It’s my money, and I need it now is the JG Wentworth chant going through many airline passengers’ minds today with delayed flights, cancellations, and bumping from one flight to another due to oversold seats.
With a significant uptick in the number of passengers involuntarily bumped from flights in the last year, two US senators have introduced two bills, aimed at increasing airline consumer protection.
How can airline passengers benefit from these bills?
The legislation provides protection against unfair airline fees, including a minimum compensation amount of $1,350 that US and international carriers will need to pay involuntarily bumped passengers from oversold flights.
Additionally, it prohibits airlines from capping compensation paid to passengers for voluntarily surrendering their seats, and encourages compensation cash payment instead of airline travel vouchers. Hallelujah!
The bills are called the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights and the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act.
What other passenger rights are protected?
Preventing airlines from further shrinking their seats until the FAA can determine a federal minimum seat size.
Requiring airlines to refund tickets and provide alternative transportation when flights are delayed between one and four hours.
Taking action against airlines that use weather as an excuse for cancellations and delays.
A requirement that all passengers have free access to drinking water and restrooms; and that those restrooms accommodate disabled passengers.
Require airlines to immediately refund baggage fees and damaged or lost bags.
The two bills are sponsored by six other senators, but industry leaders and groups are pushing back by calling the proposals “short-sighted,” claiming they “would inevitably drive-up costs and reduce choices for the consumer.”