With Southwest Airlines passengers still stranded in many parts of the country, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) has a bill to hold the airlines accountable.
Rep. Porter tweeted:
We also need to tackle consolidation in the airline industry. When corporations don’t have to compete for consumers, it’s easier to hike prices and deliver sub-par service. This is an issue across industries—from airlines to grocers to ticket vending. (2/3)
— Katie Porter (@katieporteroc) December 28, 2022
Airlines are supposed to refund travelers within 20 days for a cancelled flight, but they’re rarely penalized for failing to do so. I have a bill that not only gets people their money back sooner, but also fines airlines 10x the original price for not promptly issuing a refund.
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) December 28, 2022
Rep. Porter can be expected to reintroduce her new bill at the beginning of the next Congress. Porter nailed the problems. Poor regulation means that a company like Southwest can run its scheduling and operations on thirty-year-old technology and software.
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Airlines also don’t fear the mistreatment of customers because there are few consequences and penalties. Porter would fix that by imposing a fine of ten times the cost of each passenger’s ticket who was abandoned.
Porter has been a tireless advocate for consumers during her time in Congress, and even in what will certainly be a dysfunctional majority, she will continue to keep fighting for consumers.
The airline industry is too consolidated, underregulated, and the current US law lacks adequate protection for consumers.
The House GOP circus is set to come to town in the next few days, but there are competent public servants like Katie Porter who will continue to fight to hold large corporations accountable.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association