A Passengers' Bill of Rights

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Not again! Airline delays have kept travelers stranded on the runway for hours. Would you support a law protecting passengers? Vote in our poll.

On Feb. 14, as snow and ice storms struck the Northeast and the Midwest, passengers on 10 incoming and outbound JetBlue Airways flights at New York's JFK airport sat on the tarmac for as long as 10½ hours, subject to clogged toilets, food shortages and sweltering cabins. JetBlue canceled more than 250 of their 500 nationwide flights that day, and hundreds more in the following days. After widespread criticism, CEO David Neeleman recently issued a public apology and announced a JetBlue Customers Bill of Rights.

A similar situation occurred on Dec. 29, when storms struck parts of Texas and one American Airlines flight kept passengers on the runway in Austin for eight hours. After that incident, a group of travelers banded together to form the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights.

The group has posted an online petition that asks Congress to require airlines to return passengers to terminal gates within three hours whenever a plane is stuck on the tarmac due to storms or mechanical problems. It also wants airlines to provide passengers with food, water and bathrooms for delays of more than three hours. American Airlines apologized to the passengers and gave them vouchers worth up to $500 for future flights.

Would you support an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights? Vote in our online poll.

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