Kidnapped by JetBlue: Another look at the "Passenger Bill of Rights"

The next time you go to the airport, you might want to set aside a little extra money for food, water, accommodations, and legal fees. A recent federal court ruling placed limits on the services that states can require airlines to provide to their grounded passengers.

Basically, it went down like this: late last summer, following months of record airplane delays and grounded planes, the New York State Legislature passed a "Passenger Bill of Rights," outlining requirements that airlines had to honor during extended delays.

Needless to say, the airline industry got up in arms, called out its army of lobbyists and lawyers, and began challenging the law in court. This week, the airlines finally got their wish as the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the bill of rights, stating that it overstepped the bounds of state law. Apparently, due to the interstate nature of airline travel, it can only be regulated by the federal government. The court's ruling was pretty absurd, and hinged on the argument that, if airlines were subject to state law, they might be forced to modify the food and drink that they serve on flights.