Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) spoke to over 100 attendees at the 14th Annual GBTA Legislative Symposium, an event that brings business travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key industry issues. Rep. Cohen spoke about his historical fight against discriminatory taxes on rental cars and discussed his new bill regarding airline seat sizes that is gaining momentum.
The new bill addresses both serious concerns related to the relationship between seat size and cabin safety. Regarding passenger comfort, Cohen made the crowd laugh when he said FexEx, which is based in Memphis, treats its packages better than airlines treat their customers. He commented that while comfort is important, seat sizes affect safety as well. Airlines need to be able to evacuate the aircraft in 90 seconds and the shrinking seat sizes impede that process.
GBTA President Christle Johnson, Vice President Mark Ziegler and Executive Director Mike McCormick then presented Rep. Cohen with the inaugural GBTA Navigator Award. GBTA created the Navigator Award to honor Senators and Representatives who have been strong champions for business travelers and the business travel industry.
Representative Cohen has been a longtime champion and the leading Democratic proponent for putting an end to discriminatory taxes on rental cars, which create an undue burden on business travelers and rarely are reinvested back into the travel industry.
In conjunction with the Navigator award, GBTA unveiled the Rules of the Road for optimizing business travel at its 14th annual Legislative Symposium. GBTA mobilized its members to create this declaration of travel reform to guide industry, business leaders and policy makers in creating a travel ecosystem that fosters growth, jobs, safety and efficiency around the globe.