Thursday, November 19, 2009

European Courts Grant Historic New Law for Airline Passengers Rights: Will U.S. Ever Follow?

/PRNewswire/ -- and its President, Kate Hanni, applaud the decision handed down in a European court today which will require airlines in the European Union to compensate victims of mass delays for which they are responsible. Those who are forced to wait three hours or more will be compensated 600 Euros, the same as if their flight had been cancelled. But the airlines will be required NOT to cancel the flight unless it fits strict criteria as set down in this historic new law.

The decision, handed down by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, "is an important step forward," according to Hanni, "in creating a legal acknowledgment that the rights of victims, abused and ignored by the big airlines for far too long, will be given priority over the bloodless corporations that have simply taken it for granted that they engage in any behavior, no matter how injurious it is to consumers, without fearing repercussion. Imagine being stuffed like a sardine in a hot metal tube, without working toilets, food or water or access to medicines for over three hours, with no rights?"

Hendrik Noorderhaven EU Claim, EU counterpart and Global Partner said "This is a Historic decision for airline passengers in the EU, and in particular, any passengers traveling to the EU who suffer through anything greater than a 3 hour delay. They will now be reimbursed for this suffering with cash."

Hanni took it a step further, questioning why the United States has not yet taken similar measures to protect its citizens from this kind of corporate abuse.

"Sadly, the U.S. is woefully behind in prioritizing the rights of its consumers. Why hasn't Congress passed the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights, created in bipartisan fashion by Senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe, inserting it into the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009? Why can I still be held hostage on a tarmac for 9 hours without any rights? The time to sit idly by and allow big airlines to treat their passengers like jet fuel is long past. We deserve nothing less in the Unites States than the very same rights the courts have just granted to consumers living in democracies across the European continent."

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