AG Ellison, DOT announce airline passenger protection agreement

File photo Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (FOX 9)

State officials say an agreement between the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) will provide more consumer protection for airline passengers. 

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on April 17 that the partnership is meant to streamline how the organizations review and resolve consumer complaints against airlines and ticket agencies.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is set to last for two years and can be extended at two-year intervals, according to a news release from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. 

The MOU states that both organizations must "work to protect the rights of the traveling public" when addressing complaints about flight disruptions, lack of refunds, and lost or delayed baggage.

This partnership will reportedly include the DOT providing technical assistance and training to staff in the attorney general’s office.

The news release states that the agreement authorizes the attorney general’s office to investigate consumer complaints against air travel companies that are supervised by the DOT. 

"As Attorney General, it is my job to protect everyday Minnesotans from being ripped off by powerful corporations," said Attorney General Keith Ellison. "I am thrilled that my office will now be able to help address consumer complaints against airlines and hold those airlines accountable when they do wrong by travelers. I look forward to making the most of this agreement to help Minnesotans afford their lives, and live with dignity, safety, and respect." 

Other states attorneys general who have signed the agreed include California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin.

"We take our mission to protect consumers seriously, and today's launch of the Airline Passenger Protection Partnership is an important milestone in that effort," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "By partnering with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general, the U.S. Department of Transportation has expanded our ability to hold airlines and ticket agents accountable and protect passengers from unfair or deceptive practices."