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New DOT rule vs EU261

New DOT rule vs EU261

Old Apr 24, 2024, 8:10 am
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New DOT rule vs EU261

The DOT announced new rules regarding flight delays and cancelations here. Would be worth discussing how this compares with EU261 compensation. One thing jumps out immediately. Unlike EU261 where you have to ask for the compensation, the DOT rule stipulates that compensation should be automatically issued. There may be other noteworthy similarities/contrasts.
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Old Apr 24, 2024, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by Dave_US
The DOT announced new rules regarding flight delays and cancelations here. Would be worth discussing how this compares with EU261 compensation. One thing jumps out immediately. Unlike EU261 where you have to ask for the compensation, the DOT rule stipulates that compensation should be automatically issued. There may be other noteworthy similarities/contrasts.
I think you might be misinterpreting the new rules a bit. Based on the fact sheet, I think the new rules require prompt and automatic _refunds_ (Not _compensation_ a la EU261) to the original form of payment in the case of canceled or significantly delayed flights.

Lower down in the fact sheet , it does refer to _proposed_ new rules requiring compensation and mandatory amenities, which would be closer to the EU261 requirements if they were to go into effect.

Does anyone know when the rules finalized today go into effect? I could not find that info in the fact sheet.
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Old Apr 24, 2024, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by saunders111
Does anyone know when the rules finalized today go into effect? I could not find that info in the fact sheet.
ABC News reported that airlines will have six months to implement.
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Old Apr 24, 2024, 12:20 pm
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New DOT rule for delayed flight refunds after 3/6 hours


New DOT rule for delayed flight refunds after 3 hour for domestic, 6 hours for international.
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Old Apr 24, 2024, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by saunders111
I think you might be misinterpreting the new rules a bit. Based on the fact sheet, I think the new rules require prompt and automatic _refunds_ (Not _compensation_ a la EU261) to the original form of payment in the case of canceled or significantly delayed flights.

Lower down in the fact sheet , it does refer to _proposed_ new rules requiring compensation and mandatory amenities, which would be closer to the EU261 requirements if they were to go into effect.

Does anyone know when the rules finalized today go into effect? I could not find that info in the fact sheet.
Under their definitions of significant changes, it states: "Significant changes to a flight include departure or arrival times that are more than 3 hours domestically and 6 hours internationally; departures or arrivals from a different airport; increases in the number of connections; instances where passengers are downgraded to a lower class of service; or connections at different airports or flights on different planes that are less accessible or accommodating to a person with a disability."

So to me, it reads like there will be something akin to EU261 for the reroute/refund portion.

Last edited by wh333; Apr 24, 2024 at 8:28 pm
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian
ABC News reported that airlines will have six months to implement.
Coincidentally just before the election. Seriously, though, I don't care. That means it's implemented fast. Nothing seems to happen fast. I don't care who did it or when. It's not the answer to everything, but a few rights finally, well, it's a good start.
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 3:04 am
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https://www.transportation.gov/brief...efunds-airline
Canceled or significantly changed flights: Passengers will be entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits offered. For the first time, the rule defines “significant change.” Significant changes to a flight include departure or arrival times that are more than 3 hours domestically and 6 hours internationally; departures or arrivals from a different airport; increases in the number of connections; instances where passengers are downgraded to a lower class of service; or connections at different airports or flights on different planes that are less accessible or accommodating to a person with a disability.

Significantly delayed baggage return: Passengers who file a mishandled baggage report will be entitled to a refund of their checked bag fee if it is not delivered within 12 hours of their domestic flight arriving at the gate, or 15-30 hours of their international flight arriving at the gate, depending on the length of the flight.
Not uncommon for non USA international airlines to not have a "checked bag fee". That is baggage in included in the base fare, and not a separate fee,
Other get "free" baggage due to status or holding a particular credit card

The final rule improves the passenger experience by requiring refunds to be:
  • Automatic: Airlines must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request them or jump through hoops.
  • Prompt: Airlines and ticket agents must issue refunds within seven business days of refunds becoming due for credit card purchases and 20 calendar days for other payment methods.
  • Cash or original form of payment: Airlines and ticket agents must provide refunds in cash or whatever original payment method the individual used to make the purchase, such as credit card or airline miles. Airlines may not substitute vouchers, travel credits, or other forms of compensation unless the passenger affirmatively chooses to accept alternative compensation.
  • Full amount: Airlines and ticket agents must provide full refunds of the ticket purchase price, minus the value of any portion of transportation already used. The refunds must include all government-imposed taxes and fees and airline-imposed fees, regardless of whether the taxes or fees are refundable to airlines.
Currently non USA airlines that operate to/from USA must complete with USA DOT regulations.
People outside of USA can buy tickets that can include a USA airline. Oneworld alliance has RTW tickets that can include USA airlines, flights to USA and/or flights from USA. The requirement "must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request" would create chaos. If the RTW ticket auto cancel mid trip because of a 3:00hr delay would be hopeless and cause the passenger a massive increase in total trip cost.

The rules seem not to have EU extraordinary exceptions. Say with a massive storm or similar the airlines would still need to pay out. Airfares could rise the cover that. But cancelling-refund after 3hr could be a windfall for the airlines. After a storm(3hr) airlines cancel-refund all tickets, as required. Then raise fares 100% 200% 500% in the recovery, instead putting them on the next available flight, with no extra cost from the passenger.

The proposed rules are very USA domestic airline/flight centric. No consideration of how the international air travel market operates. And that many 1000's of people travelling by air in USA do not directly pay a USA airline.
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 25, 2024 at 3:19 am
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 10:37 am
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What fliers need to know about new refund rules for airlines - The Washington Post
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 3:24 pm
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FT thread --> https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trav...-vs-eu261.html
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 3:48 pm
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There already seems to be a lot of misinterpretation of the new guidelines-- I've read several (admittedly dodgy) internet sources that are stating that a 3+ hour delay will qualify for a full refund AND rebooking to the next available flight. I hope the actual rules are clear by the time they go into effect or there will be a lot of people that take the $ and then find themselves stranded.

I've also read (from less dodgy sources) that the 3+ hour refund will occur ONLY IF the passenger chooses refund vs. rebooking, and cancellation/refund will not happen automatically after a 3+ hour delay. The "refund without request" is in reference to airlines defaulting to airline credit vs. refund to method of payment, and not that the airline will cancel and refund the flight without consent from the passenger.
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Last edited by chococat; Apr 25, 2024 at 3:53 pm
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Old Apr 26, 2024, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
The requirement "must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request"[color=#000000] would create chaos. If the RTW ticket auto cancel mid trip because of a 3:00hr delay would be hopeless and cause the passenger a massive increase in total trip cost.
You seem to have missed the statement that " Passengers will be entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits offered."

If you want to travel - which would typically be the case if you're on a RTW ticket - you won't get an automatic refund and your ticket won't "auto-cancel"; instead, you'll accept the alternative transportation (or work with them to get a "better" alternative transportation) so you can continue your journey.
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Old Apr 28, 2024, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave_US
Unlike EU261 where you have to ask for the compensation, the DOT rule stipulates that compensation should be automatically issued.
This could cause a conflict of law on flights between the EU and the US. Under EU law, you void your EU compensation if you get non-EU compensation. If the EU compensation is greater than the US compensation, the passenger will want EU compensation instead. The airline could claim that the passenger already has involuntarily received compensation under US law and therefore isn't entitled to EU compensation. The 'right' thing would be to undo the US compensation payment and then issue the EU compensation (or just pay the difference between the two amounts), but airlines would probably struggle about this.
Originally Posted by irishguy28
You seem to have missed the statement that " Passengers will be entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits offered."

If you want to travel - which would typically be the case if you're on a RTW ticket - you won't get an automatic refund and your ticket won't "auto-cancel"; instead, you'll accept the alternative transportation (or work with them to get a "better" alternative transportation) so you can continue your journey.
Under EU law, the passenger is entitled to rebooking under comparable conditions. If the airline only offers rebooking under incomparable conditions (or offers no rebooking at all), the passenger could book a new ticket and demand a refund of the cost of that ticket. It would be a problem if US law in that case requires that the airline cancels the ticket and refunds all unused segments. Let's say that you have to make use of this for the first flight on a round-the-world ticket, going from the EU to the US, and when you try to check in for the next fight in the US, you find that all of the following segments have been cancelled.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 8:48 pm
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Congress May Cancel Your Automatic Flight Refunds

"four congressional lawmakers overseeing aviation policy began advancing legislation that includes a provision potentially reimposing those cumbersome processes on passengers, according to the bill text reviewed by The Lever."

"The lawmakers are four of the six largest congressional recipients of campaign cash from the airline industry in the current election cycle, according to data from the government transparency group OpenSecrets."

https://www.levernews.com/congress-m...light-refunds/
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Old May 1, 2024, 11:48 pm
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Some people might want credits instead of a refund. A business traveler booked in F and downgraded to Y might prefer credit for the fare difference rather than their company getting a refund
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Old May 7, 2024, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
https://www.transportation.gov/brief...efunds-airline

People outside of USA can buy tickets that can include a USA airline. Oneworld alliance has RTW tickets that can include USA airlines, flights to USA and/or flights from USA. The requirement "must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request" would create chaos. If the RTW ticket auto cancel mid trip because of a 3:00hr delay would be hopeless and cause the passenger a massive increase in total trip cost.
Above your quote, the page you referenced also state "Passengers will be entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits offered."
The rules did not instruct the airlines to issue refunds instead of reaccommodating the disrupted passengers.


Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
The proposed rules are very USA domestic airline/flight centric. No consideration of how the international air travel market operates. And that many 1000's of people travelling by air in USA do not directly pay a USA airline.
Federal rule making process does not operate on a whim (at least not during the current administration). Consumer advocates and Industry players chimed in extensively about different scenarios and the DOT draft rules outlined the DOT's considerations and reasoning.
See this 272 pages doc for reference: DOT-OST-2022-0089-5341_attachment_1.pdf
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