May 16, 2024, Washington, DC – Today, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) applauded the signing of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024 (H.R. 3935) into law by President Joe Biden. This new law is the result of a comprehensive, bipartisan effort to reauthorize the FAA and aviation infrastructure and safety programs for five years. 

“Congressional leaders worked tirelessly to pass this legislation and we appreciate their consideration and inclusion of many of Travel Tech’s priorities,” said Laura Chadwick President and CEO of Travel Tech. “By giving Travel Tech members a voice in important policymaking efforts at the U.S. Department of Transportation, our industry can work to expand the transparency and choice travelers have come to expect.”  

Several of Travel Tech’s legislative priorities were reflected in the final version of the bill. Ticket agents, including online travel agents, Global Distribution Systems, and travel management companies, are a critical part of the travel ecosystem. The new law requires that ticket agents must now be consulted as appropriate by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC), a critical body responsible for evaluating and providing recommendations on consumer protection programs in the aviation industry. (see Sec. 508)

Ticket agents will now be able to provide valuable insights about the indirect distribution channel not currently reflected in the advisory committee and help policymakers meet their mission. This is a significant step forward that will enhance the role of ticket agents and improve the overall travel experience for consumers. A Ticket Agent representative has also been included in the law’s new Passenger Experience Advisory Committee, which is tasked with advising the Secretary and the Administrator in carrying out activities relating to the improvement of the passenger experience in air transportation customer service. (see Sec. 517)

Travel Tech also commends Congress for directing the DOT to begin the rulemaking process on refund requirements between airlines and ticket agents. Ticket Agents are not in a financial position to provide refunds without first receiving the passengers’ funds back from the airlines, and it is crucial that the Secretary of Transportation begin to set this standard as quickly as possible. (see Sec. 503, Application to Ticket Agents)

Finally, the new law will keep intact the DOT’s Full Fare Advertising Rule (FFAR), a critical policy that requires the entire price for airfare, including government-assessed taxes and fees, be disclosed to consumers in the first instance following an itinerary search. The FFAR was to be repealed per the House-passed version of the bill. The FFAR allows consumers to effectively compare and shop for the best airline ticket options to meet their needs and budget.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Amendment #1954 ensures the fiscal solvency of ticket agents, large and small

May 6, 2024 —The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) issued a letter in support of an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate. Amendment #1954, sponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), instructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a new regulation within six months to clarify that “a ticket agent shall provide a refund only when such a ticket agent possesses, or has access to, the funds of a passenger.” Similar language was included in H.R. 3935, Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, the House-passed FAA reauthorization bill in July 2023.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued its final Refund rule, which requires airlines to automatically provide refunds to passengers who book through their platforms. Per the final rule, ticket agents must make refunds to customers within seven business days when they are the merchant of record. However, the final Refund rule makes no provision on when airlines must provide refunds to ticket agents. As a result, ticket agents will be unfairly forced to make refunds without first having the customers’ funds returned by airlines. 

“Senator Paul’s Amendment is of utmost importance to ensure the solvency of ticket agents large and small, especially during massive refund events like winter storms and hurricanes,” said Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of Travel Tech. “Ticket agents play no role in airline delays or cancellations yet will be held financially responsible for them, perhaps indefinitely. The U.S. Senate should adopt Amendment #1954 and require the Department to issue a new rule to protect ticket agents when they are the merchant of record.”

Over 100 amendments, including #1954, have been filed in the U.S. Senate ahead of consideration of the newly released bipartisan, bicameral bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The current authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration ends on May 10, 2024. 


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Monday, April 29, 2024 — Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced its final regulations on the transparency of airline ancillary service fees and refunds to customers for delayed and canceled flights.

What do the rules mean and how will they impact your business?

Join Travel Tech on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024, at 1:00 pm for a free webinar featuring airline industry attorneys Jol A. Silversmith and Barbara Marrin of KMA Zuckert.

Register Today

Airline industry attorneys Jol A. Silversmith and Barbara Marrin will outline the top seven takeaways about these new regulations and answer your questions. Following the webinar, all registrants will receive a written memo about these seven takeaways.

April 1, 2024 – Travel Tech, together with the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and the Travel Management Coalition, sent letters to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to highlight the provisions in the House and Senate FAA Reauthorization bills that apply to Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and request amendments and exemptions.

Services provided by contract to TMC customers include duty of care, management of complex itineraries involving larger groups of employees, and of course, changes, cancellations, and re-bookings. TMCs also manage travel for federal government agencies, including our nation’s military. TMC customers do not book or manage travel using online travel platforms available to the general public.

“Travel Tech thanks the leadership of the Senate and House committees for their work to advance the FAA Reauthorization,” said Travel Tech President & CEO Laura Chadwick. “We now ask that you recognize that Travel Management Companies, who do not book or manage travel using online platforms available to the general public, should be exempted from provisions intended for the general public.”

In the letter, the following requests were outlined:

  1. With respect to ancillary fees, exempting from compliance any travel subject to a corporate or government contract.

Unless exempted, the proposed requirement would be problematic and unnecessary for corporate agencies, as the systems that TMCs and their business customers use for booking business travel differ from an airline website or online travel agency (OTA) site accessible to the general public.

  1. Aligning the Senate and House bills with regard to Ticket Agent refund obligations to ensure Agents’ fiscal solvency.

Sec. 702 of the Senate bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a final rule to apply refund requirements to Ticket Agents in the case of canceled or significantly delayed flights. However, Ticket Agents are not in a fiscal position to provide refunds without first receiving the passengers’ funds back from the airlines. The House bill clarifies this provision and should be fully adopted.

  1. Clarify Ticket Agent responsibilities with regard to refund portal provision, and exempt Ticket Agents that provide services pursuant to a corporate or government contract.

Section 702 of S. 1939 requires Ticket Agents to prominently display on their websites a link that passengers eligible for a refund may use to make a request. This provision would require ticket agents, such as TMCs, who do not serve the general public but have a public website, to comply. However, Travel Management Companies already have specific refund obligations under their contracts. Accordingly, the refund portal provision should exempt ticket agents who provide travel services pursuant to corporate or government contracts.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Final bill may be considered before the expiration of the FAA’s authorization extension on May 10th

March 27, 2024 – This week, Travel Tech sent letters to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure as they work to align H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act of 2023 and S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 into one FAA reauthorization bill to be considered by both the House and Senate. Travel Tech’s letters highlighted its preferred changes to best support consumers as they purchase airline tickets.

“Travel Tech appreciates Congressional leaders for their hard work to get this critical legislation across the line,” said Travel Tech President & CEO, Laura Chadwick. “It is now critical that this bill is finalized in a way that gives travelers the transparency and choice they deserve.”

Travel Tech’s priorities for the final FAA Reauthorization bill include:

  1. Adding Ticket Agents to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection

Ticket Agents are the largest travel industry segment not represented on this key advisory committee. Allowing them to become members will provide valuable insights currently not reflected in the committee, helping the Department of Transportation meet its consumer protection mission.

  1. Aligning the Senate and House bills with regard to Ticket Agent refund obligations to ensure Agents’ fiscal solvency

Sec. 702 of the Senate bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a final rule to apply refund requirements to Ticket Agents in the case of canceled or significantly delayed flights. However, Ticket Agents are not in a fiscal position to provide refunds without first receiving the passengers’ funds back from the airlines. The House bill clarifies this provision and should be fully adopted.

  1. Clarify Ticket Agent responsibilities with regard to refund portal provision, and exempt metasearch engines and other Ticket Agents that provide services pursuant to a corporate or government contract

Section 702 of S. 1939 requires Ticket Agents to prominently display on their websites a link that passengers eligible for a refund may use to make a request. However, because many Online Travel Agents offer services beyond airfare comparison shopping and booking on their sites, these links will likely cause confusion among consumers seeking refunds for hotels, car rentals, or other services. Furthermore, Travel Management Companies that do not sell to the public already have specific refund obligations under their contracts. Finally, metasearch engines that direct customers to other sites have no record of which flight a customer ultimately purchased and should be similarly exempt.

  1. Allow flexibility for Ticket Agents and air carriers to design the appropriate display of ancillary fees for customers, and similarly distinguish between Agents that provide services under corporate or government contracts and those that engage with the public
  1. Remove the inclusion of Section 701 in H.R. 3935 that repeals the DOT’s Full Fare Advertising Rule.

The Full Fare Advertising Rule requires that the entire price for airfare, including taxes and fees, be disclosed to consumers in the first instance following an itinerary search. Its repeal will undermine consumers’ ability to effectively comparison shop and choose the best travel option to meet their needs and budget.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Inclusion of Travel Technology Industry Priorities Supports Consumers & Ticket Agents

On Thursday, February 8th, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, praised the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee for advancing S.1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023.

“We thank the leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee for their efforts on the FAA Reauthorization,” stated Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of Travel Tech. “The legislation includes key priorities of the Travel Technology Association, provisions that will support consumers and the Travel Tech member companies that serve them for years to come.”

S.1939 provides flexibility for Ticket Agents and air carriers alike in the presentation of ancillary fee information to consumers. It also includes a provision that protects ticket agents from liability when air carriers fail to provide accurate ancillary fee information. Following adoption of an amendment proposed by Senator Jackie Rosen (D-NV), S.1939 now also includes language to add a ticket agent representative to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC).

The full Senate will likely soon consider S.1939, FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. Once it is approved, the legislation will be conferenced with H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2023.

“Travel Tech will continue to advocate for its priorities that not yet included in the House and/or Senate FAA reauthorization bills, such as affirming the U.S. Department of Transportation’s current policy on refund timing for ticket agents and continuing to recognize the distinction between corporate travel agents and other types of ticket agents,” said Chadwick.

Ahead of the Senate Commerce Committee’s consideration of S.1939 last week, Travel Tech sent a letter with its recommendations. In February 2023, Travel Tech provided its top priorities for the House and Senate’s work to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Association Puts Forth Recommendations to the Senate That Reflect Ticket Agents’ Role in the Travel Marketplace

February 8, 2024 – The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation concerning S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. The letter provides recommendations for the committee to consider ahead of the bill’s markup, including:

  1. Sec. 701: Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection. Travel Tech supports Senator Rosen’s amendment incorporated into the Manager’s Amendment that adds Ticket Agents to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection. Currently, Ticket Agents are the largest travel industry segment not represented on this key advisory committee.
  2. Sec. 703: Refunds. Ticket Agents should only be required to provide a refund when such ticket agent possesses, or have access to, the funds of a Passenger. Travel Tech asks that the Senate amend S.1939 by replacing the current language with the House-passed provision.
  3. Refund portal. Many Ticket Agents offer services beyond airfare comparison shopping and booking on their sites. Requiring them to place a refund link exclusively for airline refunds at the top of their public internet website, as the legislation currently does, will likely cause confusion among consumers seeking refunds for hotel, car rental, or tour operators. The Committee should amend this provision to achieve its intended goals.
  4. Disclosure of Ancillary Fees. Travel Tech strongly supports Sec. 705 as it provides Ticket Agents and air carriers flexibility in the design of appropriate displays of ancillary fees. Travel Tech also strongly supports that an additional provision should be added to Sec. 705 to continue to recognize the distinction between ticket agents that provide services pursuant to a corporate or government contract and other types of ticket agents. 

“We urge the Committee to adopt our recommendations to support travelers and the Travel Tech member companies that serve them,” said Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of Travel Tech.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Major Activity Anticipated by Congress, Regulatory Agencies, and State Legislatures in 2024

January 10, 2024 — With Members of Congress returning to Capitol Hill this week, Travel Tech released a briefing on the state of play for public policy impacting the travel industry. As interest in travel continues to rebound with consumers and policymakers, the association is keyed into ongoing legislative and regulatory fights on behalf of travel tech companies. 

Advocating for One National Mandatory Fee Price Transparency Law and Enforcement Fairness for Travel Tech Companies

Policymakers on both the federal and state levels continue to pursue efforts to hold hotels accountable when they withhold information about their mandatory fees from travelers. Travel Tech supports a single, national standard and a common-sense provision to account for situations when hotels fail to provide accurate and complete information to price comparison sites.

Action Areas: Federal Trade Commission’s Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees proposed rule (NPRM) (comments due February 7, 2024), S. 2498, the Hotel Transparency Act of 2023, and H.R. 6543, the No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays (FEES) Act.

Anticipating Final Rules on Refunds and Ancillary Fee Transparency by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in February and March

According to the federal government’s Unified Regulatory Agenda, the DOT will issue its final rules on Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections in February and Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees in March of this year. Travel Tech filed comprehensive comments on both proposed rules, as each will majorly impact the travel technology industry. 

Action Areas: DOT’s Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections and Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees Notice of Proposed Rulemakings

Securing Travel Tech’s Priorities in the Long-Term Reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by Congress

The second extension of the FAA expires on Friday, March 8, 2024. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will likely soon schedule a markup of S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. In July 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act. Both pieces of legislation include major Travel Tech priorities, and the association continues to advocate actively for provisions included in S.1939.

Action Areas: S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 and H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act 

American Innovation and Choice Online Act

Travel Tech supports S.2033, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) to address the vast inequities resulting from extremely large search platforms, like Google, abusing their dominant position and undermining competition. 

Action Areas: S.2033, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) 

Ensuring the Responsible Use of AI in Travel

Both state and federal policymakers are grappling with how AI tools should be regulated. Given the concerns about inaccurate or outdated information and recommendations, copyright issues, ethical risks and more, the use of AI in travel may soon be a focal point in such discussions. Travel Tech will engage with policymakers on the responsible use of AI in the travel sector. 

Sign up for Travel Tech’s Passport newsletter and stay in the know about news and public policy impacting the travel tech industry. Delivered every Wednesday, Passport keeps industry leaders up-to-date on current and emerging issues and advocacy efforts.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Ahead of the return of Congress to Washington, D.C. next week, Travel Tech has met with U.S. Senate offices to discuss the airline refund obligations of ticket agents. Late last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in its proposed Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections rulemaking, sought to require ticket agents to refund customers within seven days, even if the airline had not yet returned the funds.

Travel Tech successfully advocated for bill language included in the U.S. House of Representatives-passed FAA Reauthorization that would require a refund only when such ticket agent possesses, or has access to, the funds of a passenger.

“Simply put: our members can only refund what they have in their possession. The DOT’s proposed rule on the timing of refunds places ticket agents in a precarious financial position, no matter their size, having to make refunds without first receiving the customers’ funds back from airlines,” said Laura Chadwick, president & CEO of Travel Tech. 

“We were pleased the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard us and included this sensible provision in their bill,” Chadwick continued. “We are continuing our efforts to secure a similar provision in the U.S. Senate’s FAA Reauthorization.”

As it stands today, the authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will expire on September 30, 2023. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has not yet considered or cleared its FAA Reauthorization legislation due to an ongoing impasse over pilot training requirements.

Inclusion of Travel Technology Industry Priorities Support Travelers and Industry Members

On Thursday, July 20th, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, praised legislators for advancing H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act through the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We thank the leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for their exceptional efforts on the FAA Reauthorization,” stated Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of Travel Tech. “H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, includes key priorities for which Travel Tech expressly advocated to better support travelers and the Travel Tech member companies that serve them.

“We are also especially grateful to Rep. Dina Titus and Rep. Gus Bilirakis, chairs of the House Travel & Tourism Caucus, along with Reps. John Garamendi, Marco Molinaro, and Susan Brownley for introducing H.R. 3780, the ACPAC Modernization Act,” said Chadwick. “Due to Rep. Titus’s leadership, ticket agents are one step closer to being able to offer their unique expertise on improving airline customer service.”

H.R. 3780, the ACPAC Modernization Act, was merged into the House-passed FAA Reauthorization bill (H.R. 3935). It will add a ticket agent representative to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC).

Prior to the House vote on H.R. 3935, Travel Tech sent a letter to Congress to express its support for the legislation. Travel Tech’s letter, however, noted its opposition to the inclusion of Section 701 of the bill, which repeals the DOT’s long-standing Full Fare Advertising Rule. This rule requires that the entire price for airfare, including taxes and fees, be disclosed to consumers in the first instance following an itinerary search.

Laura Chadwick, Travel Tech’s President & CEO, argued that “Its repeal will undermine consumers’ ability to effectively comparison shop and choose the best travel option to meet their needs and budget.”

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The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com.

Travel Tech Praises House Passage of FAA Reauthorization

Travel Tech Releases New Economic Analysis on Costs of Phasing Out Legal Short-Term Rentals on Maui

June 13, 2024

Study shows short-term rentals generated $2.2 billion in economic activity for Maui and $11.3 billion across Hawaii in 2023 KAHULUI – Today, the Travel Technology Association and Hawaii economic consultant Kloninger & Sims released a study on the economic and fiscal impacts of the short-term rental market in Maui County and across the state. According […]