People ask me what the number one thing is that I have learned working in Aviation Law. I would have to say it’s to do your best to be educated and aware of your rights to a safe passage.
Anytime we entrust our lives to someone else, we should know what we are up against. Think about it, when you get in a car with someone else – we generally know what they should and should not be doing to keep us safe. When traveling by mass transit – airplane, train or boat – we do not always understand the situation we are about to get ourselves into, therefore it can be difficult to monitor anything beyond the obvious safety threat.
When you purchase transportation, you are entering into a contract with your carrier. You are purchasing your right to a safe passage, within all measurable means.
How can we measure safety on such a large level – what are reasonably measurable means? The information is out there but where do you find it? And how long will it take you to process and understand? Over the course of the next few weeks I will be posting links to resources on the internet that can help you understand your rights when you are traveling.
Many travelers are stranded, bumped or delayed on the tarmac every year. Perhaps you have heard of the Coalition for a Passenger’s Bill of Rights?
The Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights was formed by hundreds of passengers who were stranded on several American Airlines planes for up to 9 hours at Ausin International Airport on December 29, 2006. During that period we were denied food, water or access to working bathroom facilities. Ignoring our pleas, the airline refused to allow passengers to deplane despite medical emergencies, and other health and safety issues. As a result of this ordeal, we discovered that there were thousands of other passengers who share similar experiences and together we decided to turn our anger and frustration into action. We are the fastest growing coalition of airline passengers, with over 21,000 members on-board. Since forming, our coalition has made numerous visits to Congress and there are several passengers’ rights provisions pending in the form of legislation and Department of Transportation regulation.
I suggest that you download the emergency kit which also gives you tips on your rights if you are stranded or bumped.