Airline Consumer Protections: Information on the Passenger Experience, Statement of Andrew Von Ah, Director, Physical Infrastructure, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 827KB]

From the GAO [Government Accountability Office] Highlights: "Each year, hundreds of millions of passengers rely on airlines to get them to their destination without incident--including some of the 57 million Americans with a disability. While airlines maintain their performance and service have improved, passengers may still experience a range of inconveniences. A number of consumer protections are in place at the federal level. These protections have addressed long tarmac delays and increased compensation for passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding. Some protections are specific to passengers with disabilities, requiring that airlines provide (1) help enplaning and deplaning, and (2) compensation for lost or damaged wheelchairs. DOT [Department of Transportation] enforces these protections. This statement discusses (1) DOT's data on airline operational performance from 2008 through 2017, and (2) what is known about passenger complaints and airlines' practices related to accessibility and non-discrimination issues. This statement is based on six prior GAO reports issued in the past 3 years. For that work, GAO analyzed relevant DOT data and passenger complaints; reviewed DOT documents and regulations; and interviewed DOT officials and representatives from selected airlines and consumer advocate organizations."

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