Legislation Will Prevent Airlines From Removing Seated Passengers From Aircraft
WASHINGTON, DC – Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) today announced he is introducing the Secure Equity in Airline Transportation (SEAT) Act, legislation to prevent airlines from bumping passengers off an over-booked flight if the passenger has already boarded.
The legislation requires the Secretary of Transportation to revise federal rules governing how airlines treat travelers with confirmed tickets on over-booked flights. Under the SEAT Act, airlines cannot involuntarily remove a person from their seat on an over-booked flight simply to make room for another passenger – airline employee or otherwise.
“Passengers should have the peace of mind to know they will not be dragged off a plane once they’re in their seat,” Dr. Dunn said. “Americans everywhere were shocked at the treatment of the passenger in Chicago. The SEAT Act will require airlines to sort out over-booking before allowing passengers to board the airplane.”
The legislation comes after the now infamous case where United Airlines had law enforcement forcibly remove a passenger who had already boarded the plane. In a separate reported incident last week, a seated passenger was allegedly threatened with handcuffs unless he gave up his seat for a “higher priority passenger.”
The SEAT Act does not impede any airlines’ internal review or conflict with recently announced policy changes, including those that prevent flight crews from displacing seated passengers and restrict employees from using law enforcement to remove passengers. Further, the legislation is tailored to ensure that law enforcement can act to remove a passenger when he or she is a threat to the safety of others.