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Attorney General Josh Stein Calls for Stronger Protections for Airline Customers

For Immediate Release:
Monday, December 19, 2022

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to strengthen protections for airline customers and provide meaningful relief to people whose flights are unexpectedly canceled or significantly delayed.

“As North Carolinians gear up for holiday travel, I want to do everything in my power to make their travel as stress- and headache-free as possible,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Airlines should do right by customers – that means keeping flights on time, not overbooking flights, and not profiting off their customers’ hardships. I’m pleased that the USDOT is holding airlines accountable and urge them to put in place even stronger consumer protections.”

In today’s letter regarding the department’s proposed new rules for airline ticket refunds and consumer protections, the attorneys general recommend that USDOT:

  • Should require airlines to advertise and sell only flights that they have adequate personnel to fly and support, perform regular audits of airlines to ensure compliance, and impose fines on airlines that do not comply.
  • Make clear that it will significantly fine for cancellations and extended delays that are not weather-related or otherwise unavoidable.
  • Should prohibit airlines from canceling flights while upselling consumers more expensive alternative flights to the same destinations.
  • Should require that credits and vouchers for future travel that airlines provide in the event of cancellation can be used easily without inappropriate limitations.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Arizona, 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 Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

A copy of the letter is available here.