July 09, 2021

Chair DeFazio Applauds Biden Administration’s Executive Order Confronting Consolidation and Anticompetitive Pricing in Rail and Maritime Sectors and Enhancing Fairness for Airline Passengers

Washington, DC – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following statement after President Biden announced a new Executive Order seeking to boost competition across the freight rail, aviation, and maritime shipping sectors.

“I applaud the Biden administration’s Executive Order and support any effort to bolster enforcement activity at the Surface Transportation Board and Federal Maritime Commission,” Chair DeFazio said. “If some freight railroads or maritime shipping carriers are using their market power to distort prices, they should be held accountable. I look forward to working with the administration to ensure a level playing field that encourages growth in commerce.”

The Executive Order also will require Department of Transportation rulemakings related to baggage fee refunds for unreasonably delayed checked baggage as well as refunds of amounts paid for services such as in-flight WiFi that are not actually in working order or are unavailable on the day of travel.

Chair DeFazio continued: “No one should have to pay for services they don’t receive, like on-time baggage delivery and working in-flight WiFi. That’s why I support the Biden administration’s initiative to ensure that ancillary fee payments don’t disappear into a black hole, to be lost forever without hope of refund when the paid-for service doesn’t work as advertised. I will be studying the Executive Order in greater detail to make sure it promotes fairness and transparency in air travel.”