For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Phone: 202-588-1000

Public Citizen Applauds U.S. Sen. Van Hollen’s ‘Customers Not Cargo Act’ to Prevent Future Corporate Airline Assaults

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Public Citizen

WASHINGTON - In response to public pleas for greater consumer protections in the wake of a United Airlines passenger being dragged from his seat Sunday after refusing to give it up for commuting crew members, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has introduced legislation to prohibit carriers from forcibly removing boarded passengers from a flight due to overbooking, oversales or airline staff seeking to fly as passengers.

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Public Citizen:

Airlines and corporations clearly are not people, because if they were, a number of them would have been arrested and prosecuted for assault, theft and/or bad public interactions with their customers. Senator Van Hollen’s legislation is a timely and overdue step to reassert the rights and importance of the American consumer in the marketplace and in our democracy.

Public Citizen encourages all members of the Senate to respond to the justifiable and widespread public outrage by co-sponsoring this timely legislation.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

Share This Article