Senator Blumenthal proposes bill for airline passenger rights - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Senator Blumenthal proposes bill for airline passenger rights

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Senator Blumenthal is proposing airline passenger rights legislation (WFSB) Senator Blumenthal is proposing airline passenger rights legislation (WFSB)

It was the overbooked flight that caused all kinds of turbulence for United.

Almost everyone has seen the video of a passenger getting hauled-off a United plane in Chicago.

David Dao refused to give up his seat on the overbooked flight, so the police were called and dragged him away.

"The shocking, horrible video of David Dao being dragged through the aisle on the plane will be powerful evidence,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, who has been an outspoken critic for the airline industry.

Blumenthal said he is continuing to fight for passenger rights, and has announced his Airline Passenger Bill of Rights legislation.

He said he wants passengers to get thousands, not hundreds of dollars, if they are bumped, adding that nobody should be bumped for frequent, elite-level fliers.

He also wants the police to be banned from removing anyone unless it's for a health or safety concern, and wants the airlines to face additional penalties, including lawsuits from passengers for delays, undisclosed fees and price gouging.

"Right now, clearly, passengers have inadequate compensation and recourse for the clueless and often careless misconduct of the airlines - and that is due to a lack of competition,” Blumenthal said.

"I don't think they should be overbooking flights just because they want to make sure they get their share, just because you show up on time and on a day you're supposed to show up doesn't mean you should be punished for it,” said Nima Gholampour.

Blumenthal said passenger outrage is only getting worse and the time is right for bipartisan support, but not everyone agrees with the need for a so-called “bill of rights,” saying the airline apologized, so it is time to move on.

"It just, it bothers me, I mean, that's the kind of society we live in now anyway, everything's got to be politically correct, so something like that happens and everyone has to boycott,” said Russell Maida.

Senator Blumenthal said it's simply about getting the airlines to do right by their passengers.

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