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AG Fitch and others urge USDOT to...

AG Fitch and others urge USDOT to strengthen airline protections during holidays

By: Sarah Ulmer - December 19, 2022

Attorney General Lynn Fitch

AG’s work to encourage USDOT to make travel woes more manageable for consumers during the holiday season. 

As travel picks up in the U.S. for the holiday season, Attorney General Lynn Fitch and other AG’s across the nation are joining together to urge the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to strengthen protections for airline consumers.

The letter, which includes 34 bipartisan AG’s, is also asking that the USDOT provide additional relief to those whose flights get unexpectedly cancelled or significantly delayed during the season.

“Air travel has become an integral part of family and business plans,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “Unfortunately, airlines have had a lot more leverage than average consumers, leaving those consumers with little recourse when flights are delayed or canceled. These proposed rules will give Mississippians more protection when travel plans are unexpectedly changed.”

The letter to the Department makes several recommendations regarding their proposed new rules for airline ticket refunds and consumer protections. The proposals from the AG’s would allow State Attorneys General to get a prompt response and assistance when they bring customer complaints forward to the agency.

Other recommendations include: 

  • Airlines should be required to provide refunds when delays exceed a floor number of hours;
  • USDOT should make clear that the agency will impose significant fines for cancellations or extended delays that are not weather-related or otherwise unavoidable;
  • Airlines should be required to provide partial refunds to passengers when cancellations result in a rescheduled flight that the passenger may accept but are later, longer, or otherwise less valuable to the consumer;
  • Airlines should be prohibited from advertising and selling flights that they do not have adequate personnel to fly and support;
  • USDOT should prohibit airlines from canceling flights while upselling consumers more expensive alternative flights to the same destinations; and
  • USDOT should require that credits and vouchers for future travel that are provided by airlines in the event of cancellation can be used easily without inappropriate limitations.

The Attorneys General from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, and New York led the letter to USDOT. Joining them are the attorneys general of Alaska, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Read the full letter below: 

Usdot Nprm Final 34 Ags Corrected by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: