New refund regulations for airlines

Changes are coming our way regarding airline refunds

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 29: Travelers await their bags amid rows of unclaimed luggage at the United Airlines baggage claim area at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 29, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. United Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights again today amid a chaotic week of flight cancellations and delays amid weather issues and strong traveler demand. United Airlines has cancelled nearly 3,000 flights since June 24th as the July 4th holiday travel rush nears. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) (Mario Tama, 2023 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Have you ever had a flight delayed for more than 3 hours? Or cancelled with no refund in sight, causing countless hours of customer service phone calls and stress? A new Department of Transportation (DOT) rule regarding refunds was made final Wednesday, giving airlines six months to implement the new changes.

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The DOT rules indicate passengers will be “entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits offered.”

Airlines will be required to refund passengers for cancelled flights for any reason, domestic delays over three hours and international delays over six hours. Beyond that, refunds will be required for involuntary airport changes, added connections, seat downgrades, delayed bags over 12 hours and even disruptions of Wi-Fi.

In addition, this final ruling “consumers who are unable to or advised not to travel as scheduled on flights to, from, or within the United States because of a serious communicable disease, the Department is requiring that carriers provide travel vouchers or credits that are transferrable and valid for at least 5 years from the date of issuance.”

Read the final ruling HERE.

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