The Department of Transportation has announced a number of proposed changes to the rules that the airlines must follow when dealing with consumers. If these rules are enacted, they will go into effect late this year. Here are the specific changes being proposed.
Specifically, the new proposed rule would:
• increase compensation for passengers involuntarily bumped from flights
• allow passengers to make and cancel reservations within 24 hours without penalty
• require full and prominently displayed disclosure of baggage fees as well as refunds and expense reimbursement when bags are not delivered on time
• require fair price advertising
• prohibit price increases after a ticket is purchased
• mandate timely notice of flight status changes
The ones that I think will make consumers happiest are the increased compensation for bumping, which will increase to as high as $1300.00.
The ability to cancel at no penalty within 24 hours of purchasing the fare, although, if you purchase through Christopherson Business Travel, you can actually do so up until the end of the next business day, which means if you purchase the ticket on Friday, we can void it on Monday, rather than just 24 hours later.
Requiring the airlines to more accurately disclose what the actual fare is, as opposed to the current practice of showing half of a one way fare and hiding all the details, such as “Must be purchased as a round trip” or “additional taxes and fees will apply”, in the fine print.
It does seem that the DoT has taken a big step toward becoming more consumer friendly.