Le Lézard
Classified in: Tourism and vacations, Transportation
Subjects: LEG, POL, AVO

HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE FAA LEGISLATION IGNORES PASSENGER RIGHTS, SAY CONSUMER GROUPS


WASHINGTON, June 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday afternoon, the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) introduced a 773-page bill setting FAA policies, organization, spending for the next five years as reported by FlyersRights.org. The bipartisan leadership group (Sam Graves (R-MO Chair), Rick Larsen (D-WA Ranking Member), Aviation Subcommittee Chair Garret Graves (R-LA), Ranking Member Steve Cohen) called for its rapid approval as early as this week by the full 65-member committee.

Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org and the designated passenger representative to the FAA noted,

"This legislation would grant significantly more power to the airline industry and FAA bureaucrats while ignoring passenger interests. 

The Federal government now has sole power of all aspects of air travel. Despite airlines receiving over $54 billion in federal subsidies, air travel breakdowns, delays, cancellations, and passenger complaints are at record levels. The FAA, after two crashes of 737 MAX aircraft due to poor safety regulation and Boeing deception, has lost its reputation as the gold standard for air safety globally. 

Accordingly, this legislation is far too important to be rammed through Congress on short notice with little debate."

Missing from the legislation were nearly all passenger protection and safety provisions supported by a coalition of national passenger and consumer protection organizations. Passenger priorities omitted included setting minimum seat sizes, delay compensation, allowing passengers on cancelled flights to travel on other airlines, requiring ancillary fees be fair and reasonable, advance notice by airlines devaluing frequent flyer miles, accountability for chronically cancelled or delayed flights, conspicuous notices of passenger rights, enabling state attorneys general and private attorneys to enforce aviation consumer protection laws. Also missing was any reform of FAA secrecy policies that block any public oversight of its safety decision making.

Today passenger rights groups including FlyersRights.org, the National Consumers League, Consumer Federation of America, Travelers United, US Public Interest Research Group, Consumer Action sent an urgent letter to the T&I leadership urging they hold public hearings, and allow full debate and recorded votes on amendments that include passenger rights protections.

The House T&I bill can be viewed at:
https://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sgrlaa_act_intro_text.pdf

SOURCE FlyersRights.org


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