House Passes Bipartisan Bill Protecting Travelers’ Rights

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travelersA bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration that includes significant new protections for air travelers was overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, which passed on a vote of 351-69, now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration; the measure protecting air travelers will have to be reconciled with the Senate’s own version of the bill before heading to the desk of President Joe Biden for approval.

Included in the bill are new rules expanding the obligation of airlines to issues refunds and reimbursement to stranded passengers, improved protection for travelers with disabilities, $4 billion in annual funding authorizations for airport improvements, aviation safety improvements, and more funding for hiring air traffic controllers.

The measure was sponsored by Rep Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who said the measure would ensure that the U.S. remained the world leader in civil aviation.

“This good faith process yielded a bipartisan bill that will create a safer, cleaner, greener and more accessible U.S. aviation system,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), a bill cosponsor and senior Democrat on the House Transportation Committee. “It will maintain our gold standard in safety and innovation, make a more sustainable and resilient aviation sector a reality and improve accessibility and consumer protections for all passengers.”

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