Travel Tech Association Supports Amendment Clarifying the Timing of Ticket Agent-Issued Refunds

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

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