U.S. expands air passenger rights

Aug. 23, 2011 at 11:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- New airline passenger protections were put into effect nationwide Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

The customer protections include refunded baggage fees if bags are lost, larger compensation for passengers bumped from overbooked flight and expanded protections from long runway delays.

"The Obama Administration believes consumers have the right to be treated fairly when they fly," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a release. "The Department of Transportation's new passenger protections will help ensure that air travelers receive the respect they deserve before, during and after their flight."

All airlines must comply with the protections, which include requiring airline Web sites to disclose all optional fees, such as baggage fees. Runway delays have been limited to 3 hours for domestic and 4 hours for international flights, the release said.

Additional protections will take effect in January 2012, including a requirement that all taxes and fees be included in advertised fares and a ban on increasing a price after a purchase has been completed.

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