Ted Cruz Doesn’t Want You to Get an Easy Flight Refund


Photo: Win McNamee / Staff (Getty Images)

The Department of Transportation announced a new final rule last week that would require airlines to automatically refund passengers whose flights are canceled or significantly delayed. There are some exceptions, but in general, it’s a huge win for passengers who are tired of airlines giving them the runaround. As with anything that benefits normal people, though, this new DOT rule has reportedly upset Senator Ted Cruz enough that the New Republic reports he’s proposed legislation to put a stop to this whole “consumer protection” nonsense.

Senators Cruz and Maria Cantwell, along with Representatives Sam Graves and Rick Larsen have proposed legislation that would only allow passengers to get a refund if they submit a “written or electronic request” after their flight is canceled or significantly delayed. Who this would help other than the airlines, we have no idea, but it’s probably safe to assume that American or United isn’t exactly going to make it easy to find and properly fill out the appropriate form — and let’s be honest, it’ll probably end up being multiple forms — wherever they decide to hide it on their site.

It also goes against the whole concept of holding airlines accountable and ensuring that displaced passengers don’t have to jump through hoops to get their money back. As Secretary of Transportation Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in a statement last week, “Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them—without headaches or haggling. Our new rule sets a new standard to require airlines to promptly provide cash refunds to their passengers.”

Considering this is Ted Cruz — a man who multiple Republican presidents have said they hate — we’re talking about here, this kind of “screw the people, the corporations need to make more money” tomfoolery is probably to be expected. Senator Cantwell and Representative Larsen, however, are Democrats who you wouldn’t expect to undermine their constituents like that. Could it perhaps have something to do with Boeing’s presence in their home state of Washington?

Even if the proposed legislation somehow passed both the House and Senate, which seems incredibly unlikely despite its bipartisan support, Biden would still have to sign it into law, which is probably even more unlikely. Assuming it goes nowhere, though, hopefully, a couple of people who actually care about the people they represent will primary Cantwell and Larsen over this ridiculous attempt to minimize the number of owed refunds that airlines end up being forced to pay out.

This article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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