New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2022

Contact:
Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications
michael.s.garrity@doj.nh.gov | (603) 931-9375

New Hampshire Attorney General Fights to Protect Airline Customers

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella has joined a multi-state coalition asking Congress to allow attorneys general to enforce state and federal consumer protections for airline travelers. This request comes after attorneys general have received thousands of complaints from outraged passengers, claiming airlines have failed in their service responsibilities, causing significant frustrations and unnecessary challenges.

"From oversold flights to operational disruptions, too often we see airlines shifting their problems onto their passengers," said Attorney General Formella. "Airlines should take notice that we expect the U.S. air travel system to provide safe, accessible, affordable, and reliable service to all travelers and the federal government should give attorneys general the authority to vigorously investigate and prosecute violations of the law that impact consumers. Customers should not have to deal with issues like delayed airline refunds, baggage fee charges for luggage that is not delivered at the end of a flight, or extra charges for parents to sit with their young children on a plane."

Federal law currently places the central responsibility for addressing violations of airline consumer protection with the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT), but the agency has not kept up with the escalating issues. State attorneys general have little to no authority in holding airline companies accountable for unacceptable behavior towards consumers.

The letter urges Congress to pass legislation Portable Document Format Symbol that would authorize state attorneys general to enforce both state and federal consumer protection laws governing the airline industry. It also encourages Congress to consider shifting the authority for federal investigations of airline patron complaints from the US DOT to an agency more primarily focused on consumer protection, such as the U.S. Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission.

Joining General Formella are the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658