Yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced tough, new airline passenger protections–from the DOT blog, Fast Lane:
Here are some of the common-sense ways we’re looking out for passengers under these new protections:
If you are involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight, the new rules double the amount of money you are eligible for as compensation.
DOT’s successful ban on lengthy tarmac delays will now cover the international flights of foreign airlines at U.S. airports, and domestic flights at small-hub and non-hub airports.
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 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.
President Obama and Secretary LaHood are to be commended for taking strong steps to protect passengers from being stranded on planes for hours without access to food, water and working lavatories. The new rules announced this week ensure these protections are extended to international flights, as well as dramatically increasing compensation for those passengers inconvenienced by airline overbooking and requiring refunds of bag fees for lost luggage.
House Democrats, under the leadership of Congressman Mike Thompson who has championed the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act of 2011, will continue to work to ensure that these powerful consumer rights become the law of the land and to include the strongest possible consumer protections in the upcoming FAA reauthorization legislation.