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Airlines take legal action against basic human rights

If you survived your tumultuous high school years, you’re no stranger to petty fights over illogical matters. Yet somehow it’s still surprising when bathroom rights and basic necessities such as food and water can become cause for a legal battle.

As reported in, domestic airlines are raising a stink about a potential New York state law that will require airlines to provide fresh air and lights, waste removal services, and adequate food and drinking water to passengers stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours. They’ll also be required to direct passengers with complaints to the proper authorities, such as the state’s new Office of Airline Consumer Advocate.

Airlines are requesting that a Federal District Court in Albany block the enforcement of the law that will take effect on January 1. It’s not necessarily what the law enforces, but how it’s being presented that upsets the airlines. They believe that state involvement in their business violates constitutional rights, and will present confusion from state-to-state. Most passengers feel it will encourage carriers to change their overall treatment of long delays.

What this really comes down to, however, is an argument over basic human kindness. No one should have to force the airlines to treat trapped passengers decently for even a half hour. Doesn’t this seem like a waste of time and resources? My advice to all airlines is to try putting more heart into your work and less legal action.

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