Increased Bumping Compensation, Lost Bags, Total Airline Ticket Prices: New Proposed Rules

Previously posted on 6-2-10:

Once again, the Department of Transportation (DOT) – under the activist leadership of Secretary Ray LaHood – is not waiting around for Congress to come up with a “passenger bill of rights”.

Instead, the DOT is simply charging ahead with its own plan to “rule” these rights into existence. Maybe we should call it, governance by edict.

Saving Passengers Money

In any event, many of these proposed rules would benefit passengers – and, their wallets.

There are a lot of them: the DOT unveiled a whole raft of potential regulations, under the title “Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections”. Here are some of the highlights of these proposed rules for the:

  • Bumping: Involuntary bumping compensation could be increased from the current $400 to $800 limits (the amount depends on the flight) to between $650 and $1,300; the DOT is also seeking comment on whether such limits should be tossed in favor of simply reimbursing these bumped fliers at a rate of 100% or 200% the cost of their tickets
  • Frequent Fliers: Those who travel “free” using frequent flier miles could also get compensation for bumping
  • Bag Fees: Fliers could be compensated for currently non-refundable “bag fees” in cases of bumping or flight cancelation
  • Lost Bags: Mishandled baggage compensation, when these bags are not delivered to passengers in a timely fashion
  • No Penalty Cancellations: Passengers would be allowed to make and cancel reservations within a 24 hour period with no penalty (which is already policy for airlines including Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, United, US Airways, and Virgin America)
  • Clear Ticket Pricing: More transparency in ticket prices, meaning advertisements would show the full price of an airline ticket, including taxes and fees (FareCompare has always show the full price of an airline ticket)
  • Peanuts: Possible ban on peanuts to accommodate those with allergies

You can see a summary of the proposed airline rules here, and further details on these proposed airline rules are available on the DOT website.

Tell the Government What You Think

Then, make your voice heard by leaving an “official” comment. Here are three ways to do this:

1. Online – Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

2. Mail: Send your comments to this address:

Docket Management Facility
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Room W12-140
Washington, DC 20590-0001

3. Fax: (202) 493-2251

See What Others Think

NOTE: You must include the agency name – Department of Transportation – and docket number which is “DOT-OST-2010-0140” on your comments. And you will be able to see all the comments at http://www.regulations.gov.

You have 60-days to comment – so get going.

Rick talks with Good Morning Texas – New Air Travel Policies Explained

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Published: June 2, 2010