Give Airplane Passengers Refunds They Deserve

Target: Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Minority Leader

Goal: Make airline refunds more accessible and transparent.

Cancelled flights across the nation have only compounded the financial struggles of fed-up consumers. The ritual is familiar. An airline passenger must hastily rearrange plans after a scheduled flight fails to take off. The passenger is typically offered a voucher, which may never get used or may expire before the consumer has the opportunity to use it. A study conducted in 2021 uncovered an astounding ten billion dollars’ worth of unused travel credits among the top four airlines. So, in essence, this industry that already benefitted from billions of dollars in bailout money is netting billions more from consumers and providing no services in return.

A new bill, if enacted into law, could balance the scales for airline passengers. The Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act would mandate that airlines make consumers clearly aware that they can get a money refund in place of travel credits. While airlines could still offer vouchers for interested passengers, each voucher could be used indefinitely with no expiration date. In addition, consumers who do opt for a cash refund would be able to secure one when they cancel no less than 48 hours before the scheduled flight.

This initiative could be a boon for cash-strapped consumers but thus far no Republican will back it, which seriously imperils its prospects for passage. Sign the petition below to urge a prominent Republican leader to support this important piece of consumer protection.


Dear Senator McConnell,

As a senator, you are likely well-acquainted with the problems consumers routinely experience at airports. Cancelled flights are chief among these issues, and in a struggling economy such money-draining actions are no small inconvenience. The internationally respected Wall Street Journal reported that ten billion dollars in unused travel vouchers are lining the coffers of major airlines. This money is essentially being taken from the everyday American and presented as free funds to the industry already boosted by one major bailout.

As a party that hyper-focuses on the economy, it’s puzzling why Republican support for the Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act is entirely absent. This measure would simply demand transparency from the airline industry to consumers about refunds it has already been ordered to provide. Moreover, it would increase the availability of these refunds while making travel credits truly worthwhile for the consumer.

Please put politics aside and get behind legislation that can provide immediate financial relief to millions of consumers. Encourage your colleagues to do the same.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: LT Chan

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