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August 22, 2011 / Raffy Pekson II

New U.S. Air Transportation Rules Benefit Passengers More

US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Wilbur Wright Building

New federal rules governing air transportation as enacted by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) affecting paying passengers will take effect on Tuesday, August 23, 2011. Here are some bullet points you know should know:

  • The new rules will allow the DOT to impose fines on U.S. and international airlines if they leave the tarmac bound for an international flight for more than four hours, a fine of up to $27,000 per passenger. Previously, only domestic flights were penalized for tarmac delays of three hours or more.
  • Passengers with paid tickets but are bumped off will get double the ticket price up to $650 in value if the airline can get the passenger on another flight and the delay is one to two hours for domestic flights or one to four hours for international ones. However, if the delay for another flight climbs above two hours for domestic flights and more than four hours for international trips, the passenger gets four times the value of the ticket up to $1,300.
  • All airlines flying into or around the United States must now openly and prominently disclose all supplementary or minor fees on their websites.
  • Refund for baggage fees if a traveler’s baggage is lost, but no delayed.

Other consumer-oriented rules will be implemented on January 2012. This includes information about a flight that will be delayed for more than half-an-hour, cancelations made by passengers not less than 24 hours without payment, and include all government taxes and fees on all published rates, to name a few.

Sources: USA Today | The Consumerist | The Wall Street Journal

Photo by mountsutro at Flickr.com

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