The Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering a proposal that would require airlines to refund fees on checked baggage if the bags aren't delivered in time.
The new proposed rules would require airlines to give the refunds if passengers do not receive their luggage.
The proposal will require refunds if airlines fail to deliver a bag within 12 hours of the passenger’s U.S. flight touching down or within 25 hours after an international flight.
Current regulations require refunds only if bags are lost, although airlines must compensate passengers for “reasonable” incidental expenses incurred while their bags are delayed. The government does not know how often airlines keep fees even when bags are significantly delayed.
Airlines currently are not required by law to compensate passengers for delayed luggage, but if this legislation passes then they will have no choice - refunds will be required.
Biden Administration Will Enact Additional Regulations to Protect Consumers...Will Sign Executive Order
The Biden White House plans to push through additional regulations that will help consumers and 'boost competition', according to a senior Transportation Department official who asked not to be identified.
National Consumer League Vice President John Breyault says current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg seems to be more proactive in moving through pro-consumer regulations than Trump's secretary Elaine Chao. But he has a 'wait-and-see' attitude:
“The proof will be in the pudding whether this DOT will make consumer protection a real priority after four years of benign neglect, at best, and active regulatory sabotage at worst,” Breyault said.
Airlines Make a Fortune of Fees
In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, passengers paid U.S. airlines $5.76 billion in fees on checked bags, according to the Transportation Department. That dropped to $2.84 billion last year, when travel slumped because of the pandemic. The figures do not include fees for carry-on bags.
Southwest Airlines does not charge any fees for bags.
From Around the Tarmac...
Two cargo pilots survived when they were forced to ditch their 737 in the ocean near Oahu at night when the plane reportedly had dual engine failure.
Air travel has exceeded pre-Pandemic levels for the first time since July 2019 as slightly more travelers took to the skies.
Australian regional airline Rex will add 2 more 737s to its fleet as the carrier looks to be aggressive post-Pandemic.
GoAir may be forced to raise private funds as its planned IPO looks to be delayed, possibly by even a significant timeframe.
An Air India flyer is suing the airline claiming her personal information was part of a data breach that affected a reported 4.5 passengers.
Aeromexico has resumed service to Dallas and Austin, Texas with daily flights to each city.
American Airlines will add service from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Reagan International and Miami.
Korean Air and Asiana have submitted their merger plans to the state-owned Korean Development Bank but more steps are required to be accepted by global regulators.