As 2009 draws to a close and 2010 buds its head, it’s natural to wonder what is to come in the next year. Travel-wise, there’s some good news in the form of proposed legislation.
In 2010, a few bills will affect all travelers directly. Although more are sure to come, here are the most prominent at the moment:
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009
would be the most beneficial to travelers, if passed. This act would ensure the Federal Aviation Administration is through 2012. It would improve flight safety, capacity and could even fund a new and updated universal traffic control system, among other things.
The Credit Card bill (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act
) went into effect last May. It a requirement for credit card companies to improve their methods of publishing any changes to their terms and conditions, along with allotting customers a minimum of 21 days to make a payment. The full extent of rules featured in this bill will be fully activated by February 2010 — rules that every credit card holder needs to be aware of especially if you travel. Secure Flight
is a government program whose mission is to strategically shuffle the list of future departures (and passengers) from the individual aircraft operators and onto the TSA (Transportation Security Administration)
. Under the new program, the name on all tickets must match your government form of ID, that requirement is expected to have the biggest impact on travelers. Other than that, it’ll also make it a requirement for airlines and agents — online (Expedia, etc.) as well as regular agents — to collect passengers’ full names, dates of birth and genders. The intent is to create a more orderly system for flying passengers.
And then there’s the Air Carrier Access Act
, enacted in 1986, which will be extending its provisions to international airlines next year. This act is geared towards people with disabilities who are taking a flight. It will enable passengers to bring portable medical devices along with them without complications; this especially helps those who need to carry an oxygen concentrator aboard, or similar medical equipment.