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Thread: Court overturns air passenger rights law.

  1. #1

    Default Court overturns air passenger rights law.

    NEW YORK - A federal appeals court has rejected a law requiring airlines to provide food, water, clean toilets and fresh air to passengers trapped in a plane delayed on the ground.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that New York's new state law interferes with federal law governing the price, route or service of an air carrier. It was the first law in the nation of its kind.

    The appeals court said the new law was laudable but only the federal government has the authority to enact such a regulation.

    The law was challenged before the appeals court by the Air Transport Association of America, the industry trade group representing leading U.S. airlines.


    First off... what the heck is going on? If that's not a human rights violation I don't know what is.

    Secondly... Not that I plan on flying any time soon... but if I do I will definately be diapered... and I'll bring a few extras with me.

  2. #2


    Well if I were in charge of an airline, I would definitely require all of that stuff because happy customers = returning customers, and also just because its the nice thing to do. I have a flight on Thursday from Chicago where I am right now, back home which luckily isn't too far away.

  3. #3


    I think it's mostly a security precaution, as an airplane standing in line for take off must be able to proceed to the runway and take off immediately upon request by the tower. If there are people in the bathrooms or if food is being served when the plane finally gets to proceed to the runway, getting people out of the restrooms and removing the food and then having the flight assistants sit down would take time and delay progress and thus hold up all the other planes even more.
    Obviously, that's quite stupid when there are 10 other planes ahead - it'll take them at least 15-20 minutes to take off and allow your plane to proceed, so you may as well use that bathroom. I'm waiting for the first lawsuit of an airline for damages a passenger has caused by wetting his seat while waiting for take off.

    And the division between state and federal law in the U.S. eludes me. All I remember is an announcement on an American airplane telling me that not fastening your seat belts is a federal crime. I'm still wondering -to this day - if committing a federal crime is any worse than committing a state crime.
    I'm glad that our constitution is pretty darn clear on what the job of the states is, and what the federal government has to do. And air safety is the responsibilty of our federal government, and in parts the EU.


  4. #4


    You have to love the federal/state law crap.

    Our constitution basicly says that if the federal govt. hasn't made a law about it... the states can. Which leads to all kinds of rediculousness.

    And yes... a federal crime is a lot worse than a state crime. If convicted of a federal crime you get detained by the FBI... and sent to a federal prison... which is a lot more unplesant than being handled by the local police.

  5. #5


    As to clear up the confusion between American state and federal law:

    The difference between federal and state law can likely be traced all the way back to the original Congress, wherein states offered up their opinions on laws and rites that would shape the standards of the country itself. For years afterwards indepdendence was won, there were still arguments between whether or not the United States should combine into one federation, or whether they should remain as separate colonial entities without interlaced law, economy, etc. There were a lot of people who wanted each state to live and thrive separately, developing its own trade and its own economic and mercantile standards, and bringing all of the states together into a single federation was frightened to a lot of people, as they wanted to be sure that freedoms they had so recently won weren't going to be sacrificed for the sake of a brand new country liable to do the same things they had specifically fought against.

    Eventually, the federalist ideal was adopted -- states would primarily govern themselves, but they would adhere to pretty much the same economic and governmental standards all throughout, which would allow them to come together and agree to make collective decisions and blanket laws.

    Federal laws are laws that can be broken regardless of location. They are (at least, fundamentally) laws of deeper consequences, or laws that apply to interstate travel. Often-times, internet crimes are federal, because the internet is a country-wide resource.

    State laws are laws that apply only within a state, but might not be allowed in other states. Would you believe that the national drinking and smoking age are actually designated by state law? It's kept in check by federal guidelines, however -- but this is part of the brilliance of the American governmental system (which a lot of people don't realize).

    Federal regulations and law always overcome state regulations and law. It seems like a catch twenty-two, but it's all part of the natural checks-and-balances of the government to keep state or federal from having too much power. Federal guidelines need to be approved by all states; one state, however, can't readily adopt a law too outrageous for the federal population. Essentially, any state could choose in legislature to allow distribution, creation, and sale of drugs; they could make rape and murder legal; they could say that theft and fraud was totally okay. But just because something isn't illegal in a state doesn't mean it's not illegal on a federal level. You'd get picked up just as quick because, even though you weren't commiting a state crime, you'd have committed a federal one. This is why it's so difficult to allow the legalization of things like marijuana (which can be discussed on the thread where it belongs, and not here), because it technically needs to be a federal law, or a law adopted by all fifty states before it could really ever be truly legal.

    For as confusing as it might be to understand the differences between state and federal laws, they're really quite important here in America, and they allow us the checks and balances we need to keep our government running as smoothly as it should. As I did once before in another thread, I'll paraphrase one of the concepts of the Federalist papers written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay -- that the government is meant to work slow, that it is meant to be imperfect, that it is meant to function counterproductive to itself, for without these failsafes, tyranny would be too easily attained and far too close on the horizon.

    (Hopefully that helps, Peachy!)

    And as for my idea as to why they denied this law? I will pretty much say that my thoughts lie with Peachy's post!

  6. #6


    I think this is ridiculous. There probably will be some lawsuits eventually... it's just a matter of time. And the USA is the land of lawsuits, after all.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfinn View Post
    NEW YORK - A federal appeals court has rejected a law requiring airlines to provide food, water, clean toilets and fresh air to passengers trapped in a plane delayed on the ground.
    I am so totally going diapered for the sake of my own sanity before my next plane ride. (Which just happens to be Thursday - more details coming up.)


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