Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, has proposed new regulations to protect consumers from airline abuses. Frequent airline travelers have expressed frustration over the years about the poor service provided by many airlines. In response to these complaints, the federal government has offered proposals for several regulations which include rules regarding airlines’ disclosure of fees affecting ticket prices, passengers’ ability to cancel paid tickets within 24 hours of purchase, and increased compensation for passengers bumped from flights.
Consumer complaints about airline customer service have increased over the past few years due to several factors. One of the major concerns brought to the table by casual travelers and business travelers alike is the undisclosed or hard to find costs related to checked baggage. Passengers have been dismayed to learn at the ticket counter that their ticket price could increase $20, $50, or even $100 depending upon the amount of baggage they need to check. The proposed regulations would oblige airlines to prominently display and disclose fees for checked bags. Fee transparency and disclosure will not only apply to airline websites, but to travel websites such as Expedia and Travelocity and travel agency computer systems. The proposed legislation would also establish set procedures and guidelines for reimbursement in the case of lost or delayed baggage.