Published: May 2024

Organizations welcome FAA reauthorization agreement, but advocate for improvements

Consumer Action lent its voice to a public statement supporting the bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), while also urging senators to support additional amendments that would provide crucial airline passenger rights and protections.

Consumer Action joined consumer protection and public interest allies in open comments on the release of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. While the groups acknowledged the benefits to airline passengers of the measures in the bill—including establishment of a permanent office of consumer protection at the Department of Transportation (DOT), a tripling of the amount DOT can fine airlines for violations, and a requirement that airlines allow families to sit together at no extra cost—they urged senators to support additional amendments that appeared in previous versions of the House and Senate bills. Among the omitted amendments is the requirement that airlines automatically provide cash refunds for cancellations and significant delays, rather than forcing passengers to jump through hoops to get the refund they’re owed. The bill, as it stands now, says airlines must pay refunds only “upon written or electronic request of the passenger,” which consumer advocates contend would result in much of that money remaining in the airlines’ coffers because many consumers don’t have the time or resources to navigate the refund request process.

Lead Organization

National Consumers League

More Information

Read the press release here.

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