The airlines are federally regulated, and they’d like it to stay that way, worrying that a “patchwork of laws by states and localities would be impractical and harmful to consumer interests,” according to the Air Transport Association.
It’s not hard to see the potential headache were individual states allowed to make up their own rules about air travel minutiae like flight-attendant fashion or beverage choice (“This is your captain speaking, we’re flying over Provo, Utah, please dump your Bloody Marys, ladies and gentlemen — toot sweet.”)
In its decision today, the court wrote that “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.”
We’re pretty sure soda and allergen-free food options couldn’t bring down the airline industry or the constitution. Regardless, can’t we all find some common ground on water and bathrooms? Even Federalists have to pee. —Maggie Shnayerson