Today's protections build on the historic rule we issued in December 2009 prohibiting tarmac delays of more than three hours for U.S. airlines operating domestic flights. And we know these consumer protections work. Since the first airline consumer protection rule went into effect, lengthy tarmac delays have dropped to almost zero--without causing a significant increase in flight cancellations. That has boosted passengers' confidence that they won't be stranded for hours at a time.
Our new protections require airlines to reimburse passengers for bag fees if their bags are lost, provide consumers involuntarily bumped from flights with greater compensation, and disclose hidden fees. And, because passengers on international flights deserve the same protections and fair treatment as those on domestic flights, we're also expanding the current ban on lengthy tarmac delays.
Lost Bags and Bag Fees: If your bag is lost, airlines will now be required to refund any fee for carrying the bag.
Full Disclosure of Additional Fees: All potential fees must be prominently disclosed on airlines’ websites, so you won’t be surprised by fees for things such as baggage, meals, canceling or changing reservations, or advanced or upgraded seating. In addition, all government taxes and fees must be included in every advertised price.
Bumping: Today’s rule doubles the amount of money you are eligible for in the event you are involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight.
Tarmac Delays: We've expanded the existing ban on lengthy tarmac delays to cover foreign airlines’ operations at U.S. airports, and we've established a four-hour time limit on tarmac delays for international flights of U.S. and foreign airlines. And, just like on domestic flights, carriers must make available adequate food and water--as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment--after two hours.
Now, these are just some of the sensible new protections that will take effect. Please take a minute to read about a number of other ways that DOT’s rule will make air travel simpler and easier .
Protecting passengers is the right thing to do. It’s just that simple. And DOT will continue to create and enforce rules that protect your rights before, during and after flights.