Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Proposed US Department of Transportation passenger protection rules offer opportunity for travel industry comments

By Josh Romanow, Jennifer E Trock, Justin J Bintrim and Peter V Nelson

On 21 May 2014, the US Department of Transportation (DoT) proposed new passenger protection rules for the airline and travel industries, which would add to the DoT’s extensive ‘Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections’ regulations issued in December 2009 and April 2011. The proposed rules would have a significant impact on marketing, operational and distribution activities throughout the industry. The proposed rule has important implications for international airlines serving US markets, domestic airlines, ticket agents, tour operators, online travel agencies and global distribution systems. Among other things, it would dramatically expand the DoT’s jurisdiction over and impose significant new requirements on travel distributors, including internet search engines. Affected parties should take advantage of this opportunity to offer their views and concerns on what could become new, potentially burdensome restrictions on industry practices.

Like the DoT’s previous passenger protection regulations, the proposed rules cover a wide variety and range of topics affecting international and domestic airlines, ticket agents, tour operators and online travel agencies in the following areas…

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