Rep. Lipinski Introduces Legislation to Protect Airline Passengers (December 9, 2015)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) has introduced the Comfortable and Fair Flights Act of 2015 to ensure that airline passengers have some basic rights and protections when traveling on commercial airlines.

“More and more, when airline passengers get on a flight they expect to suffer from uncomfortable conditions; as a frequent flyer I understand this,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “One thing they should never have to worry about is access to a bathroom.  Unfortunately, commercial flights are not required to depart with a functioning bathroom, sometimes forcing passengers to endure a trip without this basic necessity.  Moreover, as ancillary fees continue to grow, the specter of an in-flight bathroom fee continues to loom in the background since first being broached in 2010.

“Additionally, many of us are all too familiar with paying baggage fees and have come to accept them as part of the flying experience.  While lost and delayed baggage rates are declining, passengers who suffer from this inconvenience do so without the right to a refund, even after hours or days of delay.  Simply put, if you pay for a service, you should get that service promptly or get your money back.”

Lipinski’s Comfortable and Fair Flights Act of 2015 would remedy these issues with three straight forward provisions.  First, if the bathrooms on an aircraft are not functioning properly before departure, passengers would have the option to change their flight plans without incurring a change fee.  Second, no commercial airline would be permitted to charge a fee for lavatory use.  Third, airlines would be required to refund bag fees to passengers who have had the arrival of their bags delayed by two or more hours. 

“These are all common sense provisions that will help protect the consumer rights of passengers,” stated Lipinski.  

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