06/03/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley
Washington, D.C.—New consumer protection rules could boost payouts to fliers that are bumped from oversold flights. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proposed new rules on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, which could earn fliers up to $650 in cash for short delays and up to $1,300 for longer delays, as reported by USA Today.
The current compensation limits are set at $400 for those who reach their destination less than two hours later than originally planned, and $800 for involuntary bumped passengers who were delayed longer.
The Department of Transportation also proposed:
• Airlines could advertise only the full price of fares, including all known fees and taxes in all print and broadcast ads, and online. It’s not clear whether they could still advertise the one-way price of fares that must be bought on a round-trip basis.
• Consumers could get full refunds within 24 hours of their purchase of any ticket.
• Bumped travelers flying on frequent-flier award tickets would be eligible for compensation equal to the lowest price of a paid ticket in the same booking class on the same flight.
• Foreign airlines would become subject to the same ground delay data reporting and disclosure rules as U.S. carriers.
The DOT is also asking the public whether airlines should be allowed to serve peanuts and peanut products during flights, or if the snacks should be banned altogether to protect those passengers with serious and life-threatening peanut allergies.
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