DOT Says Bigger Payout Due Bumped Passengers

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The U.S. Department of Transportation says airline passengers bumped from their flights should receive more compensation, and has recommended upping the fee.

Currently passengers involuntarily bumped from a flight are entitled to from $400 to $800, depending on how long they get delayed after being bumped. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has proposed increasing what airlines have to pay to $650 to $1,300.

This is just one of several new consumer protections DOT proposed this week. Other changes covered in the rule include allowing consumers 24 hours to cancel an airline reservation without having to pay a penalty.

LaHood also called on carriers to fully disclose their baggage fees, pay refunds of those fees if bags are not delivered on time and make price advertising more transparent.

"Our proposed rule would drastically improve the consumer information airlines are required to post so that the consumers know what they are getting for their money," LaHood said at a news conference.

"Anybody that's flown knows what the problems are with flying, and we tried to incorporate the most egregious, the most serious in this rule," he said.

According to The Associated Press, involuntary bumpings due to overbooked flights jumped to 762,422 last year, and increased 17% in the first quarter of this year. Airlines are required to ask for volunteers first.

The rule will likely be finalized this fall, following a 60-day public comment period.

Photo jondoeforty1, flickr
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