Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Round of Passenger Rights on the Horizon

The United States Department of Transportation enacted airline passenger consumer rights rules in 2010 and 2011 and is now reportedly scheduled to release a third round of rules in Fall 2014.

Likely among the new rules:

  • The requirement that small airlines report on-time performance and mishandled baggage data, in the same way that large carriers already do;
  • An expansion of the existing performance reporting requirements to include not only airlines’ own flights but those of their code-share partners;
  • The requirement that airlines provide real-time information on fees for optional services to travel agents, so that consumers will be able to compare the fees among carriers and pay for optional services when they book flights through them; and
  • Requiring ticket agents to adopt minimum customer service standards, such as providing refunds and timely responses to consumer complaints in a timely manner.