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Air Travel Industry Regulations Stalled

Air Travel Industry Regulations Stalled
Jennifer Billock

Since Trump’s first day in office in 2017, more than a thousand regulations have been put on hold or completely canceled. But where does that leave the consumers of America, especially those who were once protected from certain unfair practices in the air travel industry?

When Trump first installed his “one in, two out” policy for new regulations, it brought more than 1,000 current regulations to a screeching halt as agencies were forced to determine what needed to be changed or completely repealed. And while it’s a point that Trump continues to boast about, it’s had a negative effect on many consumers – including air travel passengers. Now, many consumer protection regulations are no longer taking place as they hang in congressional limbo, including one stating that when an airline loses a bag on a domestic flight and it takes more than 12 hours after the flight to return it, the traveler should get a refund for the baggage fee. The Department of Transportation [DOT] was scheduled to finalize the details of this policy in July 2017, but that deadline has come and gone with no word on the regulation.

“Consumers already know that airlines will stop at nothing — from exorbitant bag fees to shrinking seat sizes — to turn a profit,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, told First Coast News. “Now, they are faced with an administration apparently anxious and eager to aid the airlines’ anti-consumer assault.”

For this and many other policies, airline representatives, air travel experts, and advocates have all already signed off on the new regulations, and are just waiting for a DOT approval – from a department that seems unwilling to do just that.

In addition to the late bag refund regulation, these other industry proposals remain hanging in limbo: reporting the amount of wheelchairs damaged in cargo; providing easier lavatory access on single-aisle planes for passengers with disabilities; regulations on the types of emotional support animals allowed on planes; notifying passengers when in-flight voice calls are allowed; a requirement for airlines to give all travel websites accurate fare information; disclosing bag fees along with the ticket price; and reporting the total fees collected for all 19 chargeable airline services.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. emcampbe

    January 23, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Any traveler that is booked on a flight and their bag doesn’t arrive with them should have the bag fee refunded….period. Forget within 12 hours. The only exception to this should be if there was a change to passenger flights after the bag has been tagged.

    Who exactly could be against this? Why should passengers, if they don’t get the service they paid for, not get a refund?

  2. AanneSFO

    January 24, 2018 at 10:02 am

    If “airline representatives” have already signed off on the proposed new regulations, why do airlines have to await DOT approval? They can go ahead with their own policies on bag-fee refunds, provision of accurate fare info to websites, standards for Emotional Support Animals, reporting statistics on wheelchair damage. It is only because they have not done this that regulations are being proposed in the first place. Why should airlines not compete on passenger-friendly policies?

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