The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new air passenger protection rules have recently gone into effect in an effort to give passengers some much needed relief from the pressures of flying. After all, flying should be enjoyable, convenient, dignified and above all hassle-free.
Here are the new rules to protect you:
≈ If you are involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight, you are eligible for double the amount of money as compensation.
≈ The present ban on lengthy tarmac delays is limited to three hours and with any delays over two hours the passengers must be supplied food, water, medical care and the use of lavatories. It will now also cover the international flights of foreign airlines at U.S. airports, and domestic flights at small-hub and non-hub airports. Airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger for ignoring this rule.
≈ If your bag is lost, you are entitled to a refund of any fee for carrying that bag. Airlines are already required to compensate passengers for reasonable expenses for loss, damage or delay in the carriage of passenger baggage. Airlines must apply the same baggage allowance and fees throughout any passenger’s itinerary, including segments with code-share partners.
≈ Airlines must prominently disclose all optional fees on their websites, including but not limited to fees for baggage, meals, canceling or changing reservations, or advanced or upgraded seating.
≈ There must be immediate notification of flight delays over 30 minutes, as well as cancellations or diversions.
The following are additional measures that will go into effect on January 24 of next year:
≈ Requiring all taxes and fees to be included in advertised fares.
≈ Banning post-purchase price increases.
≈ Allowing passengers to hold a reservation without payment, or to cancel it without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if the reservation made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date.
≈ Requiring disclosure of baggage fees when passengers book a flight.
≈ Requiring that the same baggage allowances and fees apply throughout a passenger’s journey.
≈ Requiring disclosure of baggage fee information on e-ticket confirmations.
≈ Requiring prompt notification of delays of over 30 minutes, as well as cancellations and diversions.