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Sen. Blumenthal Introducing Passenger Bill Of Rights After United Incident

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — In response to the shocking incident on United Airlines in which a passenger was dragged off an overbooked plane, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will announce new legislation for a passenger bill of rights on Monday.

Blumenthal’s proposal will address bumping, unreasonable delays, excessive fees and other anti-consumer practices.

“The brutal and shocking incident on board United Flight 3411 was the latest disturbing evidence supporting the urgent need for a Passenger Bill of Rights. Whether it is overbooked planes, delayed flights or lost-luggage, laws in place to protect consumers have been frequently and flagrantly ignored by airlines more concerned with profits than passengers," he said.

The senator said his aim is to provide clear, enforceable rights to airline passengers following the shocking recent incident on United Flight 3411 in which a passenger was seriously injured while forcibly dragged from an overbooked flight.

"I will be leading efforts in Congress to provide clear, enforcement rights for airline passengers, and new, stronger protections to ensure that airlines respect those laws—or pay the price,” Blumenthal said.

The Airline Passenger Bill of Rights will call for minimum cash compensation for involuntary bumping, limits on the use of police to forcibly remove passengers, and restrictions on airlines’ ability to bump passengers to accommodate crew or elite-level flyers, among other measures to address unreasonable delays, excessive fees and unfair consumer practices.

Blumenthal’s bill will also grant airline passengers the ability to sue airlines for unfair and deceptive practices such as tarmac delays, undisclosed fees, price gouging, chronically late flights or health and safety risks.

Blumenthal will also highlight key existing airline passenger protections—measures that airlines frequently and flagrantly violate and ignore.

He will announce his plan at 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 17, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

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