Rockefeller Applauds New Airline Passenger Protections

January 23, 2012

Chairman RockefellerWASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement in support of new airline passenger protections that took effect today.  As part of the final provisions of a rulemaking the Department of Transportation (DOT) made last year, airlines and ticket agents are required to publish all additional taxes and fees for airfares as well as disclose baggage fees to consumers buying tickets.

“For the millions of Americans who travel our skies, they should know that they have new rights when they go to purchase tickets and check their baggage,” Rockefeller said.  “I have made airline passenger rights a priority in the FAA reauthorization bill negotiations, so I was pleased to hear that DOT’s rulemaking builds upon those efforts.  And, as Congress is now slated to pass a comprehensive FAA reauthorization in the coming weeks, we have additional consumer protections for airline passengers on the horizon.”

The rule enhances airline passenger protections by:

  • Requiring airlines and ticket agents to include all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares and that they disclose baggage fees to consumers buying tickets;

  • Requiring airlines to refund baggage fees if they are lost;

  • Allowing passengers to hold a reservation without payment, or cancel a booking without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if they make the reservation one week or more prior to a flight’s departure; and

  • Requiring airlines to promptly notify passengers of flight delays over 30 minutes, as well as flight cancellations and diversions, and they will be generally prohibited from increasing the price of purchased tickets.