BALTIMORE — While the cruise industry grapples with a proposed rule to provide refunds for “non-performance,” the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering something similar for airlines.
RELATED: Government agency flooded with cruise refund complaints now considering a rule change
Airlines are already required to compensate passengers for a canceled flight, but the new rule would require the companies to also refund customers baggage fees in case of “significantly delayed” luggage.
The proposed rule also adds a requirement for the airlines to refund any “ancillary services that were paid for but not provided.”
The Department of Transportation gives the example of a passenger paying for wifi, but the wifi not working on the flight.
Based on comments from both individual airlines and lobbying groups representing several airlines, the industry seems overall receptive to the new rule.
One point of contention, however, is how the Department defines a “significant delay.”
The DOT’s response states, “The Department believes it is feasible for airlines to return a bag within 12 hours for domestic flights because airlines have tracking systems in place to identify the location of bags and airlines should be able to place delayed bags on the next available flight.”
The Department also said it believes 25 hours is a reasonable deadline for international flights.
According to a DOT spokesperson, the next meeting to discuss this proposed rule is expected in the fall. As of October 12, the Fall Unified Agenda for Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions does not appear to have been published with a Spring agenda being the latest on the OMB’s website.