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US House plan to stop airline passengers from being bumped from flights

[WASHINGTON] A sweeping House plan to set aviation policy for the next six years would add protections for airline passengers bumped from flights, speed introduction of commercial drones and make it easier to certify new aircraft.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled legislation on Wednesday that would prohibit passengers from being removed from a flight after they've boarded. The legislation also revives a proposal to remove the US air-traffic system from government control that failed a year ago, Chairman Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican, said at a briefing.

Airlines took a beating in public opinion after a doctor was removed from a United Airlines flight on the ground in Chicago on April 9 after the airline needed the spot for a flight crew. The legislation would also direct the Department of Transportation to write clearer rules about how travelers who are bumped must be compensated.

The House legislation would also include a requirement for airlines disrupted by computer outages to post resources for stranded passengers online, including hotel accommodations and meal vouchers, according to a summary of the bill. It would make it easier for people to file consumer complaints against airlines using smartphones, require commercial airports to provide private rooms for nursing mothers, and ban voice telephone calls on flights, according to the summary.


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