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As holiday travel heats up, air consumer complaints down

As holiday travel heats up, air consumer complaints down

Historic consumer rules keep air travelers protected

The holiday travel season is upon us, and it's an exciting time of year for visiting loved ones, hitting the slopes, or escaping the cold.  Wherever you and your family are heading, we at DOT want your travel to be as stress-free as possible.

That’s why we’re pleased to report that airline consumer complaints filed with our Aviation Consumer Protection Division between January and September 2013 were down 14.1 percent from the first nine months of 2012. In addition, complaints filed in September 2013 were down 6.8 percent from September 2012.

Our latest Air Travel Consumer Report also includes data on tarmac delays and on-time performance.

Photo of travelers moving through airport

Over the last few years, DOT has issued historic consumer rules that protect the rights of the flying public.  Here are some of the ways that DOT’s consumer rules are protecting you:

  • Tarmac Delays:  DOT has established a three-hour limit on tarmac delays for domestic flights and a four-hour time limit for international flights. After two hours on the tarmac, carriers must make available adequate food and water as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment.
  • Full Disclosure of Additional Fees:  All potential fees must be prominently disclosed on airlines’ websites, so you won’t be surprised by extra charges for services such as baggage, meals, canceling or changing reservations, or advanced or upgraded seating.  In addition, all government taxes and fees must be included in every advertised price.
  • Lost Bags and Bag Fees:  If your bag is lost, airlines are required to refund any fee for carrying the bag.
  • Bumping:  In the event you are involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight, you are entitled to compensation.

To learn more about how DOT is protecting aviation consumers, you can read “Fly Rights.”

This holiday season and throughout the year, DOT is looking out for you when you travel.

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