SPRINGFIELD - The known first bill addressing the United Airline passenger debacle was filed in Springfield Monday by State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard).
Breen's bill focuses on limiting law enforcement's involvement in removing passengers and restricting the state from doing business with airlines that remove ticketed passengers. It also protects passengers from prosecution and provides for attorney fees.
Breen says the measure would prohibit that type of scenario from ever playing out again at Illinois airports. The self-proclaimed head of the “Frequent Flyer Caucus,” Breen is one of the most seasoned travelers in the General Assembly, logging tens of thousands of airline miles annually.
“When passengers take their seat on an airplane, they are entrusting our nation’s commercial airlines to deliver them safely to their destination,” said Breen. “That trust was broken last week, when a private commercial airline used government personnel to drag a peaceful passenger out of his seat. While this treatment should never happen anywhere in the country, we can't let this happen at Illinois’ most prominent passenger hub, O’Hare Airport. Passengers traveling to or through Illinois should be confident they will be protected during their time in the Land of Lincoln.”
HB 4034, filed today in Springfield, would create the Airline Passenger Protection Act. The Act would prohibit Illinois government officials from participating in the involuntary removal by force of any properly ticketed and seated airline passenger, except in certain safety situations. The Act would also forbid any Illinois government from doing business with an airline that allows a paid seated passenger to be removed to give that seat to a non-paying airline employee.
The bill also directly protects passengers from criminal charges for refusing to yield their properly occupied seats, and allows attorney’s fees for passengers who win civil lawsuits against airlines for improperly removing them from their seats.
“The treatment of the passenger in last week’s incident at O’Hare is inexcusable and must be stopped,” Breen said. “It reflected badly on the airline, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois.”
Thank you Rep. Breen for showing more common sense than anyone involved with that incident on United did. It may have been legal, but it was an incredibly stupid action by United.
Thousands of people benefit from the current process of occasionally paying people to give up their seats… the outrageous overreaction at this one incident jeopardizes that process.
When I was a kid, my old congressman, the late Henry Hyde, responded to a question of mine by shaking his head and saying “Hard cases make bad law, John.” (I know, he didn’t coin the phrase, but I’ll always associate that wisdom with Henry).
The David Dao incident is the quintessential example of a hard case – a sympathetic figure in a snapshot of time in which everything went wrong – and our nation would be foolish indeed to remake our airline operation system for the worse, based entirely on a single-minded concentration on that one once-in-a-lifetime incident.
What absolute gibberish!
Apparently, John Di Leo, never internalized Ronald Reagan’s statement that “Libertarianism is the heart and soul of modern American conservatism.”
Reagan actually wrote that. Lyn Nofziger, his press sec. told me that personally.
We are frankly getting sick and tired of silly – anti-American people like this Di Leo who are making all conservatives look bad with their statist blatherings.
What United Airlines and the police powers from the City of Chicago Airline police authority did to this 69 year old MD (broken nose, 2 lost teeth, concussion, bloody face – need for facial reconstructive surgery) was criminally and civilly liable.
I am boycotting United Airlines and all reasonable conservatives should do the same.
And I find it offensive that shills like DiLeo should put forth cheap, phony rationales for this anti-human and anti-Constitutional behavior.
This is very bad.
And silliness like DiLeo’s makes all real conservatives look bad.
Thousands of people are being victimized by the Airlines industry DAILY. Enough! Stop protecting BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE as “free enterprise”…
You and your backwards beliefs has us all the slaves of your corporate masters… unregulated Capitalism is a greedy farce. AND. YOU. KNOW. IT.
I agree. It is sickening to read that some people are actually defending United Airlines, nobody deserves to be treated like that. Let’s not wait for it to happen again.