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Moriarty: Airlines Must Be Held Accountable

Lawmaker Calls on Congress, Port Authority Board to Implement Consequences for Misconduct

Assembly Consumers Affairs Committee Chair Paul D. Moriarty issued the following statement Thursday following the committee’s hearing on airline passenger rights, airline practices and policies related to overbooking and bumping and recent examples of unacceptable treatment of airline passengers:

“Recent mistreatment of travelers – from the horrific violent removal of a man from a United flight in Chicago to the humiliation of a man who was kicked off a Delta flight in Atlanta because he had to use the restroom – reflects a larger culture of disregard for the rights of airline passengers.

“Along with smaller seats, reduced legroom, the crowding of as many people as possible into an aircraft and checked baggage fees that result in passengers carrying on board as much luggage as they can, these incidents have fomented anxiety for travelers and airline employees alike.

“While I appreciate the attendance and cooperation of United representatives, the refusal of American, Delta, Jet Blue and Southwest to appear before the committee suggests a lack of interest in changing this culture any time soon. As such, our representatives in Congress and members of the board of commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Newark Liberty International Airport, must step up and hold airlines accountable.

“Airlines may be regulated by Washington, but airports are local. At the very least, all who board a plane in the state of New Jersey should fly with the confidence that they will be respected. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature, members of Congress and members of the Port Authority board to push for industry-wide pro-passenger policies.”