Pols Want Rights for Passengers Stuck on Planes

More than half of the country's extreme air delays are because of JFK.

Sunday, Aug 23, 2009  |  Updated 8:53 PM EDT
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Pols Want Rights for Passengers Stuck on Planes

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris called for the passage of the federal bill on Sunday.

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A six-hour tarmac wait for air travelers on two different flights out of JFK has prompted lawmakers to call for a new law protecting flyers from having to wait out delays in the cramped quarters of an airplane.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris called for the passage of the federal bill on Sunday.

The so-called passenger bill of rights would ensure that travelers won't be unnecessarily trapped on airplanes for excessive periods of time without adequate food, water or restrooms.

On Saturday, dozens of passengers bound for Minnesota on Delta waited hours on a JFK tarmac before their plane took off.  A day earlier, passengers on a Sun Country flight were told to "be patient" for more than five hours while their plane to Minneapolis also sat on the tarmac.

Passengers said they were denied a refund for the flight.

Experts say that 52 percent of extreme U.S. air delays are flights coming in and out of New York City-area airports.

In the most recent incidents, construction in Minnesota and weather were blamed for the delays. 

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