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ATA Rejects Senate Passenger Rights Bill

April 12, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

The Air Transport Association on Thursday came out against the Senate's passenger bill focused on improving airline services, stating it would increase customer inconvenience. "The proposed legislation will force airlines to inconvenience most passengers to satisfy the demand of just one who wishes to deplane," the organization said in a statement. "Congress cannot legislate good weather or the best way to respond to bad weather because every situation is unique. Airlines need the flexibility to deal with each delay situation individually to help ensure that the fewest people possible are inconvenienced." The bill proposes a federally mandated set of rights that would allow passengers to get off an aircraft after three hours on the ground, unless passengers' safety would be compromised or the plane would soon be cleared for departure. The proposal stems from weather-related and congestion delays that strand passengers on tarmacs for extensive periods of time.

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