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Airline Passenger Protection Partnership Announced for Colorado



Airline Passenger Protection Partnership Announced for Colorado

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a new partnership Tuesday at DIA that will streamline the way consumer complaints against airlines are reviewed and resolved.

The new process for handling consumer complaints against air travel companies strengthens state and federal obligations to protect travelers’ rights, according to a Tuesday news release from the Attorney General’s Office.

“Consumers deserve to be treated fairly, know what they are getting and get everything they pay for
when they fly,” said Attorney General Weiser. “This agreement and partnership with the DOT will make this possible
my office to directly serve Colorado consumers when they file complaints of unfair or deceptive conduct
airlines’ business practices and creates a process to ensure DOT prioritizes complaints we refer.”

This collaboration comes at a time when complaints about flight disruptions, lack of refunds and lost or delayed luggage are at an all-time high, the attorney general said.

In January 2024, approximately 62.8 million passengers and 39.4 million checked bags were checked. according to the March 2024 Air Travel Consumer Report. It was reported that 280,093 bags were mishandled, a 4 percent increase from January 2023. 9,054 complaints were filed about the Transportation Security Administration’s screening practices, a 25 percent decrease from the previous year, and from October to December 2023, 60,155 passengers were denied entry due to oversales. , down 15 percent between October and December 2022.

Under the new agreement, the Attorney General’s Office is authorized to investigate and resolve consumer complaints against airlines, ticket agents and other travel companies overseen by the DOT. If necessary, the attorney general will refer complaints to the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection and work with them to determine next steps, the news release said.

The DOT will also provide technical assistance and training to Attorney General’s Office staff and meet with them at least annually to review ongoing efforts and keep Colorado informed of actions taken in response complaints filed by the state.

The memorandum has a term of two years, and Colorado and the DOT may agree to renew the agreement at two-year intervals. Other states that signed the memorandum with the DOT include California, the District of Columbia and New York.

“We take our mission to protect consumers seriously, and today’s launch of the Airline Passenger Protection Partnership is an important milestone in that effort,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “Working with a bipartisan group of attorneys general, the U.S. Department of Transportation has expanded our ability to hold airlines and ticket agents accountable and protect passengers from unfair or deceptive practices.”