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The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking to provide some much needed relief to airline customers with a new set of regulations announced on Wednesday (Apr. 24).

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that airlines will now have to issue automatic cash refunds in the event of the following:

  • Canceled flights
  • Significantly delayed flights
  • Baggage return delays
  • Not receiving inflight amenities that you pay for (including Wi-Fi)

“Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them — without headaches or haggling,” Buttigieg said (via the NY Post).

In addition, the new regulations will also scrap “surprise junk fees.” Airlines will now have to disclose up-front charges for checked/carry-on bags, reservation changes, and mandatory carrier-imposed and government charges.

This transparency rule also includes a provision to get rid of “discount bait-and-switch tactics,” misleading customers with discounts that may appear to apply to the whole price of the flight, only to apply to a smaller part of the price.

The disclosure requirement, according to Buttigieg, is estimated to save consumers upwards of half a billion dollars a year in surprise fees.

“Airlines should compete with one another to secure passengers’ business — not to see who can charge the most in surprise fees,” he added, per CNBC.


Department of Transportation Announces New Regulations With More Relief For Airline Travelers  was originally published on

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