In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey , who was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. He is a Democrat. (stock photo)
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s Executive Order directing the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to engage in a series of rulemakings to address unfair airline baggage and in-flight service fees:
“This order marks a step toward simple fairness and respect for fliers. Airlines unacceptably refuse to make refunds for delayed baggage or services unprovided—chronic bad practices that would be banned by the President’s order and by legislation that we have advocated. Now some consumer dollars will go back into their pockets rather than airline coffers, but much more work is necessary. Airlines are continuing to refuse cash refunds or even non-expiring credits for canceled flights. They seem to have no shame.”
Markey and Blumenthal have long called on airlines to curb unfair fees and practices, and are the lead sponsors of the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights and the FAIR Fees Act, legislation that would substantially strengthen consumer protection in aviation. Markey and Blumenthal have been leading Congressional efforts to ensure airlines provide consumers with cash refunds for canceled flights and waive expiration dates for flight credits issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawmakers most recently led a letter to DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, urging the agency to act and protect consumers.
The text of the letter can be found here.
It follows the letter sent to major domestic airlines in May, requesting that airlines voluntarily make pandemic-related travel credits valid indefinitely by default.