Transportation Department Readies New Airline Consumer Protections

Transportation Department Readies New Airline Consumer Protections

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(CNN)The way airlines handle extra, optional fees — such as the charges to check a bag or reserve a specific seat — could change under a set of rules being developed by the Biden administration.

The rules — requiring faster refunds and upfront disclosure of fees — are under development at the US Transportation Department, said Brian Deese, director of the White House’s National Economic Council. Deese said at a recent White House briefing that the plans would “protect airline passengers and to promote fair … competition in the airline industry.”

The proposals will come on the tail of a significant pandemic-related spike in consumer complaints about airlines, nearly all expressing dissatisfaction with airline refund policies.

    The first proposal, due to be released in days, would require airlines to refund extra fees in more circumstances than under the current requirements, according to a source familiar with the plans.

      It would require airlines to refund fees for checked bags that arrive late, the source said — more than 12 hours delayed for a domestic flight and 25 hours delayed for an international flight. If the bag is not delivered in that window, the rule would require a refund of any checked bag fees. The official said current refund rules apply to lost — but not delayed — lu

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