The Department of Transportation today published a Notice on Honoring Tickets of Insolvent Airlines Pursuant to the Requirements of Section 145 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act offering “guidance to the aviation industry regarding the responsibility pursuant to section 145 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of certain air carriers to transport under certain conditions the ticketed passengers of a carrier that has ceased operations on a particular route or routes due to bankruptcy or insolvency”. The Notice is in a question-and-answer format and updates and expands upon advice previously provided to airlines and the public about Section 145.
DOT also reconsidered its earlier estimates of the direct costs to carriers of providing alternate transportation required by Section 145 ($25.00 one-way and $50.00 round-trip) and decided that the maximum amount that a carrier may charge a passenger accommodated under the law should be increased to $50.00 each way. With respect to long-haul international flights, when a carrier ceases operations without having paid the foreign government’s fees and taxes on the ticket on behalf of the passenger, if the carrier providing alternate transportation is required to pay the tax, then the $50 may be increased by the amount the foreign government directly assesses the carrier. It is important to note that DOT is not requiring that the carrier charge all or a portion of these fees. However, given the current state of the Part 121 airline industry, I would be shocked and amazed if a carrier didn’t charge the full amount allowed.
For further information regarding the Notice or the requirements of Section 145, you can contact Dayton Lehman, Jr., Deputy Assistant General Counsel, or Jonathan Dols, Supervisory Trial Attorney, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (C-70), 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-9349.