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Rep. Katie Porter Introduces Bills to Protect Americans While Traveling

Congresswoman’s new legislation would crack down on corporate abuse from airlines, rental car companies

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), a longtime consumer protection advocate, today introduced three bills to protect Americans when they travel. Porter’s new suite of legislation would impose new requirements for air travel refunds, plane seat sizes, and rental car reservations.

“Too many Americans have been victims of corporate abuse while traveling, myself included, in part because industry consolidation means we often don’t have real consumer choice,” Porter said. “As people travel across the country for the holidays, I’m working on legislation that protects travelers against airlines and rental car companies that take advantage of customers to line their pockets just because they can.”

Consolidation in the airline and rental car industries has left consumers with few choices and enabled corporate abuse. Porter’s new bills holds these big corporations accountable:

  • The Prompt Refunds for Cancelled Flights Act requires airlines to refund travelers within 14 days for cancelled or significantly changed flights and imposes a civil penalty for delayed refunds.
  • The Stop Airplane Seat Shrinking Act prevents airlines from reducing the size of passenger seats until the Federal Aviation Administration establishes a minimum seat size, as Congress mandated the agency to do in 2018.
  • The Rental Car Consumer Protection Act requires rental car companies to provide consumers with the vehicle they reserved within half an hour of the reservation time and at the reservation location. These companies would also have to maintain better records and display a sign at the business premises to inform travelers of their rights.

A consumer finance expert and single mom, Porter has consistently worked in Congress to crack down on corporate abuse that hurts families. Her legislation to stop Big Pharma from profiting off unreasonable price hikes became law as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The House passed her bill to hold Big Oil accountable for price gouging consumers at gas pumps. She has also introduced legislation that strengthens accountability for big corporations that engage in coordinated price hikes. Porter stood up to leaders of both parties to oppose a giveaway to tax preparation companies that would have made it harder for taxpayers to file for free.