Airline travel has been…chaotic recently, to say the least.
Over the past holiday season, thousands of flights were delayed and canceled throughout the United States, and just when we thought we were out of the woods — winter storms caused even more recent cancelations. But, two US Senators have reintroduced legislation that seeks to strengthen protections for airline passengers should a similar situation arise again. Here’s what we know.
After a year of disrupted travel and a holiday travel season that saw thousands upon thousands of flight delays and cancelations, two US Senators have reintroduced legislation that would “strengthen airline passenger protections.”
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-MA) are seeking support on two bills that would expedite refunds for passengers whose travel has been disrupted. The legislation would also “tamp down” airline fees for seating assignments and checked luggage, which has brought in billions for the industry, according to CNBC.
The legislation — titled The Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights — is co-sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and would seek up to $1,350 for travelers bumped from oversold flights. Not only that, but the bills coincide with the Biden administration’s push for traveler refunds and stricter passenger rules.
A hearing on the latest airline disruptions is expected to be held in the coming weeks.
But, it likely won’t be smooth sailing for the proposed legislation in congress, as Airlines for America (a trade organization and lobbying group) has spoken out against the bills.
The group shared a statement that reads, “The proposed policies in this bill — instituting government-controlled pricing, establishing a private right of action and dictating private sector contracts — would drastically decrease competition, leading to a subsequent increase in airfare prices and potential cut in services to small and rural communities.”
According to Airlines for America, its members (which are made up of the largest airline carriers in the US) currently “abide by — and frequently exceed – all DOT regulations regarding consumer protections.”
If you’re flying somewhere soon, make sure you check your airline’s app for the latest flight information, and you can see the most and least reliable airlines in the US here.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on airline travel so you can be prepared for your next trip. For more tips, check out our posts below and stay tuned to DFB for the latest news!
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Have you had a flight canceled recently? Let us know in the comments!
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