April 14, 2024

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As Thanksgiving Techniques, Cantwell, Markey, Blumenthal Connect with on DOT to Power…

In submitted comment, Senators urge DOT to require airways to go over secondary fees incurred soon after delayed, cancelled flights – including lodge rooms and meals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With more than an estimated four million men and women travelling via U.S. airports this Thanksgiving period, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Clean.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Committee-customers Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) submitted a remark on the Division of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed rule on airline ticket refunds, urging the Section to reinforce and expeditiously finalize the proposed rule to make certain that consumers are reasonably compensated when an airline cancels or substantially delays their flight – which include secondary charges incurred from resorts, foods and transportation in the function of a cancellation or substantial hold off thanks to a issue within just the airline’s handle. This very long overdue rule is urgently needed next months of vacation disruptions, with airways cancelling just about 3% of flights during the initial eight months of this year — a 63% boost around pre-pandemic figures — and delaying an further 21% of flights.

“This rulemaking is a significant response to the increase in flight cancellations and delays in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a report number of consumer complaints about the refund method,” the senators wrote. “While we commend the company for taking this action, DOT can reinforce the proposed rule by protecting customers from other prices that are further than their command — which includes ticket support expenses on cancelled flights and secondary expenditures resulting from a flight cancellation or delay.”

Specifically, the Senators urged DOT to improve its proposed rule by:

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  1. Necessitating airlines to cover secondary costs — these types of as lodge rooms, foodstuff and drink, and transportation to-and-from the airport — when an airline, thanks to a difficulty in its regulate, cancels or significantly delays a flight,
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  3. Ensuring that passengers are not forced to protect ticket agents’ service fees when an airline cancels a flight and,
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  5. Requiring airlines to report to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the benefit of the refunds and vouchers issued to individuals every single thirty day period.
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In Could, Sens. Cantwell, Markey and Blumenthal wrote a letter to DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging the Division to use its regulatory energy to “make the approach for obtaining refunds much more clear and efficient.” In their letter, they urged the DOT to consider unique steps to shield buyers, including clarifying and codifying guidelines requiring carriers and ticket agents to present prompt refunds immediately after a flight is cancelled or appreciably delayed, as nicely as clarifying the legal rights for shoppers who are not able to vacation owing to government constraints or the declaration of a general public wellbeing emergency.

The remark letter can be discovered below.