Consumer Protections Take Effect This Week
By Eddy Metcalf
January 24, 2012 - DOT's Office of Aviation Consumer
Protection and Enforcement was hard at work in 2011
protecting the interests of the flying public. As part
of the final provisions of a rulemaking the Department
of Transportation (DOT) made last year, airlines and
ticket agents are now required to publish all additional
taxes and fees for airfares as well as disclose baggage
fees to consumers buying tickets.
addition to the passenger protections DOT put into place
last year, including baggage fee refunds if an airline
loses your luggage and increased compensation if you're
involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight, new
regulations are going into effect this week to further
ensure that America's consumers are treated fairly when
they travel by air.
DOT?s effort is to make sure that consumers can easily determine the full price for air transportation before travel. Arriving at the airport only to be hit with surprise fees is no way to start a trip. The new protections require that airlines and ticket agents include all mandatory taxes and fees in their published airfares and that they disclose baggage fees when you buy your tickets.
airlines and ticket agents will generally be prohibited from
increasing the price of your ticket after it is bought. The
advertising provision takes effect on January 26, while all of
the other consumer protections go into effect today.
Secretary Ray LaHood said ?I?ve said many times that airline
passengers have rights, and they should be able to expect fair
and reasonable treatment when booking a trip and when they fly.
The protections taking effect this week are another step forward
in our ongoing effort to help air travelers receive the respect
they deserve. But we are far from done.
also looking at other possible measures, including requiring
that all optional fees be disclosed wherever consumers can book
a flight. It?s simple, we think that treating passengers fairly
is the right thing to do.
I?m proud of the work DOT's Aviation Consumer Protection
and Enforcement team has done, and I know they will continue
working to make flying more convenient and agreeable for our
nation's air travelers.?
this week, if you make your reservation one week or more prior to a
flight?s departure date, customers will be able to hold a reservation
without payment, or cancel a booking without penalty, for 24 hours after
the reservation is made.
And, when you're traveling, airlines will be required to promptly notify passengers of flight delays of 30 minutes or more, as well as flight cancellations and diversions.
The rule enhances
airline passenger protections by:
airlines and ticket agents to include all mandatory taxes and fees in
published airfares and that they disclose baggage fees to consumers
airlines to refund baggage fees if they are lost;
passengers to hold a reservation without payment, or cancel a booking
without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if they
make the reservation one week or more prior to a flight?s departure; and
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