Travel Tech Seeks Airline Refund Timing Certainty in Senate FAA Reauthorization Legislation

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.

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