Alexandria, VA, April 13, 2017 – Zane Kerby, President & CEO of the American Society of Travel agents (ASTA), issued the following statement in response to the widely-reported recent incident in which a passenger was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight:
“We believe the rights of the traveling public and airline passenger protection must be at the forefront of any regulatory system governing the airline industry. While ASTA has supported past initiatives to protect consumers and increase airline competition in Congress and at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), this disturbing incident should tell us loud and clear that more needs to be done.
“We are heartened that DOT is reviewing the particulars of the situation, and believe that it should be a catalyst for both the Department and Congress to take the necessary steps to beef up passenger rights. Indeed, with the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill coming up for renewal, now is the time to act. Issues we believe should be on the table include increased protections for overbooked and bumped passengers, a review of the impacts of airline consolidation, transparency in airline pricing including ancillary fees and airline immunity from state consumer protection laws. We look forward to working with all policymakers toward crafting an airline regulatory system wherein the passenger comes first.”
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.