• Department of Transportation strengthens flier protections

    2010-06-04

    Frequent fliers have some good news coming their way, as the Department of Transportation has stepped in to regulate some airline practices, strengthening consumer's rights when they take to the skies.

    Baggage fees, a long-time complaint of flyers, are subject to the new rules. Airlines now must directly notify customers of any increases in luggage fees. In addition, they are forced to disclose to passengers if they will be required to pay for checking up to two bags. If bags are mishandled or lost, the customer is now entitled to reimbursement.

    Airlines are also now prohibited from increasing the price of a ticket after purchase, and customers now have a 24-hour grace period to cancel their reservations free of charge after purchase. The rule also looks to put an end to deceptive advertising, noting that airlines must display the full fare in addition to any fees.

    Within the airport, airlines must now notify passengers of any flight delays. Passengers who are forcibly bumped from flights are entitled to higher compensation. Finally, airlines that keep passengers waiting on the tarmac for over three hours are subject to heavy fines.

    All these rules combined should make traveling less stressful and give consumers more protection against questionable airlines.
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