Porter Introduces Legislation to Protect Airline Travelers
Package of bills would hold airlines, the FAA accountable
Washington, April 17, 2023
Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) introduced four pieces of legislation to improve Americans’ air travel experiences and address years of airlines taking advantage of passengers.
“No one wants to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced when traveling, but airlines continue to push their limits to juice profits,” said Rep. Porter, a consumer protection advocate. “I introduced a series of bills to protect Americans from corporate abuse when they fly. I’ll keep working to hold airlines and the responsible federal agency accountable for doing right by travelers.”
Stop Airplane Seat Shrinking Act – A 2018 law directed the FAA to establish a standard for airplane seat sizes, but airlines continue to shrink seats while the FAA fails to act. Rep. Porter’s bill would prevent airlines from squeezing even more passengers into the same space until the FAA develops a minimum baseline for the aviation industry.
Flightmare Prevention Act – Airlines like Southwest rely on antiquated technology from the 1990s to schedule flight crews and staff. Companies shouldn’t be able to use unreliable programs in order to avoid the cost of upgrades. Rep. Porter’s proposal requires the FAA to regulate airlines’ enterprise computer systems to avoid future meltdowns and delays.
Choices for Stranded Passengers Act – Travelers experiencing significant preventable delays or cancellations shouldn’t have to wait hours or days to get to their destination. Rep. Porter’s bill would codify rules requiring airlines to issue a full refund or promptly rebook passengers on a new flight, even if the airline must purchase a ticket on another carrier.
Federal Aviation Administration Engagement and Transparency Act – The FAA should be responsive and accountable to the American people. Rep. Porter’s legislation would require the FAA Administrator to appear before Congress each year to provide updates on the agency’s objectives and operations.
Rep. Porter’s bill package is endorsed by Consumer Action and the National Consumers League.
As a single mom and consumer finance expert, Rep. Porter has consistently worked in Congress to crack down on corporate abuse that hurts families. Her legislation to stop Big Pharma from unreasonably hiking prices to line their pockets became law, and she released a report highlighting drug companies’ profiteering off cancer patients. Last year, the House passed her bill to hold Big Oil accountable for price gouging consumers. Congresswoman Porter continues to stand up to corporate consolidation that raises costs for families by speaking out about monopoly power in the grocery, health care, and tech industries.