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Fri, Feb 08, 2013

Kate Hanni To Leave FlyersRights Leadership Post

Executive Director Founded The Organization After A Long Tarmac Delay

After sitting on an airplane on the tarmac for nine hours in 2006, Kate Hanni decided she would do something about it. The California real estate agent founded FlyersRights in 2007, and the organization has gone on to become a well-known airline consumer advocacy group.

Hanni (pictured) and the group have been vocal advocates for passenger's rights on airliners, and it was partly their efforts that eventually led to Department of Transportation rules that impose stiff fines against domestic airlines that allow planes to sit on the ground for more than three hours without offering passengers an opportunity to deplane. Airlines can be fined up to $12,000 per passenger for violating the tarmac delay rules.

USA Today reports that, in an e-mail, Hanni said she was stepping down as executive director of the group she founded for "personal and family reasons." The new executive director of the group is Paul Hudson, a member of its executive board. It was Hudson who represented Hanni in a lawsuit she brought against American Airlines following that nine-hour delay.

Hanni was praised in a statement released by the organization, which said "FlyersRights was built out of conviction that airline passengers' rights should count as much as airlines' rights. She devoted a huge chunk of her life to testifying in Congress, speaking to the media, travel and much more. For that, we are eternally grateful to Kate."

FMI: www.flyersrights.org

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