Earlier this week, we got word that the Department of Transportation was considering requiring airlines to offer more cash to passengers that get bumped from flights. Turns out those rumors were true, and were just one piece of a package of changes proposed by the DOT. If the new regulations go into effect, airlines would be required to play straight about baggage fees and fare prices, would have to allow no-penalty cancellations within 24 hours of ticket purchases, and would have to add new contingency plans for long tarmac delays.
While the DOT banned tarmac delays of over three hours last December, that rule only applied to domestic flights and hub airports. The expanded rule would add international flights and smaller airports to the mix.
Passengers that are forced off of overbooked flights would get a minimum of $650, and as much as $1,300, depending on the length of the delay.
Airlines would also be required to disclose all baggage fees, and refund those fees if bags are lost or delayed.
You can comment and take a poll on the proposed regs online; right now, tarmac delays are the top concern of passengers, at 19%, while customer service plans concern just 9%.
DOT Proposes Additional Consumer Protections for Air Travelers [DOT Press Release]