The aviation crash attorneys of Passen & Powell are pleased to report that new DOT passenger protection regulations have now taken effect. These important rules, which were announced in April, provide additional rights to airline passengers in the United States. Although the regulations do not impact airline safety — an area which clearly needs to be more fully addressed — they aim to make airline travel a little less burdensome for travelers.
The new regulations provide for the following:
- A hard deadline of four hours of tarmac waiting for international flights departing from U.S. airports.
- Extends the three-hour hard deadline for domestic flights to small-hub and non-hub airports, which were previously exempt from the waiting limits.
- Requires airlines to refund any fee paid for a bag which does not reach its destination. Existing regulations also require airlines to compensate travelers for reasonable expenses associated with lost baggage, damaged baggage, or baggage which arrives on a later flight than its owner.
- Increases the compensation paid to passengers “bumped” from oversold flights — from up to $400 (an amount equal to the price of the ticket) to $1,300 for longer delays (an amount equal to four times the price of the ticket).
- Mandates greater transparency in various airline fees, including baggage fees, meal fees, fees for canceling or changing reservations, or fees for reserving seats in advance or upgrading existing seats.
The regulations extend not only to domestic flights, but also to international flights operating out of U.S. airports. Most notably, this means that these flights, like domestic flights, are now subject to tarmac delay rules, and to fines and penalties if passengers are left sitting on the tarmac beyond the established allowable times.
The airplane law attorneys of Passen & Powell encourage all airline travelers to familiarize themselves with the new rules and regulations. If your airline violates any of these rules, speak up. If the problem is not corrected, you may wish to speak with an attorney to enforce your rights, and the rights of others.
To speak with one of Passen & Powell’s top-rated Chicago injury lawyers, call us at (312) 527-4500 or fill out a free case evaluation form on our website.