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New Legislation Would Increase Travel Advisor Representation at US Department of Transportation

by Lacey Pfalz
Last updated: 10:35 AM ET, Fri June 2, 2023

The new bipartisan Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC) Modernization Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday, June 1, proposing to expand the advisory body’s membership to include a dedicated travel advisor representative. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the ACPAC’s purpose “is to evaluate existing aviation consumer protection programs and provide recommendations to the Secretary for improving and establishing additional aviation consumer protection programs. Pursuant to statute, ACPAC membership consists of one representative each of U.S. airlines, consumer groups, airports, and State or local governments.” 

The advisory body was created in 2012. The body recently met to discuss the two major DOT regulatory proposals, on ticket refunds and transparency in airline fees. An advisor representative would add an important voice to the conversation surrounding the future of aviation consumer protection programs.  

The new bill was proposed by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Congressman Marc Molinaro (R-NY).

“We commend Congresswoman Titus and her colleagues for recognizing that adding a travel agency representative to this key committee will enhance the work and effectiveness of the ACPAC,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA’s President & CEO. “Advocating for airline consumers is what travel advisors do every day, and roughly half of all airline tickets in the U.S. are sold through the agency channel. Giving these small business owners, 70 percent of whom are women, an elevated voice in the DOT regulatory process will help the Department meet its consumer protection mission.”

The bill, which is formally named H.R. 3780, is among the policy issues ASTA’s 250 travel advisors and suppliers will advocate for during the annual ASTA Legislative Day 2023, on June 20-21. 

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