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Congress and ASTA Tackle Section 145

April 13, 2006 By: Susan Young Travel Agent

Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT.), chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation, and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), a ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced S. 2572 legislation to extend Section 145 through Nov. 30, 2007. They did so, in part, because of urging from the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). ASTA travel agents in Montana thanked Senator Burns for his successful actions last year in extending this consumer protection provision and urged him by letter to spearhead this effort again this year. ASTA West Virginia member, Ted R. Lawson, president and CEO of National Travel Service, was instrumental in petitioning Rockefeller to co-sponsor the renewal of Section 145. Section 145 provides that airline passengers holding tickets from a bankrupt carrier for a particular route are entitled to transportation on a space-available basis on any airline serving that route. The alternate plans must be made within 60 days after the bankrupt airline suspends operations. Additionally, the Section 145 provision has been modified and now calls for the maximum fee not to exceed $50 each way that an airline can charge for providing standby transportation. The current Section 145 consumer protection is set to expire on Nov. 30, 2006.

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