Those days of “no-refund” policies at most airlines may soon be a thing of the past.
According to a news release, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a proposal that would allow for “a major expansion of consumer rights” in terms of cancellations, and refunds for both domestic and international flights, saving headaches and pain for passengers.
“When Americans buy an airline ticket, they should get to their destination safely, reliably, and affordably,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “This new proposed rule would protect the rights of travelers and help ensure they get the timely refunds they deserve from the airlines.”
According to CNBC, airlines are not legally bound to give customers some type of compensation for delayed or canceled flights, or if they missed their flight due to an illness such as COVID-19.
If the proposal moves forward, passengers would be eligible for a refund in any of the following circumstances:
- If your flight is canceled
- If the flight departure or flight arrival time is delayed more than three hours on domestic flights, six hours for international flights
- Changes to the departing or arriving airport
- The number of connecting flights increase in the itinerary
- Changes to the aircraft flown that would include significant downgrades in amenities and air travel experience.
The DOT did not specify in the release when the proposal will be made into law, however, members of the public are invited to a virtual meeting hosted by the Aviation Consumer Protection Agency Committee scheduled for Aug. 22. For more information and to register, click here.
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