Proposed rule changes could help passengers paying out of pocket after flight cancellations

The Department of Transportation is looking at new rules to make airlines make it right when you pay out of pocket following airline cancellations.

It comes right before the busy summer travel season starts, but people won’t see relief right now.


The Department of Transportation has an idea to rein in airlines that can’t get flights off the ground when they should.

If the rule to hold airlines more accountable is enacted, for the first time in history, it would require airlines to cover the cost of meals, hotels and rebooking in cases where the airline caused a cancellation or significant delay.

Read: New passenger compensation for flight delays, cancellation rules to be developed

Insurance expert Omar Kaywan encourages people to get travel insurance but knows that means little for the costs you incur waiting days for a new flight.

He said the government needs to add more to the list of proposed changes, including taking a close look at capacity to make sure you can quickly get on another flight when yours is canceled.

“The frustrations are rightfully so,” he said. “Some of the airlines are bigger culprits of this situation and their brand and airlines’ name are almost synonymous with cancellations. There is a lot of things that need to be discussed here. And the other problem we have here is there is no consistency between airlines.”

Read: Dead armadillo on the tarmac delays 43 flights at Orlando International Airport

Right now, some airlines do more to make you whole than others.

The proposed changes would also mean there would be set requirements for timely customer service during and after periods of widespread flight cancellations.

But it could be a least a year before any decisions are made.

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