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These 15 states are helping the feds enforce protections for airline passengers

(The Hill) — The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Tuesday that it was partnering with 15 states to investigate airlines and protect passengers amid a boom in air travel.
The partnership will allow the Biden administration to prioritize cases of misconduct if state attorneys general find that airlines or ticket agents participate in “unfair or deceptive airline practices.”
If a state attorney general believes an airline violated a law, they could refer the cases to DOT for enforcement. The partnership will allow participating states’ attorneys generals to have access to a federal complaint database and ensure airlines comply with state-level investigations, the DOT said in a release.
“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,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
Buttigieg, speaking at the announcement event at the Denver International Airport, was joined by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser (D). Buttigieg said the partnership is a bipartisan effort to protect consumers.
“Consumers deserve to be treated fairly, know what they’re getting, and get everything they pay for when they fly,” Wieser said. “By working together, we will be improving travel for passengers and holding accountable airlines or ticket agents who harm consumers.”
Buttigieg pointed to travelers who had flights canceled and then had to wait days for a new flight or pay more to fly home on a different airline. He said it’s a violation of passenger rights and it’s happening far too often, The Associated Press reported.
Participating states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. The District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Island and the U.S. Virgin Islands also have attorneys generals participating.
The states have signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) that will ensure state attorneys general and the DOT’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection are collaborating on consumer complaints of unfair or deceptive practices being used by airlines.
“Federal law places responsibility for addressing airline consumer protection matters with DOT,” the release aid.
Several other states have expressed an interest in signing the MOU as well.



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