Transportation Department Teams with Attorneys General to Probe Airlines


The department announced the formation of the Airline Passenger Protection Partnership on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, during a ceremony at Denver International Airport (DEN).


Partnership Opens Federal Data Books for States Investigating Airlines

Under the new cooperative, the 18 states joining the partnership will get additional resources to investigate allegations of airline and ticket agent misconduct. Attorneys general who “uncover unfair or deceptive airline practices” will get a new fast-track system with the Transportation Department, who will in turn pressure stakeholders to cooperate with the state-level investigations.


The partnership is focused on four key points to help expedite investigations. First, the states attorneys general offices will be able to refer consumer cases against airlines and ticketing agents to the Transportation Department if they find evidence of federal aviation consumer protection violations. If one of the stakeholders does not provide information in a timely manner after an attorney general request, they can report them directly to the Transportation Department for their failure to respond.


The group will also have full access to the DOT’s computer complaint database to identify patterns and build cases to be summited by the states to the federal agency. States will also be able to fast track cases they take on to the Transportation Department for investigation and possible enforcement action where necessary.


“We take our mission to protect consumers seriously, and today’s launch of the Airline Passenger Protection Partnership is an important milestone in that effort,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “By partnering with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general, the U.S. Department of Transportation has expanded our ability to hold airlines and ticket agents accountable and protect passengers from unfair or deceptive practices.”


Colorado State Attorney General Phil Weiser is credited for spearheading the effort to organize the state attorneys general to work closer to with the Department of Transportation on investigations. Weiser was also involved in a case against Frontier Airlines, calling for the DOT to investigate their refund policies in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

Source: frugal travel guy

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