DOT Changes May Soon Mean Airlines Will Have To Refund Passengers
Photo Credit: PeopleImages

Photo Credit: PeopleImages

DOT Changes May Soon Mean Airlines Will Have To Refund Passengers

Maggie J.
Maggie J. Aug 5, 2022

After the exponential increase in complaints to the DOT about flight refunds, changes may soon mean airlines will have to refund passengers. The Department of Transportation has proposed a new set of regulations. These regulations will safeguard passengers from notable changes in their itineraries, cancelations and delays.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated in the Department’s press release. “When Americans buy an airline ticket, they should get to their destination safely, reliably, and affordably.”

Getting a refund from an airline can be a hassle. The new rule would help delayed and canceled passengers get refunds quickly from the often times slow-to-respond airlines. While the DOT already has rules in place, they are largely undefined. This has resulted in airlines questioning the authorization of the Department. By defining the rules, there will be a cohesive understanding amongst the airline and the DOT.

DOT Changes May Soon Mean Airlines Will Have To Refund Passengers

While flight credits will be given for significantly delayed or canceled flights, “airlines and ticket agents that receive significant government assistance related to a pandemic would be required to issue refunds, in lieu of non-expiring travel credits or vouchers.” In addition, the new regulations will force airlines to issue credits without an expiration date. This would include travelers who cannot fly due to sudden changes to travel restrictions, quarantine regulations and illness.

Significantly delayed flights consist of one of four things. One, delay of more than three hours for domestic flights and six hours for international flights. Two, a different arrival or departure airport than listed on the airline ticket. Three, any change that adds a connection. Last, a downgrade in the type of aircraft than originally planned.

So, get that refund if your flight ends up canceled. Or, if you arrive three hours late. And especially if you don’t feel well. The airlines will soon have to oblige.

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