Passenger Rights

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An alarming number of airline incidents have occurred over the past several years, including hours of delays, cancellations and in-flight aggression that have propelled the issue of passenger rights into the national spotlight.

In addition to handling litigation filed by those hurt in plane crashes, Motley Rice is proud to be a voice for safer skies and represent those whose passenger rights have been violated. Through our work, we strive to hold the airlines, aviation security companies and others in the aviation industry accountable for breaches in safety and security while pursuing justice for victims' family members or plane crash survivors. Motley Rice considers public service a higher priority than the airlines' profit margins and cost ratios. Our aviation team is willing to speak out and take legal action to support consumer demands for significant safety changes so that future generations may enjoy safer skies.

Industry Accountability

Aviation safety and security is the responsibility of the entire aviation industry—the airlines, airports, aviation manufacturers, airline maintenance contractors, airline trade associations and security contractors as well as government agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). These government agencies have not agreed on a definition of safety or uniform guidelines. Without a sanctioned definition, safety is only a matter of perspective.

Creating Change

The rapid growth of and demand for air travel means that aviation accidents may increase, not decrease, in the coming era. Passengers and crew have no choice but to rely on and trust that the aviation industry’s measures are secure and that they will arrive safely at their destinations.

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have reputations to uphold and liability insurance to buy; on the other hand, they are businesses looking to cut costs.

Motley Rice considers duty to public safety and security a priority far above airlines’ profit margins and cost ratios. Improvements in and faster implementation of aviation safety and security measures are changes that consumers should demand and that Motley Rice is willing to speak out on and support through legal action and public advocacy.

Motley Rice seeks to help in creating one standard of safety for the skies by working to improve the safety and security of all flights: domestic and international, commercial and non-commercial.

False Imprisonment and Malicious Prosecution

There seems to be a disturbing trend growing regarding the arresting of passengers by airline employees as a way to resolve questions or problems involving passengers’ travel. In some instances, passengers who are just asking questions are being unjustly subjected to actions such as arrest, jail, criminal court, legal expense and humiliation. This injustice is known as false imprisonment, false arrest or malicious prosecution*.

Motley Rice litigated a case alleging false arrest that ultimately settled for a substantial confidential amount in excess of previously reported settlement demands or offers. Read more about this case.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Overhead Bin Injuries

Approximately 4,500 airline passengers are hurt by items falling from overhead bins, and a membership survey by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA shows that 80 percent of flight attendants were hurt in 2009 due to carry-ons stowed in overhead bins.

Airlines are endangering both passengers and flight attendants by continuing to allow carry-on items that may cause serious injury if these items fall from the overhead bin.

Motley Rice has represented passengers who were seriously injured by falling items from overhead bins, including a personal injury case involving Air France Flight 0027.

Contact A Passenger Rights Attorney

If you believe your passenger rights have been violated and want to learn more about your legal rights, please contact Motley Rice aviation lawyers by email or call 1.800.868.6457.

General Passenger Rights

When interacting with airlines, you should always create and save a paper trail, along with a record of the personnel who advised you, dates, flight numbers and other pertinent data. Armed with this information, the airline is more likely to honor your cause.

For more on your rights as an airline passenger, see the following:

For more helpful tips, see “Air Travel Safety Tips” by Mary Schiavo.

Learn more about our Aviation practice.

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