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Fear of Not Flying

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Maybe you recall the name Kate Hanni -- she was among those stuck on the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport tarmac for some 13 hours in December 2006 after her Oakland-to-Dallas American Airlines flight was diverted due to weather. Hanni and at least one other woman have sued the Fort Worth-based carrier, claiming, among other things, "emotional distress" and "false imprisonment" when they received no food or drink on the stalled flight and when the bathrooms went to the wrong side of funky.

Turns out, Hanni has taken her cause from the courtroom to the Interwebs: She's behind The Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights, where folks can push for legislation and post their horror stories. Turns out, she's getting somewhere too: California Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is pushing for an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, which he introduced yesterday. In the proposed legislation, he would require airlines "to provide basic amenities for passengers -- including water, snacks, fresh air, sanitary restrooms and lights -- if their airplane is delayed on a tarmac in California for more than three hours," according to the San Francisco Chronicle this morning. Sanitary restrooms -- the man sure does ask for a lot. --Robert Wilonsky

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.