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New York is the first state to respond with legislation, signed this week by Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
"The bottom line is people that are stuck on a plane for more than three hours should be able to use a bathroom, should be able to breathe fresh air and should be able to get a drink of water," said Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, D-Queens.
Will July 29, go down in history as airline traveler's Stonewall? 120 passengers staged a protest aboard Continental Flight 1669 after waiting on the runway for over five hours.
So passengers began drumming in unison on the overhead bins. The crew freaked out, one steward admonished them "for destroying airline property," and eventually the police were called, who boarded the plane and disembarked the passengers Continental had said were "becoming violent."
70 of the passengers later signed a petition which said:
We did not have water, food, toilet paper.. The toilets were clogged and completely unsanitary. Moreover, there were a number of children and older and special-needs passengers, including a diabetic and a pregnant woman, who desperately needed attention.