There have been many calls by consumer advocates to pass a bill known as a “Passengers’ Bill of Rights,” which would require airlines to provide certain basic amenities on their planes, and possibly to compensate passengers who have to sit on a runway for hours while their plane is delayed. However, despite these efforts, there are currently no federal law instituting a bill of rights for airline passengers.

What Are Current Protections for Airline Passengers?

Aside from protections provided by tort law, some states have attempted to allot additional protection to their residents. For example, New York passed an airline passenger bill of rights law that required additional protection for passengers wronged by airlines. However, a federal appeals court overturned the law on the grounds that only the federal government has the authority to regulate the airline industry.

What Can Passengers Do to Recover Against Airlines?

In some cases, it might be possible for airline passengers to recover certain damages. The following are common circumstances where the airline may be liable:

  • Negligence that results in an injury.
  • False imprisonment after they have been trapped on the runway for as long as nine hours.
  • False imprisonment is the intentional or negligent confinement of a person to a closed space.
  • Negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress for similar incidents.

Seeking Legal Advice

Many of these cases are extremely complicated, so if you feel you have been harmed by an airline, seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to secure your rights.