الأربعاء، 19 أكتوبر، 2016

New Federal Rules Mean Airlines Have To Offer Refunds For Delayed Baggage

The White House issued new regulations this week that are aimed at protecting airline consumers by giving them more information to compare the cost of flights and the performance of air carriers. The Obama administration also wants airlines to refund checked bag fees when luggage is delayed.

Although airlines already have to reimburse checked bag fees for lost luggage, the new rules would mean a refund is triggered when a bag is “substantially delayed.” What that means, exactly, has yet to be defined.

The administration is also asking airlines to more accurately report their on-time arrival rates, as well as as the number of times wheelchair requests are mishandled, and the rate of lost or delayed luggage, the Los Angeles Times notes. Consumers can then more easily weigh those factors when deciding which airline they want to do business with.

For example, the new rules would require airlines to report flight delays for all the planes that fly under their banner: currently, major carriers don’t include flights operated by their regional airline partners when they report performance numbers to the government. That can boost their records and make them appear better than they really are, the Associated Press points out, citing consumer advocates, since regional flights are more likely to be delayed.

The new rule would require Air Wisconsin, Allegiant, Endeavor, Mesa, Envoy, Republic, and Shuttle America to report performance data, as well as the dozen or so largest carriers that already do.

“The travel community is grateful that the administration continues to shine a light on many of the more frustrating issues that ail the air travel experience in the U.S.,” Roger Dow, chief executive of the U.S. Travel Assn., the trade group for the nation’s travel industry, said in response to the new rules.

On the other hand, an airline trade group says too many regulations could end up backfiring instead of doing any good.

“The travel community is grateful that the administration continues to shine a light on many of the more frustrating issues that ail the air travel experience in the U.S.,” Roger Dow, chief executive of the U.S. Travel Assn., the trade group for the nation’s travel industry, said in response to the new rules.

The new reporting requirements are slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, while the other regulations will be effective 30 days after the changes are published in the Federal Register.


by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

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