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Airline Passenger Rights go into Effect August 2011

New Airline Passenger Rights go into Effect

Airline passengers need to understand the fine print

Will the Department of Transportation’s move to impose new airline passenger protection rules really make traveling easier? Ian Ford, a travel expert and business owner with more than 15 years in the industry, believes the four major components to the rules are a step forward. But, he also sees the “fine print”.

Ford points out:

1.  That airlines that lose a passenger’s luggage will now be required to reimburse the passenger for baggage fees and actual luggage cost.

2.  There will be an additional charge for unreasonable delays in getting passengers their bags, though ‘unreasonable’ and when a bag is considered lost isn’t clearly defined. Airlines may still delay weeks in getting a person their bags or money with the new rules.

3. Passengers bumped from a flight will be eligible to receive double the amount of the ticket they paid for -- up to $650 for short delays.

4. Those passengers subject to longer delays would be eligible for payment up to four times the price of their ticket, up to $1,300.

However, Ford says this isn’t as good as it seems. He says anyone that has tried to jump over to another airline after being bumped, will find “walk up” prices are astronomical usually starting at $800.

For more information on your passenger rights, visit the Department of Transportation website.