Yesterday, our new set of consumer protections for air passengers went into effect, which we hope will make flying more convenient and hassle-free for air travelers nationwide. It's simple: the Obama Administration believes consumers have the right to be treated fairly when they fly.
Since April 2010, domestic airline passengers have been protected from lengthy tarmac delays. The results of those protections have been terrific. In June 2010, DOT proposed another set of consumer protections for air travelers, and this week airline passengers have good reason to celebrate as those new protections went into effect on Tuesday.
As Kate Hanni of FlyersRights.org said, "It's huge. If you're flying, you're 400% better off than you were before."
- 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.
The Department of Transportation's new passenger protections will help ensure that air travelers receive the respect they deserve before, during and after their flight. This is government at your service.