USA: new airline passenger protection rules took effect Aug. 23

The U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) said new consumer protections for airline passengers are now effect starting Aug. 23. The new rules includerequirements that airlines refund baggage fees if bags are lost, increased compensation to passengers bumped from overbooked flights, and greater protections from lengthy tarmac delays.Additional measures under the new rule are set to take effect Jan. 24, 2012, including: a requirement that all taxes and fees to be included in advertised fares; a ban on post-purchase price increases; a measure allowing passengers to hold a reservation without payment, or to cancel it without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if the reservation is made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date; a requirement that airlines disclose baggage fees when passengers book a flight; a requirement that the same baggage allowances and fees apply throughout a passenger’s journey; a requirement that airlines disclose baggage fee information on e-ticket confirmations; and a requirement that airlines provide prompt notification of delays of over 30 minutes, as well as cancellations and diversions. The DOT’s final rule, proposed rule and comments are available at, docket DOT-OST-2010-0140.

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