National Consumers League

National Consumers League statement on airline consumer protections in Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act

March 24, 2020

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832 

Washington, DC--The National Consumers League, America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, today called on leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to support the consumer protection provisions in the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act,” (H.R. 6379) the COVID-19 relief legislation introduced by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). These provisions would prohibit airline price gouging (Sec. 601) and require full cash refunds for cancelled flights (Sec. 602) during the national COVID-19 emergency. In addition, the bill would require that airlines provide quarterly reports to the Department of Transportation on the revenue they collect from baggage, change/cancellation, seat reservations, and other add-on fees. 

NCL, along with a coalition of consumer and passenger rights groups, last week called on Congress to include a series of consumer protection measures in any airline bailout legislation. The proposed protections would address passengers’ concerns during the current emergency as well as broader structural issues in the airline industry going forward. 

The following statement is attributable to John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud at the National Consumers League: 

"A functioning airline industry is vital to America’s economy during this time of national emergency. Congressional leaders must not lose sight of the fact that passengers are the lifeblood of that industry. Congressional Democrats COVID-19 relief bill contains many, but not all, of the protections that airline passenger groups, including NCL, requestedWhile it is not a perfect bill, we urge leaders in the Senate and House to work together to ensure that the proposed protections are not watered down at the behest of the airline lobby as negotiations progress toward a final package.” 

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneering consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.