US Lawmaker to Propose Legislation to Protect Passengers From Involuntary Bumping

Apr 14, 2017

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Since the #BumpGate incident on a United Airlines flight when passenger David Dao was bloodied and dragged down the aisle of a plane for not giving up his seat to a United employee, there’s been a large outcry for a change in the law. Our neighbors up north in Canada are set to introduce new legislation that would ensure the protection of passengers on board flights, including bumping. And, it looks like a US lawmaker is now on board with changing the rules here.

According to Delmarva Now, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D – Maryland) is in the process of drafting a bill to help protect the consumer. The bill, titled the “Customers Not Cargo Act,” would effectively prohibit airlines from forcibly removing passengers after they’ve already boarded a flight. The law would make it illegal for airlines to force passengers off a plane due to overbooking or to accommodate crew.

Van Hollen plans to introduce the bill following the congressional recess, which ends on April 24. Part of Van Hollen’s bill would push the Department of Transportation to update policy on overbooked flights in addition to pushing airlines to offer more incentives to passengers. Specifically, Van Hollen’s bill focuses on the protocol for how airlines compensate passengers when they’re already on board an aircraft.

This proposal from Van Hollen is the first of its kind from a US lawmaker following the Dao incident on United Flight 3411. Van Hollen expects to get bipartisan support for the bill, but only time will tell if it actually passes.

Click here for more United Bumpgate coverage.

Featured image courtesy of Swell Media via Getty Images.

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