Secretary Chao’s new rule puts the travel industry over traveling public
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Secretary Elaine Chao’s Department of Transportation (DOT) faced pushback from consumer advocates for its new proposed rule deregulating unfair airline practices. The rule could make it tougher for the agency to enforce penalties on air carriers when travelers raise concerns about misconduct.
According to reports, the anti-consumer rule was pushed by the powerful special interest group, Airlines for America. Airlines for America has spent a jaw-dropping $20,000,000 on high-powered lobbyists since Trump was elected. Its influence campaign extends beyond lobbying, as executives at the trade group have contributed nearly $23,000 to Secretary Chao’s husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Restore Public Trust released the following statement in response:
“Once again, Secretary Elaine Chao is proving that her loyalties lie with industry insiders, not the American public,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “Secretary Chao should be trying to protect passengers by cracking down on misconduct. Instead, she’s thrown air travelers under the bus to safeguard her department’s cozy relationship with transportation lobbyists. Americans deserve a transportation secretary who will prioritize their well-being over the air travel industry’s bottom line.”
Secretary Chao and the Trump administration have previously come under fire for rolling back consumer protections for air travelers, including failing to comply with evacuation safety and passenger refund laws and refusing to support families’ rights to sit together with their young children on airplanes.