Wednesday Aug. 24, 2011 @ 10:55 pm By

On August 23rd a series of new airline rules came online that will better inform travelers what exactly they are paying for when we buy a ticket. Airlines are now required to clearly disclose & make easily findable on their websites all fees and charges that cover; baggage/luggage, canceling or changing reservations, seat selection, meals and food choices, or seat upgrading.

According to the DOT (Department of Transportation) these new rules are in response to the growing number of traveler complaints regarding online price comparison and ticket shopping. However, even with these new rules that aim to clarify pricing, there is still apprehension that consumer will be confused by airline industry verbiage and jargon.

Another new rule that was introduced in this Bill of Rights is the increasing of the compensation amount for being involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight. Travelers are now eligible for double the one-way price of their tickets, up to $650 max, for “short” delays (those defined as being within 1 to 3 hours of the originally scheduled arrival time for domestic flights, and 1 to 4 hours for international flights). Passengers who face “longer” delays are eligible to receive payments of up to four times the one-way value of their tickets, up to $1,300 max.

Overly long tarmac delays and waiting has been addressed as well for international flights as it had been for domestic flights. The new rules – which if not followed can lead to airlines receiving hefty penalties and fines – allows for a 4 hour time limit on tarmac delays for all international flights at U.S. airports while the 3 hour delay rule for domestic flights is still in effect. Four hours still seems pretty long to us, especially when an international flight could be 10-15 hours itself once the delay is over.

Lastly, airlines will now be required to refund your checked baggage fee for any lost, damaged or delayed luggage, on top of a previous requirement for compensation.

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