Maryland’s General Assembly session is over for this year, but one of last week’s most widely viewed viral videos is already setting an agenda for the next session.
According to WBAL-TV, State Sen. Jim Rosapepe is looking to make sure that the scene of a passenger being dragged from their seat in Chicago doesn’t play out at BWI. The College Park Democrat is working on a bill that would ban Maryland transit police from forcibly removing a passenger from their seat — as long as they are not a threat to public safety.
“If the airline wants to use a seat you’ve paid for, and are sitting in, they should pay you fair market value for it, not commandeer local law enforcement to haul you away,” Rosapepe said in a statement.
That probably seemed self-evident before the video of Dr. David Dao being dragged off of a United flight with a bloody face emerged. The incident put a nationwide spotlight on the practice of “bumping.” And the nation is on high alert. Even though they went willingly, a couple made national news over the weekend after being bumped off a Houston flight that was en route to their destination wedding.
Given the backlash, the bill is also designed to “underscore BWI’s brand as a passenger-friendly airport,” Rosapepe said in the statement.
U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is filing a bill at the federal level to update bumping rules.
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