USA: Air Transport Association successfully challenged New York state law on passenger rights

The Air Transport Association has successfully challenged a New York state law that set minimum standards for treatment of airline passengers. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a federal law, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, preempts the ability of states to govern such matters:”We hold that requiring airlines to provide food, water, electricity, and restrooms to passengers during lengthy ground delays does relate to the service of an air carrier and therefore falls within the express terms of the ADA’s preemption provision. (…) If New York’s view regarding the scope of its regulatory authority carried the day, another state could be free to enact a law prohibiting the service of soda on flights departing from its airports, while another could require allergen-free food options on its outbound flights, unraveling the centralized federal framework for air travel. On this point, the decisions of the Fifth and Ninth Circuits finding preemption of state common law claims for failure to warn of the risk of deep vein thrombosis are instructive. “Case Air Transport Ass’n of America v. Cuomo; find full text of decision here>> and ATA statement here>>.

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