Press Statement

For Immediate Release Contact: Gil Meneses – 202-445.1570

Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights Applauds Senator Boxer and Congressman Thompson for Standing Up For Airline Passengers Rights

Coalition Reacts to jetBlue’s Customer Bill of Rights Napa Valley, CA. (February 20, 2007) – The Coalition for Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights issued the following statement from its spokesperson, Kate Hanni, on news that Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Mike Thompson of California will both sponsor Airline Passengers Bill of Rights legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively. The Coalition also reacts to jetBlue’s proposed announcement of a “Customer Bill of Rights”.

“On behalf of the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights Coalition, we applaud Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Mike Thompson of California for their strong leadership and interest in protecting the flying public. Being stranded for more than eight hours in an aircraft with no food or running water is a horrific ordeal for anyone to endure, let alone for young and elderly passengers and those with medical conditions.

While we certainly encourage jetBlue and other airline carriers to make much-needed reforms aimed at improving customer service, including their pledge to limit stranded passengers from being stuck on an airport tarmac for more than five hours, it is evident from our December 29th experience in Austin and most recently at JFK airport that airlines are not willing to police themselves to ensure that similar incidents are not repeated. This was the very reason that led to the formation of our coalition.

For the last eight years and longer, the airlines have had the opportunity to make good on their promises to improve customer service and ensure basic rights for passengers, and over and over again, they have failed. Enough is enough. It is clear that the only thing that will ensure change is government action.

We encourage Senator Boxer and Congressman Thompson’s efforts and look forward to working with them and Congressman Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation Committee and other members of Congress to ensure the introduction and passage of a comprehensive, enforceable Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights that would modernize and improve airline industry standards for customer service.” The Coalition will be reaching out to the stranded passengers at Kennedy Airport to join its cause and fully support the fight for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights in Congress.

The coalition continues to gather momentum and support from public officials, national organizations and the flying public. Through a number of recent visits to Capitol Hill, members of the coalition have met with a number of Members of Congress and will continue to visit Washington, D.C. until an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights is enacted.