Assemblyman Steve Englebright won’t let the United Airlines controversy die.
One month after a man was dragged off a plane, the Long Island Democrat introduced a bill on Friday prohibiting the involuntary removal of a passenger because the airline overbooked the flight. Anyone who violates this prohibition, under the proposed law, could be required to pay damages
“There is no excuse for an aircraft operator to forcible remove any person who has paid for an assigned seat on such aircraft,” read the bill memo, which goes on to note that people often make “specific arrangements” to travel and interruptions can be “extremely inconvenient.”
The prohibition would only apply if a person paid for their fare and had an “assigned seat.”
In case you were wondering what section of law would deal with getting bumped from an airplane, the answer is state Civil Rights law.
In what appears to be a direct response to the United Airlines incident, the bill memo adds, “It is even more inexcusable to cause any physical harm to an individual on the bases [sic] that the aircraft operator made an error in seating arrangement or overbooking. To use force to remove a person that has fairly paid his or her fare and is seated on an aircraft is inappropriate and discriminatory.”
The bill doesn’t currently have a same-as bill in the Senate, but it will likely have a press release soon.