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Travel News: Changes to Airline Refunds & Fee Policies

Some good changes were recently announced by DOT, and all we can say is - it's about time!

The Biden-Harris Administration announced on April 24th that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a final rule that requires airlines to promptly provide passengers with automatic cash refunds when owed. The new rule makes it easy for passengers to obtain refunds when airlines cancel or significantly change their flights, significantly delay their checked bags, or fail to provide the extra services they purchased. - US DOT Website

We are so excited for this! Booking airfare is already nerve-wrecking and can be stressful, so these changes are really great for flyers and help us serve clients better!

Here's the simple breakdown:

If your flight is canceled:

You're entitled to a cash refund! Yes, not airline credit but cash!

If your flight is delayed for more than three hours domestically or six hours internationally, or if there's a significant change to your itinerary such as a change in airports, you are entitled to a cash refund. 

If your flight is delayed:

You're entitled to money back!

If your domestic flight is delayed over 3 hours or your international trip gets stuck for more than 6, you can get a cash refund.

If your airline switches your flight to a new airport:

You guessed it, you're also entitled to money back!

If your baggage is lost or delayed:

If your checked bag takes a trip of its own and doesn't show up within 12 hours of your domestic flight landing (or 15-30 hours internationally), you'll get your baggage fee refunded.

If you paid for a service you didn't use:

Paid extra for Wi-Fi or seating upgrade but didn't get to use it? The airline has to refund you that fee too!

No more hidden fees:

The rule requires airlines and ticket agents to tell consumers upfront what fees they charge for a first or second checked bag, a carry-on bag, and for canceling or changing a reservation.

Our favorite part is the accountability airlines and ticket agents will have to serve travelers fairly and promptly.

This is straight from the government announcement:

The final rule improves the passenger experience by requiring refunds to be:

  • Automatic: Airlines must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request them or jump through hoops.   

  • Prompt: Airlines and ticket agents must issue refunds within seven business days of refunds becoming due for credit card purchases and 20 calendar days for other payment methods.  

  • Cash or original form of payment: Airlines and ticket agents must provide refunds in cash or whatever original payment method the individual used to make the purchase, such as credit card or airline miles. Airlines may not substitute vouchers, travel credits, or other forms of compensation unless the passenger affirmatively chooses to accept alternative compensation.    

  • Full amount: Airlines and ticket agents must provide full refunds of the ticket purchase price, minus the value of any portion of transportation already used.

For more detailed information check out these resources:

 As always, at Anago Travel, we do our best to stay on top of the latest travel news for our clients & keep you informed with transparency and clarity!


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