Says legislation includes key provisions to promote air travel and tourism, enhance security, end the prohibition on U.S. oil exports and protect consumers from unnecessary tax hikes
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2015 – Airlines for America, the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today urged congressional leaders in both chambers to support passage of the FY2016 Omnibus bill, which includes several provisions that will benefit U.S. airline customers.
Among the important wins for both the traveling and shipping public are provisions to end the ban on U.S. oil exports, bolster security through common sense reforms to the Visa Waiver Program and, as noted by HouseCommittee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), protect airline customers by rejecting the Administration’s misguided request for an increase in the airport tax.
“We applaud Chairman Rogers and his colleagues for their leadership in delivering a funding bill that benefits the traveling and shipping public, while rejecting unnecessary tax hikes that drive up the cost of flying for families and businesses across the country,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “This legislation takes important steps toward our shared goal bolstering aviation safety and security, while recognizing the critical role air travel and tourism play as drivers of jobs and economic growth.”
Calio noted that the funding bill rejected a Senate provision that would have eroded aviation customer protections. Consumers benefit when all entities that sell or display airline tickets, including online travel agencies and metasearch sites like Google and Trip Advisor, are held to the same standards of transparency and customer service. This legislation further builds on the leadership of Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ed Markey (D-MA), who led an amendment to the FY2016 THUD bill to remove language exempting these entities from consumer protection rules that apply to airlines and all other ticket agents.
“Ensuring that all entities displaying or selling airline tickets, including online travel agents and metasearch sites, are operating on a fair and level playing field is an important win for the traveling public,” said Calio. “Maintaining these critical protections will ensure that consumers can count on the same standards of transparency regardless of where they shop for or purchase their ticket.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. Airlines fly more than 2.2 million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.