New regulations on airlines from the Department of Transportation are set to go into effect on Tuesday. The new rules are aimed at expanding passengers’ rights and holding airlines more accountable for inconveniencing travelers.
Under the revised guidelines, domestic and international carriers in the United States cannot hold flights on the tarmac for more than four hours. Airlines that break the rule are subject to steep government fines amounting to $27,000 per passenger.
Meanwhile, passengers who are unexpectedly bumped from their flights will now be able to collect up to four times the original cost of their ticket (capped at $1,300.) Under old regulations, the amount passengers could collect under such circumstances was capped at $800.
Another regulation is aimed at keeping airlines honest when it comes to ancillary fees. Beginning Tuesday, airlines must clearly disclose any added fees (including those for excess baggage and meals) on their websites. The new government regulations are just the latest in a push to increase passengers’ rights in recent years. Another more wide-reaching set of rules will go into effect in January 2012.
Source: Wall Street Journal