US lawmakers set to pass new ‘Passenger Bill of Rights’

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has proposed a new “Passenger Bill of Rights” to be included in the edicts of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Committee chairperson Senator Maria Cantwell said in a recent congressional hearing that the aim of the bill includes changing some rules regarding customer service as well as improving consideration for families flying together.

Senator Cantwell also said that the bill demands the removal of bottlenecks in the process of refunds and rebates for airline customers who have not received the services they made payment for.

“Any travel credits accepted in lieu of refunds should never expire: that’s your money and should be in your bank account,” she said.

She also spoke about putting an end to unnecessary airline fees such as ‘rebooking fees’ and other usually hidden charges which are “taking real money out of the pockets of Americans.”

Senator Cantwell suggested that the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection be restructured and funded in order to ensure the enforcement of the bill by the Department of Transportation when it becomes law.

At the hearing, an aviation fellow of the American Economic Liberties Project, William McGee, said that the American aviation sector is plunging to “new lows in customer service” and “needs more enforcement of the rules.”

President of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) Sara Nelson who was also in attendance at the hearing noted that the lack of coordinated scheduling by US airlines is a major cause of frequent flight delays and cancellations. This in turn congests the system and causes consumer dissatisfaction and undue stress on frontline workers.

Previously, the chairperson of the commerce and aviation subcommittee Senator Tammy Duckworth expressed concern about the deficit of pilots, maintenance staff, and air traffic controllers in the US.

Senator Duckworth complained that the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is holding back on employing air traffic controllers due to its budget, even though the demand for workers in the sector is sky-high.

Meanwhile, in similar developments, the Department of Transportation recently said that it plans to recruit over 3000 air traffic controllers between 2023 and 2024.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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