Airlines must return cash to customers and be transparent in collections, according to new rule – La Opinion

Airlines must return cash to customers and be transparent in collections, according to new rule – La Opinion


A new rule promoted by President Joe Biden’s government will force airlines to make any charges transparent and return cash they owe to their customers.

“The Biden-Harris Administration announced final rules requiring airlines to provide automatic cash refunds to passengers when they are owed and protecting consumers from costly surprise airfares,” the White House said.

The rule will also allow customers to have a faster response from airlines, in addition to expecting savings of up to $500 million from the collection of “junk” and hidden fees.

“Passengers deserve to know in advance the costs they face and should get their money back when an airline owes them, without having to ask,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today’s announcements will require airlines to give passengers better information about costs before purchasing a ticket and quickly provide cash refunds to customers when they are due, not only saving them time and money, but also avoiding headaches.” ”.

These rules are part of a broad program by the Biden Administration against the so-called “junk rates” that different businesses charge customers.

The policy follows an executive order from President Biden on Promoting Competition in 2021.

“The first rule requires airlines to quickly provide passengers with automatic cash refunds when they are owed because their flights were canceled or significantly changed, their checked bags were significantly delayed, or ancillary services, such as Wi-Fi, were not provided. they bought,” it was indicated.

Although some airlines already offer such services, the rule makes the processes easier.

“Without this rule, consumers have to navigate a patchwork of cumbersome processes to request and receive a refund: searching airline websites to figure out how to apply, filling out additional ‘digital paperwork,’ or sometimes waiting for hours on the phone,” it was stated.

Refunds to passengers would be more expeditious, preventing customers from even having to request it when the airline modifies or cancels an itinerary.

The rule will help make the process automatic; fast, between seven and 20 days maximum; Payment must be in cash or in the form of the original payment, and the amount to be returned must be the original amount disbursed.

“Junk rates”

Many companies add hidden costs to customers, who end up paying much more than the original price on an airline.

“The DOT requires airlines and ticket agents to inform consumers in advance what fees they charge for checked baggage, carry-on baggage, changing a reservation, or canceling a reservation,” it stated. “This ensures that consumers can avoid surprise charges when purchasing tickets from airlines or ticket agents, including brick-and-mortar travel agencies or online travel agencies.”

Companies must inform in advance the fees for baggage, changes and cancellation of a flight.

Even the weight limitations and dimensions of a package should be specified much more clearly.

Some of these benefits already operate after agreements with the 10 main US airlines, offering options to travelers on,

“Now all 10 major US airlines guarantee rebookings and free meals, and nine guarantee hotel accommodations when a problem with the airline causes a major delay or cancellation,” it noted.

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