Dear Members of the U.S. Congress,
The signatories to this letter have launched a campaign that will recognize members of Congress who have given voice in Washington to consumers who would be harmed by H.R. 4156, the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014. We have designated these members as true Consumer Champions of the air traveling public. Additionally, Travelers United, a leading air-traveler advocacy organization, will soon be announcing current results of an ongoing nationwide consumer petition in strong opposition to this bill.
The media campaign in small and mid-size community markets will build upon recent national news and editorial coverage to raise awareness that H.R 4156 would undermine the consumer protection authority of the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT), the only forum - state or federal, judicial or regulatory - where such protections exist for airline consumers. During this media outreach we will thank members of Congress and other stakeholders who are Consumer Champions. (See http://btc.travel for the growing list.)
H.R. 4156 should be viewed as a first move in an airline strategy to undermine DOT’s consumer-protection authority. Last week, DOT formally proposed new consumer protections calling for transparency of optional fees such as for baggage and seat-reservation when consumers are shopping for air travel. Airlines will no doubt fight this proposal hammer and tongs. If airlines succeed with their legislation to reverse the full-fare advertising rule, next will be a bill to abolish the DOT tarmac delay rule followed by legislation to undermine the just proposed consumer protections.
We urge you to stand up for consumers and against proponents of this harmful legislation and anti-consumer airline strategy. To be recognized as a Consumer Champion of air travel consumers, please send a quote on your position on H.R. 4156 to mitchell@BusinessTravelCoalition.com and we will include it in our outreach to media outlets throughout the country.
Association for Airline Passenger Rights
Business Travel Coalition
Consumer Advocate Ed Perkins
National Consumers League
NOTE: At http://btc.travel please find relevant foundational documents, analyses, industry statements and press stories regarding H.R. 4156.