Enhanced Protections for Families and Passengers

Travelers now benefit from strengthened protections due to new legislation that bans fees for families to sit together and increases civil penalties for airline violations. The FAA Reauthorization Bill of 2024, signed into law by President Biden, aims to support air travelers, aviation workers, and bolster safety standards across the industry.

Key Provisions of the Legislation

The legislation includes several key provisions to improve the air travel experience and safety:

  • Fee Ban for Families: Airlines can no longer charge families extra fees to sit together, ensuring that parents and children can travel without additional financial burdens.
  • Increased Civil Penalties: The maximum civil penalties for airline consumer violations have been raised from $25,000 to $75,000 per violation, providing a stronger deterrent against misconduct.
  • Safety Enhancements: Aircraft will now be required to have 25-hour cockpit recording devices, and there will be heightened scrutiny of aircraft production to ensure higher safety standards.
  • Automatic Refunds: The law mandates automatic refunds for passengers when flights are canceled or significantly delayed, eliminating the hassle of chasing refunds.

Addressing Travel Disruptions and Expanding Airport Capacity

The legislation also addresses issues that have caused significant travel disruptions, such as air traffic controller shortages. It mandates measures to ensure more robust staffing and improved training for air traffic controllers, enhancing overall travel reliability and safety.

Additionally, the law includes a provision to add five daily round-trip take-off and landing slots at Washington National Airport (DCA), a move that Delta Air Lines had been advocating for. This expansion aims to reduce congestion and improve the efficiency of air travel in a key national hub.

Presidential Endorsement and Economic Impact

President Biden emphasized that the reauthorization is a significant win for travelers, the aviation workforce, and the U.S. economy. He highlighted the bill’s role in expanding critical protections for air travelers, strengthening safety standards, and supporting pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers.

In his statement, Biden remarked, “This bill builds on my Administration’s efforts to improve the travel experience for airline passengers, affirming the Department of Transportation’s rule that mandated automatic refunds when flights are canceled or significantly delayed. It also makes sure families can sit together without paying extra fees. Passengers shouldn’t have to jump through endless hoops just to get the refunds that they are owed, and corporations shouldn’t rip off hardworking Americans through hidden junk fees.”


The FAA Reauthorization Bill of 2024 represents a comprehensive effort to enhance the safety, reliability, and fairness of air travel in the United States. By addressing both passenger protections and industry standards, the legislation seeks to create a more equitable and efficient aviation system for all. With these new measures in place, travelers can look forward to a more secure and enjoyable flying experience.