Passenger Protection Enhanced by FAA Reauthorization Act

Passenger Protection Enhanced by FAA Reauthorization Act
Passenger Protection Enhanced by FAA Reauthorization Act
Written by Harry Johnson

After the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act, airlines are no longer able to conceal their responsibility to provide refunds to passengers.

The United States Congress finally approved the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act after a delay of over six months. The Act, signed into law on May 16, 2024 as Public Law 118-63, ensures FAA funding until 2028 and introduces new consumer protections for airline passengers.

It incorporates key aspects of the Department of Transportation’s refund policy, mandating airlines to issue automatic refunds to passengers in case of flight cancellations, major delays, or significant schedule changes. Additionally, airlines are now prohibited from charging children under 14 to sit beside their parents.

Carriers may face increased civil penalties for law violations. The FAA is mandated by Congress to review the minimum seat dimensions and emergency evacuation standards, which were initially required in 2018 but never put into effect by the FAA.

The Reauthorization Act also mandates more transparency and customer service. Airlines are obligated to provide a 24/7 customer service phone, chat, or text messaging service at no cost.

Moreover, airlines must prominently display “Know Your Rights” posters in various locations within the airport.

Furthermore, the law stipulates that the DOT must continue to maintain the customer service dashboards that were introduced in 2022.

After the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act, airlines are no longer able to conceal their responsibility to provide refunds to passengers. In cases where a passenger is eligible for a refund due to a canceled or significantly delayed flight, the airline must transparently and prominently communicate the passenger’s right to a refund, rather than obscuring this information by offering less valuable travel vouchers and credits with limited validity.

According to the airline passenger rights advocates, the mistreatment and deception of passengers by airlines is acknowledged by the law. Congress’ understanding of the airlines’ significant influence, resulting from market dominance and limited regulation, is evident through enhanced transparency of passenger rights, higher civil penalties, guaranteed refunds, improved customer service, and provisions for family seating.

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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