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NC AG Josh Stein asks Congress to address airline passenger complaints

Travelers are beginning to return to Charlotte Douglas Airport.
Ann Doss Helms
Travelers are beginning to return to Charlotte Douglas Airport.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and the attorneys general of 37 other U.S. states and territories aim to address thousands of complaints about canceled and delayed flights, as well as lost or mishandled luggage.

On one day last week, about 1,500 flights were canceled due to bad weather and another 8,400 were delayed. That’s according to Flight Aware, which tracks flights worldwide.

On Tuesday, more than 5,000 flights in or out of the U.S. were delayed and almost 900 were canceled. Of the delayed flights, about 24% originated in Charlotte and 21% were destined for Charlotte.

Under federal law, airline complaints are handled by the Department of Transportation, but the attorneys general say the agency has not kept up with the escalating complaints.

In a letter to congressional leaders, they call it “a vacuum of oversight” and say it allows airlines to mistreat customers and leaves them without effective redress.

They want Congress to give them the ability to enforce state and federal consumer protection laws that govern the airline industry and shift authority over airline complaints from DOT.

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