FlyersRights Lauds Bipartisan Passenger Protection Law as Major Step Forward

30.05.24 23:56 Uhr

For more information, contact Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights at 800-662-1859 or paul@flyersrights.com

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than six months of delay, Congress passed the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration FAA Reauthorization Act, signed into law on May 16, 2024 as Public Law 118-63. This Act authorizes FAA funding through 2028 and provides airline passengers with new consumer protections.

It codifies much of the DOT's recent refund regulation, requiring airlines to automatically refund passengers when airlines cancel flights, cause significant delays, or significantly change the schedule of the flight. Airlines are also no longer able to charge children under the age of 14 to sit next to their parents.

Carriers are subject to larger maximum civil penalties for violations of the law. Congress has also required the FAA to revisit the minimum seat dimension and emergency evacuation standards, originally mandated in 2018 but never implemented by the FAA.

The Reauthorization Act also requires additional transparency and customer service. Airlines must operate a 24/7 customer service phone, chat, or text messaging service without charge. Airlines must also display "Know Your Rights" posters in conspicuous places throughout the airport. Additionally, the law requires the DOT to maintain the customer service dashboards that it introduced in 2022.

Paul Hudson explained, "The airlines can no longer hide their refund obligations from passengers. When a passenger is entitled to a refund for a canceled flight and now a significantly delayed flight, the airline must clearly and conspicuously inform the passenger of their right to a refund instead of concealing that fact when offering less valuable travel vouchers and credits that come with early expiration dates."

Paul Hudson praised the overall FAA Reauthorization Act by noting, "The law recognizes the undeniable fact that airlines have been mistreating and misleading passengers. Improved passenger rights transparency, increased civil penalties, statutory guarantees to refunds, basic customer service, and family seating demonstrates Congress' awareness of the incredible power the airlines have held, and the consequences of that power, due to market concentration and minimal regulation."

FlyersRights.org maintains up to date passenger rights information at https://flyersrights.org/your-rights and also provides passengers with legal information and appropriate contacts by phone, 877-FLYERS-6 and by email, hotline@flyersrights.org.

FlyersRights.org, established in 2007, is the largest airline passenger organization. It provides legal information to passengers, operates a free hotline for airline passengers 877- FLYERS-6, advocates for passenger rights and interests, represents passengers on the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee dealing with air safety, and maintains a staffed office in Washington, D.C.

FlyersRights.org. Media line: 800-662-1859; hotline@flyersrights.org; 4411 Bee Ridge Road, 274, Sarasota, FL 34233.

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SOURCE FlyersRights.org