Airlines, Refunds, Airport, Cancellations

Airlines Must Now Give Refunds For Cancellations And Disclose All Fees

It is assumed that airliners will oppose the new regulations that could hurt their profits.

The government is cracking down on airlines skimping on refunds and other shady practices. Airliners like Delta, American, and Southwest must now give full refunds to customers for canceled and significantly delayed flights.

The U.S. Department of Transportation implemented new regulations to better protect consumers from misleading flight prices. According to NPR, the rules will ensure customers are fully aware of their rights while traveling in the skies.

One provision will protect the money spent by flyers if they endure cancellations or delays on their flights. Customers will receive cash refunds for axed trips or if the delays cause disruption.

Another regulation dictates that airlines must display the entire cost of the flight before customers purchase. This includes all government taxes and fees, as well as carrier-specific surcharges often kept hidden until buying time. Deemed “bait-and-switch tactics,” airlines lure unknowing customers to potentially buy certain flights while not disclosing the surprise junk fees added to them. Now, customers will know the full scope of their trip’s expenses before venturing further.

In a statement on the new rulings, Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that passengers “deserve” better protections while flying.

“Today’s announcements will require airlines to both provide passengers better information about costs before ticket purchase and promptly provide cash refunds to passengers when they are owed — not only saving passengers time and money but also preventing headaches,” Buttigieg said. “Passengers deserve to know upfront what costs they are facing and should get their money back when an airline owes them — without having to ask.”

However, airlines have previously fought back against changes like these, especially in regard to disclosing the whole price. The outlet predicted they will most likely fight the new rulings. Lobbyists in the past have argued that full-price breakdowns will confuse customers in the midst of securing a flight.

Buttigieg, however, rebuffed these concerns, remaining adamant that the move is in the best interest of travelers.