New airline rules: Late bags, no fees?


WASHINGTON (NBC News) – The Department of Transportation has issued a new set of rules for airlines that officials hope will mean an upgrade for travelers.

The changes announced Wednesday are designed to protect passengers and promote more competition, and ultimately lower ticket prices.

Airlines will be required to disclose their total number of mishandled bags and to refund checked baggage fees if luggage is “substantially delayed.”

The will also be required to provide more complete operational data, including on-time numbers from regional partners like American Eagle, United Express, and Delta Connection.

Finally, online fare comparison sites will now have to reveal incentives or commissions provided by the airlines.

Airlines trade organizations, including Airlines for America, say the new measures could mean turbulence for the industry.

“Anytime you have the notion of additional government regulations that could increase the cost on airlines or increase the cost on travelers, that could be a lose-lose for American travelers and the people who rely on air travel,” says Airlines for America’s Sean Kennedy.