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Hot, Tired, Hungry and Stuck on Plane: Passengers are Ready for Reform

Posted Apr 28, 2009 3:08 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A three-hour flight on Good Friday became a 13-hour ordeal for passengers taking Delta Flight 510 to Atlanta from the Carribean.

Their April 10 experience—which included five hours without food or water waiting on the hot tarmac in Columbia, S.C., after their flight was diverted because of thunderstorms—may provide new impetus for a federal airline passenger bill of rights. It would require basic amenities, such as restrooms, water and food, to be provided to air travelers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But meanwhile, the article advises, travelers should come to the airport prepared for possible delays as the summer months approach.

Passengers on Flight 510 finally found some relief in a cordoned-off area of the terminal. But "Delta did not order pizzas and sodas for passengers until 11:30 p.m., nearly six hours after landing in Columbia. They were delivered at 12:40 a.m.," the newspaper writes.

Officials say the unusual travel experience was exacerbated because passengers entering from a foreign country must clear U.S. Customs and Immigration before being allowed to move freely in an airport terminal.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Crashes in 2nd Circuit"

ABAJournal.com: "Passengers Lobby for Airline Reform"

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