Tuesday, July 29, 2008

E-Mail Response From Kate At flyersrights.com

David,

Here is the problem with promoting that. New Mexico already passed a law that says no alcohol when in or over their state. What this did to our passengers bill of rights was devastating and here's why.

Although I think you are probably right, especially because air rage increases where alcohol is involved, the airlines argument about State Laws to regulate passengers Safety and Health is that they don't want a "Patchwork Quilt" of State legislation.

There is no way we will get the federal Government to pass this type of law. Too many drinkers in Congress would disagree. So we have the States who can legislate this, however the airlines figured out a way to make it a problem for us with our first piece of legislation.

I wish I could be more effective, but we need to get our first piece of legislation passed so it can be amended later with laws like yours suggest would be good.

Have you called your Congressman and Senators? Fax them letters? That's the best first step.

Kate

Opinion in rebuttal: When smoking was banned, there were naysayers and it began as a patchwork. From 1986 and the no-smoke.org website:

1987

February - The U.S. Department of Transportation rejects the recommendation of the NAS to make domestic commercial flights smokefree. Secretary Elizabeth Dole states that no new regulations are necessary because the market will accommodate demand.

July - By a vote of 198 to 193, the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Durbin Amendment to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, making domestic flights of two hours or less smokefree. ANR's swift national grassroots campaign plays a critical role in securing the passage.

September 27th - California Governor George Deukmejian signs S.B. 1067 into law, making all in-state flights, trains, buses and other forms of public transportation 100% smokefree. State Senator Nicolas Petris (D-Oakland) authored the measure after reading about the adverse health effects of passive smoking exposure in the 1986 U.S. Surgeon General's Report.

Southwest Airlines buys out Muse Air and revokes 100% smokefree policy. Smoking is permitted on Southwest Airline flights, exposing airline employees and passengers to secondhand smoke again.

1 comment:

Kate Hanni said...

David,

Some have misinterpreted my remarks above to mean that the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (CAPBOR) supports banning alcohol on all airline flights. It was my intent to point out that state laws like New Mexico’s ban on serving alcohol are used by opponents to defeat basic passengers rights legislation on state levels. As a matter of policy, CAPBOR does not support a federal ban on serving alcohol on flights. However, we certainly support your right to advocate for such laws on your own behalf.

Kate Hanni
Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights