Applauds New DOT Proposed Rule to Enhance Airline Passenger Protections

Jun 02, 2010, 12:29 ET from

Rule is Logical Companion to New Flyers Rights, Will Hold Airlines Feet to the Fire

WASHINGTON, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, applauded Secretary Ray LaHood and the U.S. Department of Transportation for proposing a new rule that would increase the number or airlines required to adopt tarmac delay contingency plans while creating a number of new protections for consumers.  The rule would also expand consumer rights in the event of oversales, flight cancellations and long delays would also require airlines to provide more accurate information to consumers in the event of tarmac delays.

"We applaud Sec. LaHood for moving to strengthen consumer protections and to ensure that the newly promulgated passenger rights are enforced as intended," said Executive Director, Kate Hanni.  "Given the airlines threats to cancel flights rather than live up to new passenger protections, and their history of inaccurate reporting and data manipulation regarding delays, this proposed rule is both sensible and necessary."

The new rule would also increase the number of carriers that must respond to consumer complaints and enhance protections afforded passengers in oversales situations, including increasing the maximum amount of compensation paid to passengers bumped from flights from $400.00-$800.00 to $650.00 and $1,300.00.  The rule would also strengthen and clarify the Department's enforcement policies concerning air transportation price advertising practices by requiring carriers to notify consumers of optional fees related to air transportation and of increases in baggage fees and prohibiting post-purchase price increases.  The rule proposed today would also require airlines to provide passengers timely notice of flight status changes such as delays and cancellations.      

"Passengers from across the nation have spoken, and the DOT has heard us loud and clear-- the airlines must live up to the new rights afforded consumers or face significant consequences," added Hanni.  "We look forward to continuing our work with DOT to help make these new common sense protections a reality."

For more information on this Proposed Rule go to and click on "What's New" or go to and enter the docket number, DOT-OST-2010-0140.

Contact: Kate Hanni (707) 337-0328