New Rights For Airline Passengers Explained

August 24, 2011

Fears of being stuck on the tarmac (without compensation) could be a thing of the past.

It isn’t our typical health, finance or career news but we could resist letting readers know about the new rights and protections afforded to them as new Department of Transportation rules began yesterday.

The new rules include:

  • Airlines must refund baggage fees on lost bags (yes, this actually wasn’t the case before!)
  • Airlines must pay additional funds to passengers who are involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight. Passengers will receive double the one-way price of their ticket, up to $650, for short delays and, up to $1,300, for longer delays.
  • Display prominently on their website all “undercover” fees like meals and checked bags.
  • Tarmac rules were also lengthened: last year the Department of Transportation prohibited airlines on domestic flights from stranding passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours without giving them the option of getting off the plane. The airlines also had to make food, beverage and bathroom facilities available for tarmac stays longer than two hours. Airlines that violate the rules must pay a $27,000 per passenger. Yesterday the rule was broadened and includes international flights delayed at U.S. airports (however, airlines have four hours instead of three).

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