• Consumer advocacy group pushes for fliers' bill of rights


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Thousands of fliers want Washington to create a "Passenger Bill of Rights." The idea has already reached the Federal Aviation Administration.

    An obscure FAA advisory committee considers new rules for the nation's skies. Paul Hudson has a seat at the table and he heads FlyersRights.org, the largest nonprofit airline consumer group.

    "Right now, you can complain to the government but there's no individual right you have unless you're injured and killed," he said.

    A Passenger Bill of Rights would include food on any flight over two hours, the option to switch airlines for free during long delays, a 30-day deadline for airlines and the Transportation Security Administration to reply to complaints, minimum standards for legroom, seat padding and isle width.

    Hudson didn't get far at the FAA. Officials there said something that big is really up to the Department of Transportation. A spokeswoman there pointed back to the FAA.

    Hudson said he's going to congress.

    "We've talked to the key people in congress and we think it will get momentum next year," he said.

    Similar bills have stalled before with lawmakers concerned new rules would mean higher airfares.

    The transportation department recently added some passenger rights. Fliers now have 24 hours to cancel tickets without penalty. Planes must also return to the gate after sitting on the tarmac for three hours.

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