Proposed airline refund rule will make it easier for passengers to get their money back

The Transport Department has proposed new rules to make it easier for passengers to get refunds on canceled or delayed flights. Per CBS News.

Department issued proposed rules statement wednesday And said “if adopted, would significantly strengthen security for consumers seeking refunds for airline tickets.”

The rules are open for a 90-day comment period ending November 1.

Airline analyst Samuel Engel, senior vice president of aviation ICF, predicted that airlines would not go quietly into the new rules.

“I’m sure there will be strong remarks,” he added entrepreneur,

“Airlines don’t like being told how to manage their customers,” he said.

Consumers – and airlines – have been hit by tough winds this summer.

of entrepreneur Emily Rella details a more than 14-hour day at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in late June, where she was one of nearly 1,000 cancellations that day due to weather and staff issues.

In late July another couple got stuck in Mexico and got off heart medication, Insider told,

Prior to this, the DOT rule was that carriers had to refund customers when they canceled their flights, but this was often underestimated or ignored, CBS News reported.

The DoT said that since 2020 it has received a “flood” of complaints from passengers who could not get ticket refunds following delays, cancellations or issues related to the pandemic. It added that prior rules were less clear for when passengers could get a refund from the carrier.

The new proposed rules are as follows. Customers can get a refund if their trip is “significantly” changed or canceled, which means:

  • A domestic flight departure or arrival was shifted by three hours or more
  • An international departure or arrival shifted by six hours or more
  • When the number of connections increases
  • If the departure or arrival location is changed
  • If the type of aircraft the consumer is boarding is changed and “this causes a significant deterioration in the air travel experience or facilities available in flight.”

In addition, a carrier will be required to give customers indefinite vouchers if people cannot travel due to the pandemic that has closed the border.

“Airlines and ticket agents that receive significant government assistance related to a pandemic will be required to issue refunds in lieu of unexpired travel credits or vouchers,” the department said.

Delta and United declined to comment on the proposed rules entrepreneur and the Airlines for America industry group, which did not respond to a request for comment.

“We received the DOT rule on Wednesday and our teams are in the process of reviewing the proposed rules,” Southwest said in an emailed statement to Entrepreneur. It also referred to its announcement last week that the airline Eliminate expiration dates on flight credits.