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Airlines Look to End 24-Hour Cancellation Window, Mistake Fares and More

As part of a plan to reduce government oversight, the Department of Transportation is asking for airlines to weigh in on what regulations should go away. While some are customer friendly, like putting limits on support animals or providing new ways to offer passenger compensation, other suggestions include ending the 24-hour cancellation window and airfare transparency rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to do their part to deliver on President Donald Trump’s promise to reduce government size and regulations and is asking for air carrier support to generate ideas. SFGate.com reports while some of the suggestions are in favor of the flyer, many could ultimately do more harm than good.

Citing another report, some of the suggestions airlines made to the DOT include doing away with the 24-hour grace period on ticket cancellation to receive a full refund, as well as a rule that requires flights to return to the gate if they experience a tarmac delay of three hours or more. Another rule that could go out the window is airfare transparency rules, which requires advertised prices to include taxes, fees and surcharges assessed to the ticket price.

Even if you are not loyal to one airline, how you search for airfare could be affected as well. Another rule that could go away if the airlines have their way is barring display bias when searching for airfare. If this were to be dropped, reservation systems could choose to display flights however they want, instead of by objective measurements.

Finally, airlines have also suggested overturning two rules that affect a number of flyers: one that requires carriers to honor mistake fares, as well as one that prevents airlines from charging for wheelchair service. While mistake fares have been in question for years, wheelchair service has consistently been free for flyers.

On the upside, the airlines are also asking the DOT to reign-in some regulations that have caught the ire of both flyers and carriers over the years. These include tightening the definition of “support animal” for flights and offering involuntary boarding denial compensation electronically or by debit card instead of by check.

The DOT has not commented on when they will decide on what rules to overturn if any. This is not the first time the DOT has cut previous rules on airlines: at the end of 2017, the DOT overturned Obama-era rules on airfare transparency, including announcing ancillary services fees at the time of booking.

Comments are Closed.
arcticflier February 10, 2018

Why do so many Americans see Government Oversight as a bad thing? Consumer protections are a good thing. I have never understood how political parties can convince their constituents to vote against their own self interests.

rylan February 9, 2018

Um, yeah lets ask the wolves for ideas on what to do with the chickens. Of course the airlines are going to want to kill the 24hr cancellation window and other flyer protections. duh!

strickerj February 9, 2018

I can understand eliminating the 24-hour full refund rule, but I don’t get how the airlines can unilaterally declare a fare to be a “mistake” any time after the sale and get out of it with no penalty. If “all sales final” applies to the buyer, shouldn’t it apply to the seller too?

LukeO9 February 9, 2018

So Democrats are on our side and Republicans are on their side?