During the gloomy winter months, some consumers want to go somewhere warm and sunny. Now, consumers have more regulations to help them when they travel by air to their chosen destination. Here is what you need to know before purchasing airfare.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued new regulations, which are part of the Airline Consumer Protection Rules originally issued in April of 2011. Among the new regulations, it is now required that airlines include all mandatory taxes and fees be included in the advertised fare. Prior to this rule, the airlines were allowed to advertise the taxes and fees separately. This lead to confusion among consumers who thought they were purchasing airline tickets for a lower price then they actually were.
Also new is the ability of a passenger to cancel a reservation without a penalty within 24 hours of the reservation, as long as the reservation was made at least one week in advance of your departure. A passenger can also hold a reservation without payment for 24 hours with the same caveat.
In addition, airlines are required to promptly notify passengers of flight delays of over 30 minutes, as well as flight cancellations and diversions, and will generally be prohibited from increasing the price of passengers’ ticket after it is purchased.
Furthermore, airlines are now required to disclose baggage fees to consumers who purchase online. That disclosure must be made on the first screen containing fare information for a specific itinerary. These disclosures must also be made on all e-ticket confirmations.
If you want some tips on how to avoid baggage fees altogether, check out this New York Times article for some suggestions.
To read more about the new regulations, check out the press release from the Department of Transportation.