It’s sort of sad that the Department of Transportation actually had to force airlines to refund bag fees if they lose your baggage — but whatever, let’s not dwell.
The new rule is part of a set of reforms that, in addition to requiring a refund of fees from a lost bag, increases the compensation travelers are entitled to when they are involuntarily bumped from a flight, adds a charge for unreasonable delays in getting passengers their bags, and requires airlines to “include taxes and fees and other costs — including what they charge for pillows, checked bags and food — in the price when advertising their fares,” says ABC News.
“Passengers like to be treated with fairness. They like to be treated with respect, particularly when they’re paying large sums of money to board an airplane and for a ticket,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told ABC News. “We think this is a fairness issue for passengers, and we think this will help the airlines.”
The rules also issue a reprieve from long tarmac delays. There is now a 4 hour limit before they have to return to the gate. (The limit for domestic flights is 3 hours.)
“We’ve proven that these enforcements do work and that passengers like them, and that even some airlines are now saying that it was probably a good thing that we did this,” LaHood told ABC. “I’m hoping that they agree that passengers should be treated with respect and should be treated with the idea that when they’re paying a lot of money to board a plane that they ought to get the service that they’re paying for.”