Airlines now required to give automatic cash refunds for canceled, delayed flights

The Department of Transportation says it’s the biggest expansion of passenger's rights in the department's history.

Ali Reid

Apr 26, 2024, 12:25 AM

Updated 29 days ago

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The Department of Transportation announced its new set of rules Wednesday regarding the airline industry.
Airlines will now be required to automatically give cash refunds to passengers for canceled and significantly delayed flights.
The agency says it’s the biggest expansion of passenger's rights in the department's history.
“From now on when your flight is canceled for any reason you are entitled to an automatic cash refund and it has to be prompt,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Refunds will no longer be able to be decided by each airline.
“It gives (airlines) more of a reason to make the investments and realistic schedules to prevent that from happening to you in the first place,” Buttigieg said.
Under the new set of rules, delays of more than three hours for domestic flights and more than six hours for international flights would be eligible for refunds. Airlines will no longer be able to issue travelers a refund in the form of a voucher or credit.
Gone are the days of not fully getting what you paid for, like poor Wi-Fi service.
“If you paid for that and it doesn't work, you get your money back. Same with baggage, if a bag doesn't get there then you‘ll get your money back for that,” the secretary said.
Buttigieg is reiterating that refund requirements are already the standard for airlines, but the new DOT rules hold the airlines accountable.
The agency is also working on rules surrounding family seating fees, enhancing rights for wheelchair passengers and protection against hidden fees.
Airlines will have six months to comply with the new rules.


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