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Readers Want Passenger Bill of Rights Legislation


In the wake of Continental Flight 2916 and its overnight tarmac delay, we asked our readers for their thoughts on the proposed passenger rights legislation. Here are the results of that survey.

  • 94 percent of you said Congress should create a passenger bill of rights while only six percent said the task should be left to the airline industry.
  • 78 percent of you said the proposed three-hour delay limit isn't good enough and the government should aim for something tougher, while 12 percent said three hours is sufficient and nine percent said the limit should be more flexible.
  • Assuming legislation is passed, 99 percent of you said airlines should also have their own policies for delays.

Fairly overwhelming results, huh? It should be noted that not very many of you took the survey—129 of you, to be exact. But even with a small sample size, and even when taken with an appropriately large grain of salt, the lopsidedness of the results is hard to ignore.

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That said, I don't want to extrapolate too much from these numbers, though I'm comfortable saying SmarterTravel readers want Congress to legislate a passenger bill of rights in some form but expect the airlines to retain a significant measure of responsibility. Personally, I think three hours is a fair limit to place on tarmac delays: It's rough on the passengers, sure, but not beyond the pale in terms of tolerability, and it gives the airlines a fair chance at getting off the ground.

What do you think about these results? Do you feel they reflect the general mood of the flying public, or do you think the survey was simply infiltrated by pro-legislation activists? And do you agree personally with what you're seeing here?

Read comments or add your own insight!
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