Office of Aviation Consumer Protection
The Office of Aviation Consumer Protection:
- Assists, educates and protects aviation consumers by, among other things, reviewing and responding to consumer complaints about air travel, publishing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report, and ensuring the Department’s website contains clear, useful information about the rights of air travelers;
- Monitors compliance, conducts investigations, and enforces as appropriate for violations of aviation consumer protection, civil rights and licensing requirements against airlines and ticket agents; and
- Assesses the need for and drafts aviation consumer protection and civil rights regulations.
Aviation Consumer Protection and Civil Rights Requirements
Consumer protection compliance and enforcement activities relate to areas such as unfair and deceptive practices and unfair competition by carriers and travel agents, deceptive airline advertising (e.g., fare, on-time performance, schedule, code sharing, etc.), and violations of rules concerning denied boarding compensation, ticket refunds, baggage liability requirements, and charter flights.
Civil rights compliance and enforcement activities cover disability rights access and the right of all passengers to fly free of discrimination. The Department is charged with prohibiting discrimination by airlines and is committed to protecting consumers in this regard. The Office focuses on ensuring that individuals with disabilities obtain nondiscriminatory access to the air transportation system and that airlines do not discriminate against air travelers on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex or ancestry.