New Federal Rules Hold Airlines Accountable For Tarmac Waits, Hidden Fees

Expansion Of Passenger Bill Of Rights Met With Optimism

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New federal rules could mean airlines will soon be paying you.

The skies could become a little friendlier under new federal rules announced Wednesday. The regulations start with baggage fees. If an airline loses your luggage, they’ll have to pay you by reimbursing the fee, reports CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.

“Well, that’s the least they can do,” one traveler at LaGuardia Airport said.

“Well, I guess it’s a good idea to give back the fee. It would be better to get the bags,” added Lori Hosp of Scarsdale.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Fliers Applaud New Rules

Airlines will have to fork over big bucks if they bump you from your flight because they overbooked, but not because of weather. Passengers will receive twice the price of their ticket and in some cases up to four times the price, depending upon how long the passenger is delayed. The most someone could receive is $1,300.

“Good! I’ll take it. Great, of course,” said George Sigler of Stanhope.

And remember the blizzard from December that stranded some international passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport inside a plane for more than seven hours? That shouldn’t happen again under these new guidelines.

There will be a four-hour time limit for international passengers who have to wait on the tarmac, closely matching the three-hour rule for domestic flights.

Despite all this, some said four hours seems like quite a long time to be stuck on a plane.

“Four hours! That’s ridiculous,” one traveler said.

“Four hours doesn’t seem like a good deal,” another added.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs: Passengers Like The New Rules, But Some Are Suspicious

The new regulations are expected to go into effect around the end of August, so not in time for the summer travel season.

As for those hidden taxes and fees in your ticket, airlines will be required to detail them in visible font on their websites and include the fees in their prices.

“You have to pay for every little thing. You have to pay for snacks, you have to pay for a bag of pretzel, eventually you’ll have to pay to go to the bathroom,” said passenger Jill Dente.

Consumer advocates called the new rules a good start.

“Another thing I’m looking forward to is getting airline passengers more legal rights. Right now airline passengers have the rights of medieval serfs. We have to petition the Department of Transportation for anything legal,” said Charlie Leocha of the Consumer Travel Alliance.

What do you think are the benefits or drawbacks of this change? Leave a comment below…

More from Mike Xirinachs
  • Larry Schwarz

    I do like the changes and will offer to give up my seat more often for a higher travel voucher.Let’s give credit where it is due.Delta and American put the fees in full on their websites.Checked baggage is extra (unless your elite level or first class).There is a fee for food in coach but at least you can buy a sandwich on a long flight.For Alcohol there is always a fee in coach.However soft drinks,coffee and light snacks like peanuts or pretzels are free on American and Delta.Some airlines in Europe,2 euros for a cup of coffee.We don’t have it that bad.

  • Garth

    I trully get a kick out of people whining about meals on domestic flights. When they did serve meals in coach, most of you took one bit, picked at the fruit, and sent the rest back. A complete waste of food. And the compalining about the entree choices as well. And now the public still wants all that and ticket prices of 1991 too. You people need your heads examined. Do you know that gas is over $3.50 a gallon, and that milk is apporaching $3.00 for a half gallon ?? do you all whine to the manager of the grocery store about the prices when you shop for food ? Get reall, it is 2011 and oil closed today at $111.00 per barrel. I guess you think planes run on air ??

  • masubed tkel

    i am thinking the laws will be effective if it would include control the ticket pricing as well or it will be added on to our fares.

  • Roy Bendell

    I still find it amazing that international travel on non us airlines has free alcohol free meals and great service and we being the weathiest nation have to pay for everything when we fly domestically. This just isn’t right. What’s happened to America.

  • PaPa Joe

    These rules are supposed to be implemented in four months. That should give the airlines enough time to figure a way to eithe get around the rule or to raise prices and fees because the rule changes are an “economic burden” for them.

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