Text: S.3691 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (08/03/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3691

To establish rules to assist consumers to compare airfares and other costs applicable to tickets for air transportation, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that fees charged for carry-on and checked baggage on passenger aircraft are subject to the excise tax imposed on transportation of persons by air, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
August 3, 2010

Mr. Webb introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance


A BILL

To establish rules to assist consumers to compare airfares and other costs applicable to tickets for air transportation, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that fees charged for carry-on and checked baggage on passenger aircraft are subject to the excise tax imposed on transportation of persons by air, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Airline Baggage Transparency and Accountability Act”.

SEC. 2. Notification requirements with respect to the sale of airline tickets.

(a) In general.—The Office of Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement of the Department of Transportation shall establish rules to ensure that all consumers are able to easily and fairly compare airfares and other costs applicable to tickets for air transportation, including all taxes and fees.

(b) Notice of taxes and fees applicable to tickets for air transportation.—Section 41712 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(c) Notice of taxes and fees applicable to tickets for air transportation.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—It shall be an unfair or deceptive practice under subsection (a) for an air carrier, foreign air carrier, or ticket agent to sell a ticket for air transportation unless the air carrier, foreign air carrier, or ticket agent, as the case may be—

“(A) displays information with respect to the taxes and fees described in paragraph (2), including the amount and a description of each such tax or fee, simultaneously with and in reasonable proximity to the price listed for the ticket; and

“(B) in the case of a ticket for air transportation sold on the Internet, provides to the purchaser of the ticket information with respect to the taxes and fees described in paragraph (2), including the amount and a description of each such tax or fee, before requiring the purchaser to provide any personal information, including the name, address, phone number, e-mail address, or credit card information of the purchaser.

“(2) TAXES AND FEES DESCRIBED.—The taxes and fees described in this paragraph are all taxes, fees, and charges applicable to a ticket for air transportation, including—

“(A) all taxes, fees, charges, and surcharges included in the price paid by a purchaser for the ticket, including fuel surcharges and surcharges relating to peak or holiday travel; and

“(B) any fees for checked baggage, seating assignments, and optional in-flight goods and services, and other fees that may be charged after the ticket is purchased.”.

(c) Rulemaking.—The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out section 41712(c) of title 49, United States Code, as added by subsection (b).

SEC. 3. Fees for carry-on and checked baggage treated as paid for taxable transportation.

(a) In general.—Section 4261(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(6) AMOUNTS PAID FOR CARRY-ON OR CHECKED BAGGAGE.—Any amount paid by an airline passenger to check baggage for transit on the aircraft carrying such passenger or to personally carry baggage into the cabin or overhead storage compartments of the aircraft carrying such passenger shall be treated for purposes of subsection (a) as an amount paid for taxable transportation.”.

(b) Effective date.—The amendment may by this section shall apply to transportation beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. Authority of Aviation Consumer Protection Division with respect to claims relating to lost and stolen baggage.

(a) In general.—The Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings shall, acting through the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, have authority to carry out consumer protection compliance and enforcement activities relating to claims by passengers with respect to lost, stolen, and damaged baggage.

(b) Responsibility of Division.—The Aviation Consumer Protection Division shall also have authority to do the following:

(1) INFORMATION COLLECTION.—Collect information from each air carrier operating under part 121 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, with respect to the air carrier's procedures and performance relating to lost, stolen, and damaged baggage.

(2) PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION.—Make the information collected pursuant to paragraph (1) available to the public on the Department of Transportation website.