours before the plane left (already missing my connecting flight & having to get a hotel room overnight...I was particularly angry because I paid $60 EXTRA to get the earlier flight in, and the people that got the cheaper, later flight GOT THERE–while I missed MY engagement COMPLETELY!) So, on top of sitting there for 3 hours & not being served any food or beverage, I didn't even make it to my destination that day.

    Airlines get away with murder. But, NY fining the airlines isn't going to be compensation to the passengers, is it?

    To the guy who tells Americans to stop using the airlines-It's apparent your family is not all the way across the country now isn't it? So that comment is easy for you to say.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm |
  13. W B in Las Vegas


    as a retired captain the flew for one of the major "legacy" airlines that used a phoney "bankruptcy" to rob the retirees of their pensions and medical benefits while the so called "executives" stole millions, I can assure you that the ONLY way to straighten out the current airline mess is some level of reregulation. the airlines are all in a "race to the bottom" just like the Corporate Quisling outsourcers and illegal alien exploiters that have destroyed the American manufacturing base and the wages and benefits of workers in those industries that can not be moved offshore.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Gary in Nebraska

    As with most of the 'Fortunate 500' – these corporate fat cats and their shills in Washington will happily kill the golden goose... as long as their own personal nests are feathered first with the public's gold. Call it the great American SCHEME!

    December 11, 2007 at 5:22 pm |
  15. JF

    The "commander-in-chiefs" of the airlines are saying the same thing our commander in chief told us in December 2005 when questioned about such sily things as "rights,"

    “I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

    “Mr. President,” There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.

    “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

    December 11, 2007 at 5:23 pm |
  16. Annie


    They're sending a very loud and clear message: If I can't get there by car or boat, I don't go.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:27 pm |
  17. Stephen Crawley

    Delays are going to happen, but at a certain point a reasonable persons locked on an aircraft for hours on end have the (right) to consider themselves hostages. At which point calling (911) on their cell phones would be a proper exercise of ones (rights).

    December 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm |
  18. Tim Stanford

    Airlines realize that a PBOR means more payoffs and less profits. They are simplying trying to avoid being the fall guy for a horrible Airport Administration System (shall we lement on the air traffic controller errors we have been having lately) and hold on to whatever profits they can after soaring oil prices, and a slowing economy!!

    December 11, 2007 at 5:53 pm |
  19. ron from denver

    Jack, seems like the airlines want government protection just like all the other welfare recipients on coporate welfare. Our damn government has stripped our benefits, healthcare, job protections so that the long list of whores in the corporate world may now get any welfare we pay for in taxes. What makes the airlines any different. Their service blows, the attendants are rude, and you dont even get a bag of pretzels anymore. I say screw em. But when we are on the tarmac don't arrest us when we start kickin some ass after a few hours of sitting that's for sure. Take that privledge away too. No federal law for kicking ass for sitting too long. Then see what they do.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:55 pm |
  20. Jonathan

    If New York doesn't want anymore air travel, they'll pass this new law.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:02 pm |
  21. Trav

    They obviously don't have the resources to comply.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:10 pm |
  22. Katie

    The airlines WILL fight this and other laws like it. We can only hope that the judge who hears the case will have had to spend 3 or more hours on a delayed flight without water or restrooms. That would be poetic justic!

    December 11, 2007 at 6:11 pm |
  23. Douglas

    If God wanted man to fly, he would have given us wings.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:11 pm |
  24. carroll johnson

    Jack, just one word. Selfishness. Government bails them out most the time anyways and part of that money comes from us taxpayers. So what and the hell are they worried about?

    December 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  25. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Flying on an Aircraft in America is not a right it is a privilege, if you can afford the ticket. When the Federal Government gets done with this bill none of us will be able to afford to fly commercially. If people want passengers rights then they need to get a pilots license and an airplane then they can make the call. Until then sit back and relax and if the plane is delayed just be glad they found the mechanical problem before you took off or that they decided for your safety to stay where they are at.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  26. Diane

    Jack, could it be that they are telling us that they couldn't care less about us, their clients? Duh.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  27. Susan

    What does it sAY about the airlines blocking the law in New York?
    It 's simple. It means they don't give a rat's a*$ about their passengers.
    I'd rather drive, thank you.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  28. Mike

    The airlines are simply saying that they would rather keep passengers hostage on the runway than take any responsibility for their utterly inadequate service.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  29. Patricia

    dear Jack,I think it is a good thing that someone isactually standing up for the passengers, when it comes to the airlines they think they are almighty,I say make them pay and pay big.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  30. Adam

    They are saying that considering how long they make us wait and the fact that we keep coming back for more while demanding to pay less, well, why should they care. Perhaps we should enforce our own "bill of rights" with our wallets and decide to pay for the service we get. It wouldn't be long before some carrier would fill that very niche market of doing the right thing...

    December 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  31. Steve Minick

    Of course the airlines are opposed. Any time you have the Federal government placing rules on a business they do not understand (and they do not understand many) it creates additional costs on the business. If Congress can control the weather, then maybe they could set ontime guidelines. Air traffic moving thru the United States is an extremely complicated process that does not have a political feel good, look what I did for you answer.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  32. Ed Early

    The airlines would fight against a passenger Bill of Rights the same way
    Kim il Jung of North Korea would fight against a bill with that name.

    It's obvious that such a passenger bill would cut into the airlines' bottom
    line. Would you expect them to acquiesce without a fight? Don't be silly!


    December 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  33. Mike & McKay

    In defense of the airlines a passenger bill of rights is absurd. The airlines are doing everything that they can to run things smoothly. It's not a right but rather a privelage to fly. All of you complainers can start taking the bus!

    December 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  34. Brooke

    Airline opposition to the Passenger Bill of Rights sends the same message as cramped seats, endless surcharges, absent service, and $5 cheese and crackers do. That message is "we don't care about our customers."

    It's not cheap for most people to fly. While travelers appreciate the challenges and risks associated with air travel, that doesn't mean they're consenting to be treated like cattle. As with so many businesses these days, they're not bothered by the lackluster service their customers receive because they know people have no alternative if they want to travel.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  35. Bruce Gordon

    What is a good idea for a FEDERAL law is not good as a STATE law. The Federal government manages interstate commerce. It is wrong for a STATE to pass their own airline regularting laws. The airlines are correct to oppose this STATE law.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  36. Mark from Upstate NY

    The Airline Industry is telling, American People, just as any other Industry and their sympathizers in the GOP, "We'll take the money, you keep the problems!!"

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  37. chris linster

    To hell with Guantanimo... just put 'em on planes!

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  38. Kendy

    The TSA should be saving us from the terrorist organizations called the airlines. Maybe they will waterboard you for asking for extra peanuts?
    The only response they will understand is when we all stop flying in protest!

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  39. Abbas

    Simply put ,Jack the airline industry is tell us to "sit down & shut up"

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  40. Linda Tiboni

    As an employee of one of those major airlines that have had well publicized problems stranding passengers in the past I can tell you that the motto of those of us that work for the ariline is "the only people that "brand x " airlines treats worse than it's passengers are it's employees".

    December 11, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  41. George

    It means that prisoners have more rights than people who fly. The tin-god like arrogance of corporations who think they can do anything to anyone is proved here.. But wait! Theres more to come! Because there is absolutely no one on earth to stop them!

    December 11, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  42. Melvin

    What it really means is the airline brass has now graduated for the George Bush school/with honors, on how to be an arrogant dictator and love every minute of it.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  43. Sam Thornton

    Jack, I thought the free, invisible hand of the marketplace was supposed to solve all our earthly problems, including those generated by the airline industry. Obviously that hasn't happened. What the airlines have demonstrated instead is that air travel in the United States is too important to be left to the private sector. Bring back regulation. Bring back government-assigned routes, rules, and fares. Get rid of the incompetence and disastrous management by America's corporate dumbos.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  44. Dave Anderson

    Obviously, deregulation of the airlines has failed.

    They need to be treated as public transportation and tightly controlled by the government to help them provide decent service at a modist price to the majority of the public.

    The free market cannot function when the public need comes first. Not selective service to the most lucrative markets with the ridiculous result that profitable markets are overserved and less desirable markets are underserved.

    Lets go back to when airlines were great – when the were more heavily regulated.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  45. Chris in Alabama

    It says the same thing they said when they dumped my 12 year-old daughter onto a flight to Denver to be stranded, and never bothered to call me. I actually had to get a Security guard at Denver International to find an airline employee so I could find out where my daughter was.

    In other words, they don't care one iota once they get your money. I'll never again fly if I can drive instead.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:16 pm |
  46. Michael

    I think the airlines need to look out for themselves in this situation. Their fight isn't stating they aren't concerned with the passengers, it's stating that we can't afford this financially. Providing these amenities will cost millions of dollars to provide, and will most likely end up driving the price of tickets up. The fact that they can be fined up to $1000 is ludacris. People forget the fact that problems can and do occur, and most of the time they are unavoidable. When it rains and it's too dangerous to take off, the flight will be delayed but it's in the interests of the passengers' safety. Are they responsible for the delay? No, unless airlines now control the weather. The end result of any bill that penalizes the airlines will result in increased ticket prices, or decreased numbers of available flights.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:16 pm |
  47. Elizabeth

    Unless the airlines are planning to hire crime scene cleanup crews they should really think twice about fighting that bill. They are going to need these crews to clean up all of the bodily fluids left behind on these planes after holding these passengers for 8-10 hours at a time. Who knows, it may also turn into a real crime scene because someone is just going to snap after being trapped in a plane for that extended period of time.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  48. Destined to Starve?

    Clearly, it says their profits are much more important than your well-being. Its clear, because its happened, that people have been made to sit on planes for extremely long periods of time. I've definitely come off of a delayed flight with 10-15 minutes to trek across a huge airport and get to my next flight before the gates close, with no time to stop and buy food. So if I've already been traveling without food for 3 or more hours, the idea of sitting on an airplane without food for 5 more hours sounds really ridiculous. While weather is not the airlines' fault, it certainly seems like good customer service practice (and human decency) says to feed people. And if the airlines can't be bothered to be decent, I guess we have to make them do it.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  49. Ahtram

    The airlines are letting us know that they are incapable of functioning according to schedule. A three-hour wait isn't long enough for them? I'm glad I'm not travelling this year.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  50. William

    It's just another reason for them to pass out peanuts instead of fine cuisine.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  51. Donald in Rhode Island

    Do people really need to eat every three hours? Has the obesity task force seen this?

    December 11, 2007 at 6:18 pm |
  52. Naman Dayal


    Air traffic volume is increasing at a much faster pace than airport infrastructure. The government needs to build more runways, and find other ways to clear up airport bottlenecks. It would be unfair to put all the blame for airport delays on airlines, when the infrastructure requirements are not being met by the government. And that is the main reason for delays.

    Consider this: the airlines themselves have a lot to lose for each extra minute that their aircraft is standing on the ground, rather than flying in the air. They have every incentive to take-off on time. If only the government had similar incentives!

    Atlanta, GA

    December 11, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  53. Nick Hess

    Jack, The airlines have been a mess ever since Reagan deregulated them.Why should they provide good service to the public if they don't have to.It's just another example that deregulation does not work.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  54. getsteppin

    Airlines fighting the imposed $1,000.00 fine per each passenger, stuck on an airplane for hours. I can only say "Sell em' a Ticket and Forget em'!"

    Its this same HUGE corporate practice of which is running this country. So, Why cant They??
    Send our men and women off to war........"Forget em' when They Return Home"
    Veterans having to Loose everything, their families, their homes, the very things WE fought and died for.."Throw them a uniform, Promise them a GI Bill College Education..........."Get em Home, Stick them into a VA System of which is atiquainted as an abbacus.."Then Forget Em"

    I SEE NOTHING DIFFERENT in any of the above scenerios.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:21 pm |

    What we need is a "Truth from Airlines act"! As a weekly traveler, when I was delayed in Detroit, I believed the airlines promises that my flight would get out by the end of the day. So, I waited, and waited, and then around midnight was offered a cheap hotel or a bus ride home in the middle of the night. If Im delayed late in the day in Detroit now, I just grab a rental car and drive the rest of the way home.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:22 pm |
  56. Ray Berger

    I worked most of my life hoping I would retire well enough to travel. But between inconveniences related to terrorism and the reductions in general of the airline experience, maybe I will limit my travel to where I can drive! Even three hours is way too long to wait on the tarmac for a flight to take off. With the added time to get on a plane and the possible delays in flight and the time to get off and rent a car, I find ANY drive less than 9 to 10 hours much less aggravating.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:22 pm |
  57. Alex Perea, Buena Park, CA

    What does it say about the airlines that they are moving to stop constraints in New York? It says that they feel we should take whatever they dish out. However, it also serves as an example of the fallibility of our sacrosanct capitalistic system. Aren't we suppose to be able to take our business elsewhere? Well we can't, can we? Let's get off our worship of an economic system that has it limits like any other.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:22 pm |
  58. JC

    Hi Jack,

    By saying that flights with delays of more than 3 hours are up 25% percent, we are not getting an accurate view. We need real numbers to see if the problem has really worsen.

    I understand how passengers dislike the wait but this should be taken care by competition between airlines, not by hefty goverment fines. Our goverment continues to put American companies in disadvantage by interfering with the free market.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:23 pm |

    What we need is a “Truth from Airlines act”! As a weekly traveler, when I was delayed in Detroit, I believed the airlines promises that my flight would get out by the end of the day. So, I waited, and waited, and then around midnight was offered a cheap hotel or a bus ride home in the middle of the night. If Im delayed late in the day in Detroit now, I just grab a rental car and drive the rest of the way home.

    Mark DeLaurence Hickory Corners Michigan

    December 11, 2007 at 6:23 pm |
  60. Bob

    If their passengers were pets there would not have to be any law passed

    December 11, 2007 at 6:25 pm |
  61. James (Former USMC)

    When the airlines and their CEO's totally screwed up their companies they sure took the American tax dollar by our government to bail them out. What did we get for our good deed, we got no meals on flights, no extra drinks even water without paying and late pick up and always late arrivals at your destination. This way you start you vacation pissed because you were 3 to 6 hours late arriving at you vacation destination. We also got waiting on the tarcack 4 to 10 hours with no drinks, food and a screaming 2 year old in the seat behind you and they won't even let you get off the darn plane. A passanger bill of rights sounds only fair, but now they are trying to block it because they want our money and to fly but they don't want us to have any say about it and just sit in our seat and shut up....

    December 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm |
  62. Cecil Turner

    The message is simple Jack. Ever since 2000, when Dick and George stole the White House, oh I'm sorry... I meant took office. Integrity and accountability no longer have any meaning in corporate America. It's all about greed, and sticking it to middle America. Plain and simple.

    C. Turner

    December 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm |
  63. Robert from NC

    I've seen the horrifying reports of people being literally held hostage on grounded aircraft. In some cases the amount of time exceeded what many Americans would consider a normal workday. Additionally, the threat of Federal prosecution awaits desperate and panicky passengers who rebel against this type of treatment and demand off of the aircraft. I'm going to have to side with NY on this one. Something must be done about this situation and in my opinion, the FAA is not the agency that's going to do it. If NY State has the guts to take on this issue and maybe force some change, more power to them. My only suggestion is that the airline be forced to directly compensate the passengers.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:28 pm |
  64. Daren

    The airlines are inept, no doubt about that, but the response to the 'passenger bill of rights' is the appropriate one. You do not have the right to a comfortable flight, but you definitely have the right to find a better airline. If an airline cannot run itself, we must vote with our dollar, and eradicate these poorly run businesses (though corporate welfare for airlines has largely nullified this function). Imagine something as efficient as TSA trying to assure your comfort, I'm sure that would go smoothly...The answer is to stop federal support for airlines, and to allow actual competition in the United States.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm |
  65. Bob


    If we had real competition in the travel industry with high speed rail like Europe or Japan or even luxury bus systems like Mexico. The Airlines would not be so arrogant. In fact, they would put forward their own much more liberal bill of rights to keep customers.

    Now all they have to do is keep funding their friends in public office and they will forever keep us standing in long lines, justifying their overbooking canceling of flights or waiting on the tarmac.

    The least they could do is let us back in the terminal so we can be entertained by watching 9 year old girls being searched, while someone with a diper on his head walks by and gets on the plane.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm |
  66. John Fitzgerald

    Hi Jack,
    The airlines have never been concerned about passenger comfort. They have always done what was best for their bottom line and no one as ever stop them.

    Leave people on a plane stuck on a runway for 10 hours, who cares, certainly not the airlines. Ithink N.Y. has the right idea, make them pay, its the only langauge corperations understand.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm |
  67. W B in Las Vegas

    Jonathan: "If New York doesn’t want anymore air travel, they’ll pass this new law."

    totally idiotic comment.

    NY City is the biggest originating air travel market in the WORLD both domestic AND international. the airlines would (and do) jump through all kinds of hoops to maintain there market share there. in fact, it's one of the problems with the frequent delay "hostage situations" that happen in the market. airlines absoulely HATE to "return to the gate" even after HOURS sitting on the ramp at a NYC airport. I used to fly a lot of trips out of LaGuardia airport and it was standard to have 3 to 4 hour delays anytime there was weather in the NY City area BUT the company would rather have you "push back" from the gate with the load than take a chance of the passengers making other plans and losing that revenue.

    btw, one of the major problems with the rise in massive delays, esp in high density markets, is the ever increasing number of "regional jets". those 50-60 passenger tubes take up the same airspace and almost the same ramp space as a large airliner like the B757 I used to fly. they have saturated the airspace and need to be "slot limited" just like the large aircraft.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm |
  68. Gabriel aka (Cruzzer)

    If people who fly want certain rights about waiting in line, I suggest they try taking a bus or train to their next destination. What will they be asking for next? People seem never to be happy with what they spend their $$ on.

    Cruzzer (Seattle Washington)

    December 11, 2007 at 6:34 pm |
  69. ken C.

    It's a moot point. Any "inconvenience" that the airline industry is subjected to with the enactment of a passenger bill of rights will be passed on, dollar for dollar, to the consumer. you want service like the airlines used to offer? It's gonna cost ya...

    December 11, 2007 at 6:36 pm |
  70. David Bright

    The airlines are telling us:
    "go to http://www.amtrak.com"

    December 11, 2007 at 6:37 pm |
  71. Michael

    Given that there is no Health Care Bill of Rights for Patients, I am not gonna worry or put up too much of fuss about New York airlines being against an airline pasenger s Bill of Rights. Anyway, why should a Bill of Rights just apply to new york airlines?

    If that sounds discriminatory in itself, I see the ACLU getting involved. I am a liberal and I don't dare be a card carrying member for hem.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:40 pm |
  72. ChickenSoup

    So are the Airlines going to charge an additional fee "Bill of Rights" fee?

    December 11, 2007 at 6:43 pm |
  73. getsteppin


    Have you ever held anyone, for anything, accountable for a service you bought?
    Whats it cost these days to fly to anywhere??
    Is it all for the fuel and the pilot?

    So actually, we just might as well settle for a Stage Coach, they were always known to be ontime...............somewhere within a week or two, give or take.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:44 pm |
  74. ron

    How can anyone, with even moderate intelligence, think that sitting on the taxiway is a situation the the airlines want. The fact is they, (the airline), has absolutely no control over how long they will sit before takeoff. The airlines could operate with very minor delays if the Federal Goverment had an Air Traffic Control system that could meet the demand. The only way delays will ever begin to deminish is if the Government takes beffer control of how many arrival and departure slots they allow into a airport during peek periods. If you think it's bad sitting on an aircraft for a few hours you should try managing an airline's operations after your tax dollar paid FAA has screwed it up! The airlines, it's employees, and it's management are the last ones that want an aircraft sitting on the ground for several hours. They are the ones that suffer as much as the passanger. However the Goverment employees will get paid, get raises, get medical coverage, and never have to straighten out the mess or face angry passangers. Let's put the blame where it belongs...it's not the airlines!! As usual, CNN needs to do a little more research before they put their "take" on a story. If there is a fine for an aircraft leaving the gate and not getting off for 3 hours....it should be the FAA who pays the the fine.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:48 pm |
  75. Rick

    Well Jack, being that the Airlines are just like this Administration, busness comes first! Just remember the citizens (passengers) are just there for the ride. We pay and they say!

    December 11, 2007 at 6:55 pm |
  76. Mike, Gainesville, FL

    "Screw You!" That's the message the airlines are sending. And for the people that say flying is a privilege, are you kidding? Not only am I paying for a service, every time an airline goes belly up and crying to the government, they get bailed with our tax dollars.

    The is NO customer service when it comes to airlines. Two words... double booking. How do you double book a flight? If you have 100 seats you don't sell tickets to a 120 people. As far as I'm concerned I paid for that seat whether my fanny is in it or not.

    I think it's time to start subsidizing the railroad industry and build a first class rail system like Europe. Let's see if a little competition changes there tune.

    December 11, 2007 at 8:04 pm |
  77. william

    We are losing law and order in America in the face of everyone defending criminals. I've had a burglary and a lost boat out of my yard by low class citizen criminals and they want to know why I'm upset. They are doing this stuff in broad daytime and daring anyone to stop them. America get ready for real problems because of criminal aggressive behavior, and the failure to stop it.

    December 11, 2007 at 8:14 pm |
  78. Patricia

    I still say, the Airlines have nothing to worry about. Americans haven't protected the real Bill of Rights for the last 7 years. The Airlines won't have to worry about anybody protecting these passenger bill of rights for years to come.

    December 11, 2007 at 9:48 pm |
  79. Karl

    Since the Air Traffic Controllers control arrivals and departures and work for the feds and not the airlines, can they be part of the problem? I'd say, if a plane sets for hours and isn't allowed to take off, or bought back to the gate, it's under the control of the traffic controllers at the airport, not the airlines. Airport management designates the number of flights their facility can handle and which airlines can operate when. The airlines do need regulation, but some things might be out of their control, too.

    December 11, 2007 at 10:19 pm |
  80. RJ

    The message they are sending is "stay away from accountiability". I bill of rights would or should start holding this industry accountable for it;s behavior. Just like out politicians, they also want to stay away from that, far far away.

    December 12, 2007 at 7:42 am |
  81. v gentler

    Airlines do not care about passengers. they care about money. We are living in an age of unbridled capitalism with no thought for consumers. Regulation will be a hard sell after Reagan, but someone needs to regulate the airline industries and if Congress is impotent, then states or even counties should regulate te monsters.
    V gentler

    December 12, 2007 at 9:09 am |
  82. Barry

    As consumers we have choices. Mine is to not fly. If people would stop flying en masse it would change market conditions and the airlines would have to adjust. It's all about money, people. Nobody is going to make changes out of the goodness of their heart. Take away the money and things will happen. Boycott anyone?

    December 12, 2007 at 10:22 am |
  83. walt-san diego

    Just a note to say thanks Jack! You are the man. Not many left.I still think often about the time you shared some of your struggles with us. Keep on keepin on! Remember the hard workin regular guys that get inspired listening to you say what we are all thinking. God bless and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    December 12, 2007 at 10:42 am |
  84. Bonnie

    The airlines are saying...we don't care about your rights...just ours.
    So I say, I don't care about the airlines....I'll take a train. (Trains may get delayed but even in bad weather they generally are still able to go forward towards the destination.)

    December 12, 2007 at 10:52 am |
  85. Bob

    Jack, the airlines only care about its passengers to the extent that they can squeeze money out of them. They don't care about passenger comfort (unless they can make extra money from it), they don't care about flight delays (unless they can find a way to make extra money from it), luggage (unless there's extra money to be had). See a patter here? And as the empty-flight British Airways show, they certainly don't care about the environment, either! (Wonder how many other airlines do empty flights?)

    BTW, I always enjoyed you on WPIX.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:01 pm |
  86. Robert Allen

    If the airlines get the wheels off the runway and then back down on the runway (preferably in different cities) we should just be grateful as hell. Everything else is just gravy.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:04 pm |
  87. Samuel Y. Kupper

    The position of the airlines is understandable, only in the sense that it is a reflection on their total lack of concern for their passengers. Air travel today has become more like taking a bus, and the terminals more like downtrodden bus terminals in the inner cities. The shame of it all is that airlines in China and their terminals are cleaner, more accomodating, and more concerned with passenger comfort and having a good experience than any U.S. carrier. What does that say about us, about the U.S., when newly emerging nations offer far better service and a flying experience than American carriers and American airports ?

    December 12, 2007 at 12:25 pm |
  88. wayne

    It shows us what I have always supected. The airlines view us as cattle with Credit Cards.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:30 pm |
  89. kendunn

    This was to be expected. Why should they not!
    Everything goes with this Senate, Congress and especially with the Bush Junta that is dedicated to support companies and their right to subjugate the normal working middle class American.
    I forgot, Senators and Congressman are to be had at a bargain price now (XMass coming up and the economy not going to well), Buy one Republican get one Democrate for free and vice versa.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:44 pm |
  90. Jim

    Look, the airline industry is really not doing anything to the consumer that any other big business is doing to the consumer. No one in big business cares at all about giving consumers quality service or merchandise. Big business only wants to make as large a profit as they can out of the American consumer and they get away with it because we let them. When we stop letting them they'll stop doing it. So when are we going to stop letting airlines overcharge us for lousy service, or the petroleum companies for raping our wallets with their artificially created prices for petroleum products, or for taking American manufacturing out of America and then over charging us for cheap goods that come back from foreign countries when they should have been made here? It's up to us to put a halt to it and we don't. Don't whine about it if you aren't doing anything to stop what's happening.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:58 pm |
  91. KW (Georgia)

    There is no such thing as "customer service" anywhere anymore and the American people still continue to put up with it.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:09 pm |
  92. Timmy

    Here's a thought....We supposedly have competition in our airline industry. Why doesn't one the big airlines try treating its customers like customers and go a little out of their way for us rather than like a Michael Vick dog in training for it's next big fight. Maybe then people would start to choose to fly that airline rather than the others, instead they all stay in unity to lose money together and then hope for more federal bailouts....Just great...I looks like I'll be driving but at least with a greater chance of getting there when I planned.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:16 pm |
  93. E.P.Reinheimer

    What the airline industry really needs is competition in the form of a good passenger train system. With trains in place that rival those found every where else in the world the airlines would be forced to treat their customers more like people and less like cattle.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:28 pm |
  94. Dan

    Was it not the passenger/tax payer that bailed that industry out, since we will never be repaid monetarily is it too much to ask to have working toilets and pretzels. The terrorists/suspected terrorists in at Gitmo get three hots and a cot, and they have conspired to kill innocent people. Rapists and pedophiles receive better accommodations. If airline passengers received this treatment in prison, some bleeding heart would have sued based on the conditions being cruel and unusual. And we as consumers willingly pay for this treatment. How twisted are we?

    December 12, 2007 at 1:31 pm |
  95. Fred

    Jack: I am surprised at you. The solution is to work harder and quit complaining. If you work hard: lots of 15 hour days, 6 & 7 day weeks, for 35 to 40 years, go to school every chance you have and don't waste your money then you can fly in a Gulfstream 4 like I do.

    The plane leaves when I get to the airport. They can’t dance until the fiddler gets there and I am the fiddler.

    December 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm |
  96. DJ

    Government should stay out of it. Whatever costs get forced on the airline industry will ultimately be passed to the consumer – and many of us have to fly. Jack, quit trying to make it the government's responsibility to hold the hand of every citizen who cannot take care of themselves. Every time you force your liberal agenda on something or someone, it costs consumers money.

    December 12, 2007 at 2:13 pm |
  97. DJ

    Government should stay out of it. Whatever costs get forced on the airline industry will ultimately be passed to the consumer – and many of us have to fly. Jack, quit trying to make it the government's responsibility to hold the hand of every citizen who cannot take care of themselves. Every time you force your liberal agenda on something or someone, it costs consumers money.

    December 12, 2007 at 2:16 pm |
  98. Don

    I have not flown ever since I got fed up with deregulation and the games airlines were playing with fares. Now I drive. It's cheaper, I get door to door service, take all the luggage (and personal items) I want, go and come when I want with no waiting and I sit in a leather seat with plenty of legroom. With all the delays and security today it doesn't take much longer and when I get to my destination, the luxury rental car is free!

    Note to Fred: 15 hours was a day at the beach for me. Where's my Gulfstream?

    December 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm |
  99. John

    I am much more concerned with the desicration of my Constitutional Bill of Rights than the Airline Bill of Rights. Are Americans so lost that they would chime in on this and not address our governments assault on our freedoms. Go Figure.

    December 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm |
  100. Hank

    I am no fan of the airlines but to knock them when there are so many variables not in their control is foolishness. I can tell by the bulk of the replies that your respondents have not given the matter any thought, if they are in fact capable of rational, logical thought.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:35 pm |
  101. Hank

    I am no fan of the airlines but to knock them when there are so many variables not in their control is foolishness. I can tell by the bulk of the replies that your respondents have not given the matter any thought.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:36 pm |
  102. Liz Hornbaker

    How is the approval or disapproval rating of Republican candidates relevant to the passenger bill of rights for airlines? Am I missing something here?

    December 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm |
  103. Dorothy Rearick

    What goes with the conservatives? They like Guliani who is an adulterer. An adulterer for president? And his former mistress first lady? What are they thinking?

    December 17, 2007 at 1:36 pm |