Airline Horror Stories
Imagine being stuck on an airplane for 9 1/2 hours without food, water or a toilet. You aren't coming or going, simply sitting on a runway waiting to head to a gate. Kate Hanni says that's what happened to her, her husband and teenage sons after they boarded a flight destined for Dallas. Fifty-three hours later, they reached their final destination.
Kate's experience, along with other horror stories that have made headlines, inspired her to push for a Passenger's Bill of Rights.
The Bill asks for the following procedures to be followed on all airlines and their flights:
A procedure to be put in place for all passengers to deplane after three hours if the flight has not taken off.
In the event of an act of God where a plane cannot get to the gate, the airline must get to the plane and service it with: food, clean toilets and medical assistance.
If your bags are lost, they must be returned to you within 24 hours or the airline will compensate you 100 percent for all items you need to replace (up to $3,000).
Apart from the petition, Kate says there are things you can do on your own or with your community. "Write or call your Congress people or senators and tell them you want a passenger's bill of rights," says Kate. "Write to the Department of Transportation and tell them if you have a horror story about flying because they're the ones that tally up and store the statistics about airlines." Another tip? Write to the Federal Aviation Administration and demand they pursue better safety measures for grounded travelers. You can also contact Kate directly and tell her your story since she's going before Congress to petition them for a bill of rights.
If you have to fly, Kate offers these tips: "Eat a good meal before you fly and be sure to bring food with you to snack on in case your flight is delayed. Bring all medications in your carry-on and if you take a medication more than once a day, make sure you carry extra with you. And remember, it's not the fault of the flight crew, they are as much hostages in a situation like mine as the passengers were."
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