Planes queue up at JFK Airport in New York


New Department of Transportation regulations aimed at increasing passengers’ rights are set to go into effect on Tuesday. The new airline rules are meant to decrease tarmac delays, further compensate bumped passengers, and make ancillary fees more transparent for all fliers.

Under the new guidelines, international flights operated by domestic and international carriers in the United States cannot be held on the tarmac for more than four hours. Airlines that break the rule will face steep fines of up to $27,000 per passenger.

Meanwhile, travelers who are involuntarily bumped from their flights will now be able to collect up to four times the value of their ticket (capped at $1,300.) Previously, passengers were only allowed to collect up to $800 for such an inconvenience.

A third regulation is meant to ensure that advertised cheap flights remain free from hidden fees. Starting Tuesday, airlines must clearly disclose all ancillary fees (including those for extra bags and meals) on their websites.

The new rules are just the latest developments in the government’s push to expand passenger rights. Other more vigorous regulations are set to go into effect in January 2012.


Source: Wall Street Journal

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