Coalition For An Airline Passengers’ Bill Of Rights
Model State Bill

A. Responsibilities of airlines under certain circumstances Whenever airline passengers have been involuntarily detained on the ground aboard commercial aircraft for more than three hours prior to takeoff or following landing, the airline shall ensure that they are provided as needed with: (1) electric generation service to provide temporary power for climate control and lights; (2) waste removal service in order to service the holding tanks for on-board restrooms; and (3) adequate food and drinking water.

No airline passenger shall be involuntarily confined on the ground aboard a commercial aircraft at any airport within this State for more than 3 hours prior to departure or after arrival, provided, however, that this provision shall not apply if the pilot of such aircraft reasonably determines that such aircraft will depart within not more than 30 minutes next following such 3-hour delay or that permitting a passenger to deplane would jeopardize the safety of the passenger, other passengers or the aircraft.

B. Explanations of rights All airlines operating within this State shall, upon request, provide clear, written explanations of the rights of airline passengers under this Act.

C. Enforcement The Attorney General is hereby authorized to recover from any airline that violates this Act, a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars per passenger per violation; provided, however, that each continuous period of involuntary detention aboard an aircraft without complying with one or more of the requirements of Paragraph A hereof shall be considered a single violation. Any such penalty shall take into consideration any compensation paid or offered by the airline to passengers. The civil penalty imposed pursuant to this Paragraph may be sought in a civil action brought by the Attorney General in any court of competent jurisdiction. If the Attorney General prevails in any such civil action, the court may award the Attorney General reasonable attorneys’ fees and an amount equal to the ordinary costs and expenses incurred by the Attorney General in investigating and prosecuting the violation, as it deems appropriate. If the Attorney General reaches a settlement with any airline, such settlement shall include an amount at least equal to the ordinary costs and expenses incurred by the Attorney General in investigating and prosecuting the violation.

D. Relationship to Federal Law Nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring any airline, airport or other entity to take any action in contravention of any Federal statute or rule or regulation adopted by the United States Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration or any other Federal agency having jurisdiction over such entity.

E. Severability If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this Act is adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder hereof but shall be applied in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part hereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.