WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for including a provision addressing overbooked flights in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization this week.
Inspired by legislation Dr. Dunn previously introduced, the provision makes it an unfair business practice under federal rules to involuntary bump passengers from flights if they have already boarded the plane, are traveling on a confirmed reservation, and checked in for the flight prior to the check-in deadline.
Dr. Dunn and the Committee acted after numerous examples surfaced of Americans being involuntarily removed from flights after they had taken their seats.
“If you’re seated on the plane, you should stay on the plane,” Dr. Dunn said. “This simple change will give Americans reassurance they will not be dragged off a plane, and it will lead to airlines sorting out over-booking before travelers take their seats. I appreciate Chairman Shuster and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for their support.”
“Airline passengers deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect, and if you’ve already boarded your flight, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting removed from the plane. This commonsense, consumer-focused policy included in the 21st Century AIRR Act echoes the work done on this issue by Dr. Dunn earlier this year. I want to thank him for working to ensure the American flying public comes first,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster (PA-09).
In April, Dr. Dunn introduced the Secure Equity in Airline Transportation (SEAT) Act, legislation to prevent airlines from bumping passengers off an over-booked flight if the passenger has already boarded. The legislation requires the Secretary of Transportation to revise federal rules governing how airlines treat travelers with confirmed tickets on over-booked flights. Under the SEAT Act, airlines cannot involuntarily remove a person from their seat on an over-booked flight simply to make room for another passenger – airline employee or otherwise.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the FAA bill, officially called the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act (21st Century AIRR Act), on Tuesday.