General Brnovich Urges USDOT to Improve Consumer Protection Rules for Airline Passengers

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich is co-leading a coalition of 34 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to strengthen protections for airline consumers and provide meaningful relief when flights are unexpectedly canceled or significantly delayed.

“Even at their cruising altitudes, airlines are still not above the law,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It's time for them to be held to similar consumer protection standards as other service industries."

In the letter, the attorneys general urge the USDOT to adopt new framework, ensuring their concerns are addressed promptly and clearer protocols are developed to ensure timely and effective enforcement. Recommendations in the letter include the following:

  • USDOT should require airlines to advertise and sell only flights that they have adequate personnel to fly and support and perform regular audits of airlines to ensure compliance and impose fines on airlines that do not comply;
  • USDOT should make clear that it will impose significant fines for cancellations and extended delays that are not weather-related or otherwise unavoidable;
  • USDOT should prohibit airlines from canceling flights while upselling consumers more expensive alternative flights to the same destinations; and
  • USDOT should require that credits and vouchers for future travel provided by airlines be used easily without inappropriate limitations.  

Joining General Brnovich are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Alaska, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Copy of the letter.

General Brnovich has a history of standing up for frustrated travelers. 

Additional airline actions: