Wyden, Colleagues Reintroduce Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act to Protect Rights of Airline Passengers
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Senate colleagues today reintroduced legislation that would provide consumers an enforceable right to a full cash refund when airlines cancel their flight.
The Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act would codify the federal Department of Transportation’s authority to require major airlines to give passengers a cash refund if the airline cancels or significantly delays their flight and creates a new right for consumers to receive a cash refund if passengers cancel their flight up to 48 hours ahead of the flight’s scheduled departure.
“While airlines continue to make record profits, consumers are stuck waiting at the ticket counter without a refund when their flight is significantly delayed or canceled. This is just plain wrong,” Wyden said. “I’m proud to cosponsor the Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act which will create a new right for airline consumers to receive cash refunds and hold airlines accountable.”
The Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act would:
- Require a covered airline or ticket agent to offer a full cash refund within 30 days if the airline cancels or significantly delays a flight, or if a passenger cancels their ticket up until 48 hours of the scheduled departure time.
- Require a covered carrier or ticket agent to disclose to the passenger their right to a cash refund if (1) the passenger cancels their ticket up until 48 hours of the scheduled departure time and (2) the airline cancels or significantly delays their flight.
- Authorize the Secretary of Transportation to impose a $1,000 civil penalty on an airline for failing to provide a full cash refund to a passenger within 30 days.
The legislation was led by U.S. Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass. Alongside Wyden, the bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Endorsers of the Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act include the American Economic Liberties Project, the National Consumers League, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, and the Business Travel Coalition.
Earlier this month, Wyden joined Senate colleagues to reintroduce the FAIR Fees Act — legislation that would prohibit airlines from charging unreasonable fees that are not proportional to the costs of the service actually provided. Wyden also joined colleagues to reintroduce the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, comprehensive legislation that would expand protections for air travelers.
The text of the bill is here.
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