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A passenger 'bill of rights' is passed! (In Canada)
The U.S.? Well, such provisions are still languishing in that factory of do-nothingness called Congress.
Canada earlier this month passed a passenger bill of rights that guarantees travelers all of the above. It likely escaped your notice, as most things inevitably do if they happen in Canada, but it has some industry watchers in the U.S. hopeful that Congress might soon get the moxie to follow suit with its own PBOR.
The Canadian measure ensures food vouchers for delays of four hours, and hotel vouchers if the flight delay reaches eight hours. Perhaps the best right it ensures can be exercised during those all-too-common delays that magically occur once you're on the plane. In Canada, if you have boarded and the flight remains grounded for 90 minutes, you can demand off the plane.
The driving force behind the Canadian PBOR is pretty much the same behind the U.S. version: Growing frustration over flight delays, many weather-related, that kept passengers locked in planes for hours on end in recent years without access to food or water.
What's holding up a U.S. bill? Some in Congress have been trying to get one through, but as a rider to a larger measure tied to the reauthorization of the FAA. That reauthorization bill has been stalled in committee, with Congress continuing its funding of the administration through payment extensions, none of which have carried with them demands for a PBOR.
When will the FAA -- and, hopefully, a PBOR -- be sorted out? Looks like a new Congress early next year might be the best bet to breath some life into this long awaited measure.